Monday, July 23, 2012

Obama’s Fourth War

by Daniel Greenfield

Fresh off three wars, Obama is looking to dive headlong into a fourth war in Syria. Even as Islamists are wreaking havoc across Mali, enforcing Sharia law and committing atrocities using weapons looted from the fall of Libya, the administration responsible for that disaster is looking to do it all over again.

Obama inherited two wars, botched them both, began a third war with disastrous consequences, and now appears equally determined to launch a fourth war. As discussed in my Freedom Center pamphlet, “The Great Betrayal,” Iraq is now in the hands of Iranian-backed Shiite Islamists while Afghanistan is swiftly falling into the hands of the Taliban.

Obama’s program of regional change, whether implemented by military means as in Libya or by political pressure as in Egypt, has led to local and regional chaos, instability and the empowerment of Islamist groups ranging from Al-Qaeda to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The coverage of the latest UN Security Council Resolution on Syria exposes the partisan hypocrisy of the print journalists and talking heads who attacked the Bush administration’s proposals on Iraq with ruthless hostility, but respond to the far less credible rush to war in Syria by his successor with the shameless enthusiasm of war propagandists.

In 2002, the United States had successfully liberated Afghanistan and when it turned its attention to Iraq it had a solid track record and was confronting a regime that had engaged in actual genocide. But when Obama went after Libya, he had already cut and run from Iraq, leaving it in the hands of an Iranian agent, and had blown his own surge in Afghanistan.

In 2011, when Obama intervened in the Libyan civil war, American soldiers in Afghanistan were living through their bloodiest March in ten years. That bloody March gave way to the bloodiest April on record with casualties almost four times as high as they had been under the Bush administration. As reporters were celebrating the fall of Tripoli, the bloodiest August in Afghanistan on record had claimed the lives of 82 soldiers in a war that the media wasn’t interested in reporting on any longer.

Serious journalists would have examined Obama’s proposal to go into Libya based on his track record in Afghanistan. Instead the media ignored the previous war in their rush to endorse the next war. That is why the debate over Syria has to begin with an examination of Libya.

Advocates for intervention are claiming that the lives of millions of Syrians are at stake. They claimed the same thing in Libya and that proved to be a lie.

“The Great Betrayal” examines and exposes the lie that Libya ever faced genocide at Gaddafi’s hands. Benghazi, the city that Obama claimed was in imminent danger of a massacre that would stain the conscience of the world, not only never saw anything of the kind, but is actually still caught in a civil war between the rebels and the new government that Obama helped put into place.

Ambassador Susan Rice, in her speech at the UN, derided the idea that the proposed resolution would lead to military intervention in Syria as “paranoid.” But military intervention in Libya followed a similar path from protecting civilians to sanctions to military intervention.

As “The Great Betrayal” lays out, Obama lied his way into Libya, deceiving the American people and the United Nations, while using legal arguments that even his own legal advisors did not believe had any credibility. Obama violated the War Powers Act and the terms of the no-fly zone to go to war, betrayed the trust of the American people and destroyed the credibility of American humanitarian interventions. His failure to achieve Security Council approval for sanctions on Syria stems from his lies on Libya.

Susan Rice mentioned the sexual assaults carried out by pro-Assad militias, but remained silent on the rapes being carried out by the Mali Islamists that her administration empowered with its Libyan intervention.

If human rights justify intervening in Syria, then the Obama administration needs to intervene in Libya all over again. The UN Human Rights Council has found that the Libyan rebels have engaged in widespread torture and ethnic cleansing.

While the people of Benghazi were never in danger of a massacre “that would stain the conscience of the world,” the same is not true of Tawerghas, a town of black Libyans.

A statement from the Society for Threatened Peoples reads, “The once bustling town of 30,000 people near Misurata was mostly inhabited by Black Libyans… Tawergha has been deserted after the breakdown of the Gaddafi regime. Its buildings were looted, vandalized, many torched, and its citizens… forced out by their neighbors… Tawerghas were detained, taken from their homes… Many Tawerghas are now cowering in makeshift camps around Tripoli.”

If the Obama Administration has learned anything from such tragedies, it has not shared it with the rest of us. Instead the election victory of the rebel factions who carried out this ethnic cleansing was celebrated by the Obama administration and its media allies as a victory for the “liberals.”

Will a victory by the Sunnis over the Alawites in Syria lead to anything but more bloodshed? Susan Rice and the rest of the Obama administration have been unwilling and unable to answer that question. Instead the Obama administration is backing the Muslim Brotherhood which considers the Alawites to be heretics and will treat them accordingly.

While Obama is chomping at the bit to go into Syria, Mali is burning, the Taliban is carrying out public executions in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda terrorists have already killed 40 Shiites in Iraq. With a track record of burning countries in his rearview mirror, Obama’s stance on Syria has no credibility at all.

Obama spent his entire career running away from his past. Each failure is quickly ignored in a rush of enthusiasm for the next project. The media expects us to forget about Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and focus on Syria. The only way to change that is by exposing Obama’s record.

“The Great Betrayal” is the opening to any discussion of Obama’s fourth war by grounding it in his previous three wars. It offers a serious examination of his track record in three wars on three fronts and lays out how each of those wars betrayed their mission and ended in disaster and disgrace.

As Obama prepares for a fourth war, leaving the last three behind, it is more important than ever to hold him to his track record.

At the UN Susan Rice said that an “unarmed observer mission” would not change anything and warned that “the United States has not and will not pin its policy on an unarmed observer mission” but would instead “intensify our work with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council.”

The statement should be read as a declaration that the Obama administration is moving toward a unilateral mission outside the United Nations. This act of unmitigated hypocrisy by the declared opponents of unilateralism also poses fundamental dangers to the United States and the region.

The fall of Libya empowered Al-Qaeda, the failure of the mission in Afghanistan empowered the Taliban and the abandonment of the mission in Iraq empowered Iran.

We can only imagine what the fall of Syria will do.

Daniel Greenfield


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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