Tag Archives: Assad

Almost Joe, Almost

if-joe-biden-were-elected-the-nations-45th-president-hed-be-74-years-old-when-he-assumed-officeEither Vice President Joe Biden isn’t running for president in 2016, or he is and just doesn’t care if he wins or loses.  When you are on the edge of showing a toughness and a clarity displayed by his initial statements last week and then you backtrack, you’ve made a critical political blunder.

Last week Biden made the following statements regarding the involvement of the United Arab Emirates and Turkey in the growth of ISIS.

“They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world,” 

In regard to  Turkey he said the following: “President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan told me … ‘You were right. We let too many people (including foreign fighters) through.’ Now they are trying to seal their border.”

When UAE and Turkey got all bent out of shape, VP Biden apologized to the 2 countries for saying they are partly to blame for the growth and development of ISIS.  But was he wrong?  Have these countries really done anything other than facilitate their development?  Is Turkey not more focused on showing venomous hatred for Israel than they are on not letting ISIS recruits travel through their borders?

At a time where the populations of countries in the western world are desperately looking for strong leadership, Joe Biden stood up and said what needed to be said.  Then the 2 countries he said it to got mad and he apologized.  So close Joe.  Oh so close.   It’s a lot like a school teacher trying to break up a fight in an out of control class, reprimanding the instigators of the fight, and then apologizing to these very same instigators when they get upset at him for the reprimand.   He almost took the necessary and strong action, he just decided against it when challenged.

Unfortunately the end result makes someone who came close to displaying the strength we need in these difficult times look very weak instead.   But he almost did what he needed to do.  Almost.




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Russia’s role in the war with ISIS

putin_2836730bAlthough I will support any efforts the administration makes in going after ISIS, I can’t help but wonder to what extent Russia is being considered in President Barack Obama’s decision.

There is no doubt Russia plays a role.  Regardless of whether the United States would be involved in the region or not, Syria is a Russian ally.  One can not help but wonder if the contentious relationship between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama is part of the equation.  In having a good excuse for getting involved in Syria, the President has an opportunity to make an impact on what might be considered Putin’s turf.  If that is a factor, is it strategic or personal? Whether it is a factor or not, it has created an added tension people seem to want to stay away from discussing for somewhat obvious reasons.  It makes the situation even more concerning and potentially explosive.  Should the U.S. hit the wrong target, one that angers the Russians, be it accidentally or as a result of collateral damage, what will Russia’s reaction be?  And let’s not forget that Israel, a U.S. ally, is always right there, has a serious stake in what is going on,  and never will have a good relationship with an Assad regime in Syria.

Even before attacks on ISIS in Syria start, the picture is murky and complicated.  Once Syria becomes a target it could get considerably more so. We’ll have to wait and see and hope personal feelings don’t come into play.




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Syria: A lose lose situation

bigstock-syria-3770337As a supporter for Israel I have no difficulty in saying that I despise the current Syrian regime.  Starting with the current Assad’s father, this dictatorial fascist government has been a catalyst in attacks on Israel and a financier of worldwide terrorism specifically against Israel and world Jewry for decades.  With that said one would think I would be in favor of a U.S. lead attack on Syria in response to the evidence of chemical weapons being used by the government against the rebels in the ongoing civil war.  This is not the case at all.  Not only am I not in favor of United States involvement in Syria, I’m more opposed to it than I have been to any military action in a very long time.  The reason being is that it is clear to me that nothing good will result from any type of US lead attack.

The first question that comes to my mind, one that I asked a week ago, is why now?  Why is it so much worse that people get slaughtered with chemical weapons than it is that they get blown apart by a bomb?  My mother, who is 91 and a survivor of the Holocaust, gave me what I consider to be the best answer to that question.  Her response was, and I am paraphrasing; ‘others get involved when it scares them and they are in danger.  If Syria has chemical weapons they can use it elsewhere.  They don’t care about the other people.  They only care about themselves.’

If we think the people we are pretending to care about don’t see this as well then we have become blinded by our very arrogance.

I don’t have a problem with our government or any other government looking out for the safety of its citizens, but I do have issue with it being done behind the smokescreen of concern.  It eliminates the full and honest disclosure necessary to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. And make no mistake.  This is a major crisis.  The Syrian government is backed by Russia, a powerful and important player in world politics and one we are already at odds with.  The collapse of governmental structure in Syria could lead to chaos that could indeed start a major conflict involving multiple nations aligning on different sides.  The Syrian crisis has immediate impact on Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Jordan.  This would follow with a multitude of other countries likely getting involved.  Although Russia has not taken a hard stance against US involvement, the relationship it has with Syria is a wild card that makes this an even more dangerous venture.

I am generally in favor of anything that protects the State of Israel.  This would not protect Israel nor would it bring any additional stability to the crumbling region.  Syria is already an enemy of Israel and the Jewish people and has and will continue to harbor and support terrorists committed to its destruction.  The Israeli government is fully aware of this and has and always will take the appropriate action to ensure the safety of its people and neutralize the enemy.  A US attack on Syria does neither.

I am not a bleeding heart who is opposed to any type of war.  However, of all the reasons to go to war, going to war to send a message is one of the most barbaric and unproductive.  If someone can show me how bombing Syria accomplishes anything more than that I am willing to listen.  I just don’t see it that way.