Obama's Criminal War|
September 1, 2013
U.S. military intervention in Syria would be immoral, illegal and treasonous. It
would benefit our mortal enemy, al Qaeda, and possibly trigger a wider Mideast
war. President Obama is playing with fire. He is dangerously putting his ego
above the national interest. Bombing Syria threatens to leave his presidency in
In August 2012, Mr. Obama publicly drew a “red line” in Syria’s bloody civil
war. He vowed that the use of chemical weapons would trigger a muscular U.S.
response. Mr. Obama — along with the leaders of Britain and France — claims that
Syrian strongman Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against rebel forces outside
the capital of Damascus, murdering hundreds of civilians, including women and
children. Mr. Obama’s “red line” has supposedly been crossed.
The administration is engaging in war propaganda eerily similar to Iraq. The
costs could eventually be as disastrous — or worse. The evidence is flimsy that
Mr. Assad’s forces used nerve gas in rebel-held territory. The United Nations
inspection team so far has been unable to irrefutably confirm it. According to
Associated Press reports, even U.S. intelligence officials are conceding that
the links between the chemical weapons attack and the Assad regime are tenuous
at best. The reason is obvious: The Syrian dictator has no rational motive to
use weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Assad’s forces are winning and the Islamist
rebels are on the run. Their supply lines are cut off. They have been fragmented
into several isolated pockets of resistance. The rebels cannot win — and they
know it. Why would Mr. Assad use chemical weapons knowing that it would trigger
widespread international anger and furor? Using conventional weapons, his
military has been winning battle after battle. Mr. Assad may be brutal, ruthless
and cunning, but he is not stupid.
The rebels, however, have a major incentive to use chemical weapons upon their
own population to garner international sympathy. The Islamist opposition cannot
win unless — as in Libya — they enlist Western military intervention. They know
that pictures of children gassed to death would strike at the conscience of
Western governments. From the onset of Syria’s civil war in 2011, the country’s
huge stockpile of biological and chemical weapons has not been secured. The
rebels have captured some of the chemical weapons, while stockpiles also have
fallen into the hands of Hezbollah and other Assad allies. Hence, there is no
conclusive proof — none — that Mr. Assad directly ordered the massacre outside
Damascus. In fact, the very opposite could be true.
Moreover, contrary to the liberal media’s spin, the rebels are not “freedom
fighters,” the Arab version of American colonists. Rather, their ranks and
leadership are filled with Islamic jihadists, many of whom have ties to al
Qaeda. Their goal is to forge a Sunni Muslim theocracy — an Islamist Syria. They
seek to eradicate the country’s minority Shiite Alawites and Christians. Their
slogan is: “The Alawites to the wall, the Christians to Beirut.” In fact,
throughout the vicious civil war, Islamist rebels have committed countless
atrocities against innocent Syrians. For example, Christian churches have been
burned. Priests and nuns murdered. Entire families slaughtered. Why does Mr.
Obama want America to aid these Islamist fanatics in their struggle against Mr.
Assad’s iron rule? It is the act of the highest hubris and folly.
Think about this: The president seeks to turn American air power into al Qaeda’s
de facto air force. Our government is now providing weapons, assistance and
training to some members of the very terrorist group responsible for the attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Mr. Obama’s bombing
campaign inevitably would help al Qaeda capture Syria, thereby possibly
transforming it into a jihadist safe haven.
Iran, Russia, China and Hezbollah back Mr. Assad’s regime. Saudi Arabia and
Turkey are siding with the Sunni Islamist rebels. Our intervention, however
limited and punitive, would entangle America into a regional snake pit. Once
Tomahawk missiles start flying, the blowback could be immense, dragging us into
a larger Mideast — and even — global war. Iran is threatening to rain missiles
on Israel in the wake of a U.S. strike on Syria. Russia is sending warships to
the region. Hezbollah is threatening to retaliate against American military
installations and embassies in the region. World War I began in a tiny corner of
the Balkans. America is sleepwalking into another possible catastrophe.
Besides being reckless, immoral and dangerous, bombing Syria is illegal. Mr.
Obama plans to go to war without the approval of Congress, which alone can
authorize the use of military force, except for military action lasting less
than 60 days. This is why more than 100 lawmakers are demanding that no military
action be taken without prior congressional support. If the president ignores
Congress, then he must be held accountable.
Mr. Obama seeks to bomb a nation that has not attacked or even threatened us.
The Syrian civil war is none of our business. We have no dog in that fight. The
president has made a fatal mistake: Don’t utter threats you cannot back up. He
never should have drawn a “red line.” To salvage his credibility and pride, he
is now on the cusp of a foreign policy debacle. Yet, the real red line is on
him. He crosses it at his peril.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio host on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.