by James Lewis
Things are moving fast to a Cuban Missile Crisis in Syria, where Obama has been outfoxed by a combination of Russia's Putin and the war theocracy of Iran.
Today we see the makings of a regional war, with weapons of mass destruction and intercontinental missiles in the mix.
World headlines now show gassed bodies of Syrian children near Damascus, challenging Obama to put up or shut up on his ever-retreating "red lines".
The most accurate account of the gas attack this week comes from Debka.com, a site that is close to Israeli intelligence, meaning that it varies between telling the truth and spreading information useful to Israel. However, the French conservative newspaper Le Figaro stole the story from Debka this week, and published it as its own.
Here is the story:
The sarin nerve gas atrocity of Wednesday, Aug. 21, alleged to have claimed more than 1,000 lives, was the work of the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army's 4th Division, headed by President Bashar Asad's younger brother Gen. Maher Assad.If this is true -- and I believe it is -- there are four urgent questions.
The poison gas shells were fired from the big Mount Kalmun army base south of Damascus, one of the three repositories of Syria's chemical weapons. ... Not a single shell or gram of poison gas is loaded for use at any of the three sites without an explicit directive from the president or his brother. ... Therefore, the clamor raised by the US and French presidents, Western prime ministers and Russian leaders ... is nothing but playacting. The facts are known and the evidence is present. And the price for refusing to come down to earth and putting an immediate stop to this horrifying precedent may be unimaginably grim -- not just for Israel and Jordan -- but for the rest of the Middle East and beyond."
1. Who is behind it? (Iran, Syria, maybe Putin)
2. What is their aim? (To trap us).
3. Is it a trap? (Yes)
4. How should the West respond? (VERY carefully).
1. Who is behind it?
The chain of command in Arab dictatorships like Syria is based on sons, brothers, and cousins, because nobody else can be trusted. Bashir Assad himself is the son of Hafiz Assad, his mass-murdering father.
Assad is a Shi'ite, ruling a majority Sunni nation. He is always in the minority, ruling by divide and conquer. He needs outside help to stay in power, through Iran and its proxy terror force, Hizb'allah.
Russia is also on his side, up to a point.
2. What is their aim? (To trap us).
Obama has retreated time and time again, in the face of clear and present danger from mullahs who preach martyrdom with nukes and long-range missiles. They threaten not just Israel, but the Arab oil regimes that have been Iran's deadly enemy for a thousand years. When Obama pushed over Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt, the pillar of peace in the Middle East, the mullahs saw their chance to forge a Shi'ite Crescent between Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, all controlled by Tehran.
The purpose is to surround Israel with thousands of modern missiles armed with chemical and possibly nuclear weapons. It is also to knock down the Turks (who are Sunnis), the Egyptians (ditto), and most of all, the House of Saud, sitting on the biggest pool of usable oil in the world. In Arabia, very small tribes control enormous oil wealth.
Arabia is the biggest strategic objective for Iran.
Iran's war theocracy plus oil means world power.
Obama has failed miserably in the last five years to knock down the Iranians before they had nukes. The United States could have done it, the way we did it with Saddam, with minimal risk, by imposing a no-fly zone over Iran with our overwhelming naval and air power.
Obama failed to act, and allowed that window of opportunity to slam shut.
Today the mullahs are within reach of their aim of owning their own nuclear bombs. They fully understand Obama's soft spots.
3. The trap
This is a deliberate, brutal, and murderous challenge to Obama's pretensions.
The aim is to draw the U.S. into a classic quagmire on the side of our Sunni "allies," who are nothing but Al Qaida thugs, the same people who betrayed us in Benghazi.
Obama is therefore caught between a rock and a hard place. He cannot openly intervene, nor can he ignore the humanitarian disaster that was conveniently broadcast by YouTube and all the other web media as soon as it happened.
4. How should the West respond?
The Syrians committed a crime against humanity to be broadcast on YouTube.
That is only possible if they felt they had powerful backing in the inevitable aftermath.
That backing comes from Iran, and possibly Putin.
Iran is run by an expansionist global martyrdom ideology, like Imperial Japan in World War II. This is not the Soviet Union after Stalin, which became a rational power that did not want national suicide. The Iranians are constantly trying to sound crazy, to intimidate the world, including the Big Satan (the United States) and the Little Satan (Israel). They are medieval fanatics fighting for Allah. They have not changed in a thousand years. Maybe they are pretending, but they don't seem to know that themselves. They are split, and the crazies look like they are in charge.
Vladimir Putin may be encouraging this behind the scenes, to administer a slap in the face to this administration.
Putin wants us to lose, but he does not want Iran to win.
Logically, Vladimir Putin is the key to this conundrum, because he can scare the daylights out of the mullahs running Iran. They don't respect the United States, especially under Obama, the classic starry-eyed useful idiot. They know we have an awesome military, but they also know that Obama does not have the strategic vision or the will to use our military to win the Jihad War.
Putin is different, because he uses massive military might, as he did in knocking down the Muslim rebels in Chechnya with massive artillery strikes against civilian populations. The Western media never reported that because they, too, are afraid of Putin. Get on his wrong side, and journalists regularly disappear.
Obama therefore has do make a deal with the devil we know, against the devil we don't know. We don't know what the mullahs will do with nuclear weapons.
If Obama has any brains -- and he does -- he is negotiating with Putin behind the scenes to cool this crisis down, and so see what Putin wants in return for his help. That is why Obama did that public farce in Martha's Vineyard, clowning on the golf course while his team was on the phone to Putin and others.
First, we have to stay out of Syria overtly.
We are already deeply involved covertly, as reported in the web media. We are using Jordanian, Turkish, Israeli, and possibly Kurdish forces to support the Sunnis in Syria, with the aim of establishing a Sunni salient to cut Iran's Shi'ite Crescent in half. Any US-UK air offensive will be described as a response to the horrors of the gas attack, but it will in fact support the Sunni salient in Syria. The Sunni "rebels" are being paid by Saudi Arabia.
Second, we cannot ignore the rise of Iran's nuclear weapons. That has been Obama's crucial failure of in the last five years. If Iran gets nukes and missiles they will have a decisive edge for decades to come. In that case the Saudis will make sure Egypt is armed with nuclear weapons as well, to defend the Sunni majority in the Muslim Middle East. It means nuclear proliferation, with a constant risk of fanatical terror groups getting weapons of mass destruction.
The bottom line is that Vladimir Putin does not want the mullahs to get nukes either. The reason is that Russia is less than an hour from Iran by civilian airplane. Ballistic missiles will reach Moscow in fifteen minutes. Putin is acutely aware of that. He does not want Muslims with nukes, because the history of Russia is the history of foreign invasions, including Islamic hordes.
Obama therefore has to reach a great powers agreement with Putin to control the Middle East, in collaboration with Israel, Egypt, and the Saudis, who hold the purse strings.
Conservatives may dislike Obama, and with good reasons. But right now we have to support any rational agreement to stave off nuclear disaster in the Middle East.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.