This post is to alert readers of this blog about a major new development in the US-Syrian confrontation over chemical weapons use against Syrians in rebel-held regions.
The Herald-Tribune, a mainstream source of news, has revealed that its sources indicate that the chemical weapons used in Syria did not come from President Assad’s forces, but rather from Iranian forces operating within Syria. The first link identifies Iranian-controlled forces operating in Syria as the force which unleashed the chemical weapons in Syria. It cites Israeli intelligence as its primary source for this information. The second link adds that Iran is now so firmly “in charge” of Syria that its Iranian and Hezbollah-controlled forces now occupy approximately half of the entire nation of Syria.
If the assertions in these links are true, it radically changes the situation about what is happening in Syria. It would mean that the Assad regime is now merely a puppet regime which is also controlled by Iran. Assad may have only limited (or no) control of many of the forces operating against the Sunni Jihadist rebels in Syria. It also means that Assad may not have ordered any chemical weapons attack against anyone within Syria. Indeed, knowing that it could trigger an American attack vs. Syria, Assad had no rational reason to order any such attack. However, if Iran has essentially taken over the Syrian government and wants a war or confrontation in the region, it could be trying to start such a war by ordering the Iranian-controlled forces in Syria to launch the chemical weapons attack.
This means Obama and the USA could be falling into a huge trap laid for them by Iran, Hezbollah and even Russia (which the links assert are advising Syria). This may be one more plan to even further weaken the US military by having it intervene in another Islamic nation’s civil war. The US military is so worn out and “degraded” that even the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has said it would be “immoral” for Obama to order an attack vs. Syria (third link). That the nation’s top military officer would openly oppose the commander-in-chief’s eagerness for involving the US in a war that affects no US national interest speaks volumes about the state of the exhausted US military.
A well-known columnist, Jeffrey Kuhner, make a very good case that Al Queda terrorist forces are luring the Obama administration into becoming its “air force” against Syria’s government, even as the Libyan rebel Jihadists suckered the US and NATO into acting as the air force for the radical Islamic Jihadist rebels in the Libyan civil war (fourth link). Sarah Palin has also penned a piece strongly advising against any US attack vs. Syria (fifth link). I agree with them. The US has no justification for launching any attack vs. Syria as that nation has taken no action vs. the USA or any of its vital interests or treaty allies. Intervening in the Syrian civil war would make the US the aggressor nation, and Syria would have the legal right to respond with any force it deemed desirable.
What actions could Syria and Iran take? The sixth link cites a Debka.com article on this subject. It considers the possibilities of a much wider war breaking out in the region if the US attacks Syria, and adds that the Saudi and French air forces could attack Syria from an airfield near the Jordanian-Saudi border. The danger of an Israeli-Hezbollah war is very real if the USA acts rashly in attacking Syria, and there is no guarantee that such a war will remain limited in scope. [The debka.com site has many informative links on this situation.]
One of my major concerns is that Russia and China (Iran’s allies) may have secretly placed some of their new supersonic cruise missiles at hidden locations on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. If the US destroyers fire cruise missiles at Syria, those Russian and Chinese cruise missiles may be fired at the US warships to test whether the US Navy has an effective defense against these new Russian and Chinese missiles. If there are such missiles waiting to be fired at US warships and they succeed in damaging or sinking US warships, the US military will be exposed as a “paper tiger” force. If this happens, Iran could shut the strait of Hormuz in the confidence that similarly-placed missiles on Iran’s coastline could hit and sink US warships in the Persian Gulf. If that happened, Obama could be impeached and convicted by Congress for criminally neglecting American defenses and be removed from office (I think Congress would eagerly throw Obama under the bus to save itself from the wrath of the American voters). Please keep in mind, I’m not predicting these things will happen. I’m trying to demonstrate some of the “worst case” scenarios that could unfold to show that the risks of the US attacking Syrian targets far outweigh any benefits for doing so.
The US Congress will be voting on whether to permit Obama to attack Syria. I think Obama decided to ask for a Congressional vote as he finally realized the real extent of the dangers he could unleash if he attacks Syria. At the very least, he wants political “cover” for any attack so Congress will have to share the blame if things turn out badly. It is even possible he wants Congress to vote “no” to a US attack so he can say, like the UK’s Prime Minister did, that he cannot now carry out the attack. Politics and global geopolitics make for devious back-room discussions and deals. I urge readers of this post to join me in calling their congressional representatives quickly after the Labor Day weekend to oppose any attack on Syria by the Obama administration. The USA has no good reason for attacking Syria. No vital American interests are at stake and the potential risks are incredible. Also, the US military is cutting its spending due to the sequestration process and cannot afford any more wars. As Sarah Palin said in her column cited above, “Let Allah sort it out” in these Moslem civil wars. The USA should stay out of them when no US interests are at stake, and especially when there is no “good side” to help as is the case in Syria.