This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Looking For Solutions in Reckless Endangerment

"It is frequently said that there is 'no military solution' to Syria or the other conflicts roiling the Middle east."
"This may be true, but it is also misleading. For, in every case, if there is to be any hope of a political settlement, a certain military and security context is required, and that context will not materialize on its own. We and our partners need to facilitate it -- and over the past four years, we have not done so."
"[The region does not play] by Las Vegas rules. What happens in the Middle East is not going to stay in the Middle East."
"Some elements of the right strategy are in place [partnering with local forces on the ground and pressing political unity in Baghdad]."
"In my judgment, increased support for the Iraqi security forces, Sunni tribal forces and Kurdish Peshmerga is needed, including embedding U.S. adviser elements down to the brigade headquarters level of those Iraqi forces fighting ISIS."
"I also believe that we should explore use of joint tactical air controllers with select Iraqi units to coordinate coalition airstrikes for those units."
"We could, for example, tell Assad that the use of barrel bombs must end. And that if they continue, we will stop the Syrian air force from flying. We have that capability. You don't even have to fly in the airspace necessarily [by employing cruise missiles from Navy submarines]. We don't have to put 165,000 troops on the ground to do that. We have the capability to stop that and we should. We've already put boots on the ground in Syria, special mission troops."
"Russia's recent military escalation in Syria is a further reminder that when the U.S. does not take the initiative, others will fill the vacuum, often in ways that are harmful to our interest. I think that what [Russian President] Vladimir Putin would like to do is resurrect the Russian empire." 
Former US General/CIA director David Petraeus
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Middle East policy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Middle East policy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"We have opportunities now [in Syria] that we didn't think we would have. We have an opportunity to push down on Raqqa."
"We have an opportunity to take away the entire [Turkish] border from [ISIL], and we didn't think we would have that."
Anonymous U.S. official
The Obama administration is finally waking from its dream-state of nothing untoward occurring in the world, and there is no need for the United States to focus on bringing a halt to the upheaval that has spread from the Middle East to Europe. Europe itself is frozen in disbelief that its shores are being inundated by non-European migrants intent on sharing Europe's opportunities by imposing themselves in a flood of desperation on the Continent's most successful nations.

Who, by compassionately responding with declarations of generosity have unwittingly and self-mutilatingly inspired even greater numbers of haven-aspirants to leave everything behind in the gamble of risking life to find another life. It has finally dawned on President Obama that his favoured stance of doing nothing in the fond hope that nothing will inspire a spontaneous solution is the kind of hocus-pocus that only an inexperienced academic might rely upon.

His advisers of perhaps a more realistic bent and feeling the sting of Vladimir Putin's amused contempt convincing the Commander-in-Chief that he must command. The first order of too-long-delayed business: to provide arms and ammunition to the non-jihadist rebel Syrian groups. The conflict in Iraq to which the American answer was to deploy U.S.-led joint efforts to bomb Islamic State has produced no discernible results that might deter ISIL from its goal.

And as detestable and ghoulish as Islamic State jihadists have been in their proudly demonstrable attraction to atrocities, their numbered kills have nowhere near approached those of the Syrian regime whose gruesomely destructive use of chemical weapons, starvation/privation, aerial bombardments and barrel bombs have slaughtered far more Syrians than ISIL could manage. It hasn't been Islamic State that has destroyed Syrian infrastructure, but the Syrian regime itself.

Now that Russia has entered Syria with the intention of running its own bombing missions and in the process giving full military protection to the Syrian regime, General Petraeus feels that the time is right for America to assert itself? The problems in Syria rest on the resistance of Bashar al-Assad to voluntarily remove himself as head of government. His removal could reunite the two Islamic solitudes, Sunni and Shia, to fight the Islamic State to return all of Syria to Syria.

As for the area of protection for Syrians along the Turkey-Syrian border, as a venue of safety for Syrians,l it already exists. The Kurdish enclave along the border provides ample protection for all who flee Islamic State predation. Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, find haven there where there is no prejudice against their minority ethnic and religious status. And it is the Kurdish militias and they alone who have been successful in fighting Islamic State.

The recommendations of General Petraeus are rather late in the game, and they echo the 'druthers of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who will do anything in his power to ensure that the Kurds do not find general acceptance internationally for their own homeland. That's risky business that the former general now extols, rather late in the game, and with the added suspense of the danger inherent in conducting a conflict situation in the volatile presence of Russian military jets and troops.

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