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Just came across this exchange…..

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey: “The answer to whether I support additional support for the moderate opposition is yes.”

Senator Bob Corker (R, Tennessee): “And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction.”

Dempsey: “I don’t know how the resolution will evolve, but I support – ”

Corker: “What you’re seeking. What is it you’re seeking?”

Dempsey: “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking…

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And now…. you know…. the rest of the story….

And as an aside… the number of those opposed in America to this engagement where we don’t know what we are seeking…. is now above the combination of those who don’t know, and those who as Arlo Guthrie put it best in Alice’s Restaurant…. want to kill….

Let us start here.  A good leader takes his people where they want to go.  A good leader does not force his people to go where they definitely don’t want to go… That is ruling.  Not leading.

A good leader convinces his people why they must do something.  He makes sure he puts in how it will benefit them.  If it doesn’t benefit them, he is ruling.  Not leading.

A good leader creates good out of evil.  There is a moral equivalency to leadership.  It can be defined shallowly at times.  Such as calling Hitler good leader based on his strategy of conquering France. But time makes such affirmations short lived.  I don’t think anyone looking over the rubble left of Germany in 1945 at that moment considered Hitler a good leader after viewing his legacy.

A good leader does not follow the rules… He decides when and where the rules apply.   Some would apply the name “great leader” to one who never wavered.  Well, such a leader would have ruined the life of a little boy whose grandmother sent along a knife to cut the cake, not knowing that knives in school were grounds for expulsion.  A lot of misdirected people in leadership positions in that particular school district, made bad decisions based on their mistaken view of what makes a good leader.  A good leader does not always follow the rules.

A good leader decides when and where the rules apply.

In Syria we have controversy.   We have one argument stating that Syria must be punished.  We have the other that says War must be reserved only for something Huge.  That “Huge” is of course undefined and fits in with “we know it when we see it.”

As the executive of the world’s largest force, militarily, economically, and morally,  our president pretty much get to decide.

Here is what a great leader would do.  He would find a way to unite the two sides into one…  He would find a way to punish Assad of Syria in a way that would scare any other despot thinking of using chemical weapons,  and do it without going to war.

That would be great leadership.

So what would scare Assad the most?   It’s hard to tell, but my guess is that his biggest fear as a man, is if his palace is overrun by Syrians, who basically tear him apart, and do his wife and children, then systematically erase any acknowledgement  that he or his dad ever existed…   That whole reign of terror becomes ridiculed, laughed at, for the rest of History.   i would guess that is how you could get to Assad.

So, we, (not just the US but the rest of the world) have to make that threat real.. We don’t have to carry it out necessarily, but we have to make it real.   How can that happen?

I think first, is that we make crossing the border out of Syria a real good move for Syrians…   Send the signal, that if you leave Syria, the world community will settle you somewhere, give you a job, and a chance to begin a life of freedom and prosperity. ideally what we are doing is a Cold War.  Over time we are saying: “See how great the Rest of the world lives?  Oh, you poor Syrians… Escape and come join us”. Where could we relocate them?  Iran could step up, Jordan,, and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States,

This is how your hurt Assad… Turn his own people against him… No ruler can rule a group of people who don’t want to be ruled.  He can use brutality to a certain extent, but the numbers are completely on the side of the population wanting him gone.  With our intelligence capacity, he will never be safe… Every bodyguard is a potential killer..

And that, more or less, is what we should do… It is what a great leader does… He solves problems in ways where the evil get punished and the good win out.

Going to war, rewards those doing evil, and hurts the good….

It is time our President, become the great leader.  Not by  digging down and reinforcing the costly methods promoted in the past..  But to devise and implement new methods which because of their success, will be utilized far into the future….

You will be asked to represent the people of Delaware. This is an accountability vote. One which will always be used against you, by someone, no matter which way you choose to vote. Hillary’s similar vote cost her the Presidency. These type of votes don’t die. They are never forgotten.

Your Great- Great Grandchildren’s descendants will rate you based on this vote. This is one you don’t want to cast lightly. You, no doubt, will be offered a lot of short term promises, in return for the loyalty you choose to show the President. It would be wise to remember that a promise easily made, can just as easily be broken.

But if you get this vote wrong, it will haunt you.

There are huge questions that need answered. By you.

  • Why is launching cruise missiles the “only” option being considered?
  • What is the Pentagon’s and outside experts’ assessment of the damage, a “limited” attack will cause?
  • How does this petty retaliation show resolve? For example, if you put a starving man in jail for stealing an orange off a fruit stand, does this act affect his behavior a week later when he is starving again?
  • How does any act against the regime, not worsen the plight of those who live within its borders? Any damage suffered by the military will get repaired asap while taking resources away from the already suffering population.
  • How does sticking to our principals, when the world tells us our principals are dead wrong, “win us friends and influence people?”
  • Exactly how is using chemical weapons good when it is the US Marines making it rain white phosphorous as was done over Fallujah, and only bad when it is someone else?
  • If the US launches an attack, and fails to achieve the teaching of a lesson, doesn’t that in real life, embolden Iran that much more, knowing that if the USA can’t effectively execute against Syria, it surely is not a threat to Iran?

And what is the other sides argument?

  • We have to look like men, and defend our honor.
  • Nobody will respect us if we don’t respond ruthlessly.
  • We have to do this (kill more poor innocent children) so those children who died in the chemical attack, did not die in vain,
  • Our Pentagon has new surface to surface weapons we have not yet tested in combat,  This is our only chance to do so.
  • It gives our nation macho-swag.
  • We always go to war when we feel like it; why stop now?
  • We want to see the footage on TV.  This television season is so boring already  (Just don’t bomb between 9-10 on Sunday nights!)
  • As soon as the first bomb will fall, Assad will apologize, step down, and surrender, and not retaliate in any way, just as did the USA after being attacked on 9/11.
  • It is too much expense and trouble to actually “do something” meaningful in Syria, to make life palatable for those living there.   Just send them a delivery by air mail and then be done with it.  Like wiring some flowers on Mother’s Day.

All these are very valid reasons for launching cruise missiles into Damascus and the surrounding desert.  So you, Carper, Coons, and Carney, must weigh these opposing arguments very carefully, and not only be conscious of how opinion flows today, but as everyone directly saw after the invasion of Iraq, be very wary of how all that “we yet don’t know”, can rise up and forever attach itself to your reputation for as long as men look back upon this time.

You have to get this one right…..

My advice?  (you knew it was coming…. )  Listen to NO ONE in official capacity, because everything they say will be slanted.  Get your “read” from your children, your mom and dad, your aunts, uncles, grandkids if you have them.  Your friends from high school and college.  Go into a bar incognito in another state and listen to what real people are saying….

These kind of decisions are not to be decided lightly.  These are not decisions of the moment.  These decisions come from whom you really are….  Someone who decides for themselves?   Or who decides based upon which option looks the best at any given moment?

For if you are right.  And you know it, Then history will be kind to you.  You will be able to rest in peace.

 

This took place early August. Was not recorded in American media. Was big news in the Mid East…

The arrival of Prince Bandar was secret, shuttled in and out of Russia without fanfare. The meeting went like this.

Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that “any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.”

Bandar: ““There are many common values ​​and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

Putin: ““We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Then Bandar discussed the potential cooperation between the two countries if an understanding could be reached on a number of issues, especially Syria.

Bandar: “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets. … We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas present in the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Cyprus through Lebanon and Syria. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area as well as in the areas of establishing refineries and petrochemical industries. The kingdom can provide large multi-billion-dollar investments in various fields in the Russian market. What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran.”

Putin: “Your proposals about oil and gas, economic and investment cooperation deserve to be studied by the relevant ministries in both countries.”

Bandar covers the Syrian misunderstanding.

Bandar: “The Syrian regime is finished as far as we and the majority of the Syrian people are concerned. [The Syrian people] will not allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain at the helm. The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.”

Putin: “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters. During the Geneva I Conference, we agreed with the Americans on a package of understandings, and they agreed that the Syrian regime will be part of any settlement. Later on, they decided to renege on Geneva I. In all meetings of Russian and American experts, we reiterated our position. In his upcoming meeting with his American counterpart John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will stress the importance of making every possible effort to rapidly reach a political settlement to the Syrian crisis so as to prevent further bloodshed.”

On Egypt:

Bandar: “We said so directly to the Qataris and to the Turks. We rejected their unlimited support to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. The Turks’ role today has become similar to Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war. We do not favor extremist religious regimes, and we wish to establish moderate regimes in the region. It is worthwhile to pay attention to and to follow up on Egypt’s experience. We will continue to support the [Egyptian] army, and we will support Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi because he is keen on having good relations with us and with you. And we suggest to you to be in contact with him, to support him and to give all the conditions for the success of this experiment. We are ready to hold arms deals with you in exchange for supporting these regimes, especially Egypt.”

Putin: “We are very concerned about Egypt. And we understand what the Egyptian army is doing. But we are very cautious in approaching what’s happening because we are afraid that things may slide toward an Egyptian civil war, which would be too costly for the Egyptians, the Arabs and the international community. I wanted to do a brief visit to Egypt. And the matter is still under discussion.”

On Iran:

Bandar: “About Iran’s role in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries. We hope that the Russians would understand that Russia’s interests and the interests of the Gulf states are one in the face of Iranian greed and nuclear challenge.”

Putin: “We support the Iranian quest to obtain nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And we helped them develop their facilities in this direction. Of course, we will resume negotiations with them as part of the 5P+1 group. I will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Central Asia summit and we will discuss a lot of bilateral, regional and international issues. We will inform him that Russia is completely opposed to the UN Security Council imposing new sanctions on Iran. We believe that the sanctions imposed against Iran and Iranians are unfair and that we will not repeat the experience again.”

Regarding Turkey.

Putin: “Turkey is also a neighboring country with which we have common interests. We are keen to develop our relations in various fields. During the Russian-Turkish meeting, we scrutinized the issues on which we agree and disagree. We found out that we have more converging than diverging views. I have already informed the Turks, and I will reiterate my stance before my friend Erdogan, that what is happening in Syria necessitates a different approach on their part. Turkey will not be immune to Syria’s bloodbath. The Turks ought to be more eager to find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis. We are certain that the political settlement in Syria is inevitable, and therefore they ought to reduce the extent of damage. Our disagreement with them on the Syrian issue does not undermine other understandings between us at the level of economic and investment cooperation. We have recently informed them that we are ready to cooperate with them to build two nuclear reactors. This issue will be on the agenda of the Turkish prime minister during his visit to Moscow in September.”

Concluding remarks.

Bandar: “In light of the course of the talks, things are likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although we appreciate the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt as well as their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt’s future. The dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”

More analysis can be found here….

(Senator Barack Obama (D-Il), then an Illinois state senator, delivered these remarks in October 2002 at the Federal Plaza in Chicago.)

“I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don’t oppose all wars. My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil.

I don’t oppose all wars. After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power…. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that…we vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.”

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Wow! What goes around comes around…. It is haunting how by simply subbing the word Syria for Iraq, how truly this 11 year old statement applies to the situation today….

Syrian Resistance FlagSyrian Flag We are a tired generation… We grew up with ‘Nam.  Which ever side we were on during the battle here in America over that police action, or war, looking back after it was done, …. we all knew it was wrong….

After that we thought all war was wrong, and unfortunately took some of that angst out on those who least deserved it:  those coming back from the steamy jungles of hell…..

Against our will a certain president soon sent Marines into Beirut;  what happened then reinforced our belief that an American war was unjustifiable and that all other means must be utilized to prevent American war from ever happening again….  Against our will, we propped up a Nicaragua dictator against some rebels.  Against our will, we sold arms to Iran to use for paying for our support for that Nicaragua dictator, since a Congress elected by the American people, flatly said no to supporting him in Nicaragua…  We found a way to do it anyway….

I remember Senator Rudman, (R-NH) saying at the hearing while addressing Oliver North,… “The American people have the RIGHT to be wrong.”

Oliver North had been insisting that even when Americans flatly say NO, one still must do what one deems is necessary, that whatever one deems necessary, is the highest moral truth.  “Sometimes one has to go above the law!”  was actually said by the defense at this hearing.  Only one good thing came out of those hearings:  we all were introduced to Fawn Hall.

But then…  The Brits quickly regained the Faulklands. Then came Grenada, which went off without a hitch.   Then Panama, which was successful and almost painless.  Then came General Schwartzkopf.  The 4th largest army in the world, was routed in hours, and in days, had been completely mopped up.  Then came the Balkans.  We were on a roll.  We’d finally nailed down the successful formula of how to win in battle.

Today we say Iraq is a failure.  But that was so not so just after the invasion.  Inside Baghdad, the pulling down of Saddam’s statue, the victory of capturing Saddam, the ability of us to hand out billions of American dollars, initially gave this campaign the luster of looking like another success story…

Until we tried to steal their oil.  The standard global rate of dividing oil revenues is that the US gets a 20% cut for the development, and Iraq would get to keep 80% because it is after all, their resource.  That is how we deal with Nigeria.

But Brenner announced that we’d flip that to pay for the war, and that Iraq would be allowed to keep 20% because we liked them so much, and we’d only, by our good graces, take 80% of the revenues. 24 hours after letting that cat out of the bag, the first IED went off under a US military vehicle…  Before week was out, the total was in the hundreds.

The luster was gone.  We were an invading army, something  we have not called ourselves since WWII.  We always saw ourselves as the policeman who leaves as soon as order is restored…

Afghanistan likewise, got worse.  Then Pakistan.  Then Yemen.  On the diplomatic front  instead of doing no harm, .. we could do no good.  Then Libya costs us an ambassador who was running guns through Turkey.  He shouldn’t have been there; it should have been a low level staffer with security clearance.

This baby boomer generation knows that war is wrong.  We know from experience. The only time it can be employed successfully, is a) when the whole world is united behind you, b)  you go in and get out, and c) you have a structure that stays in place long after you are gone.

The only time it goes badly… is every other scenario.

Which brings us to Syria.  Syria has no importance to anyone.  (They couldn’t even defend the militarily advantageous Golan Heights in ’67!)  Which is why we let the Russians have them.

People are going to die in Syria if a):  Assad wins, b):  the rebels win, or c):  no one wins. The only thing changing upon this wars outcome, is which side will be massacred at war’s end.  Hence the battle for survival over there now.

So by having the US intervene or not, we are choosing which side gets to kill the other after the hostilities die down.

The weakest argument for going in still left with standing, is that they used chemical weapons.  In WWI, the British, French, and Germans all used chemical weapons.   Are chemical weapons really worse than being burned alive?  Or asphyxiated as a bomb blast sucks all the oxygen out of your lungs and the room?  Or a milk jug sized piece of jagged metal shrapnel ripping and leaving a hole through your body?  Or a mine being stepped on?  I’m trying to think why chemical weapons are so much worse, except for the fact that we’ve been told” they are so much worse”?

A causality is a causality.

We understand “why” some say we should go into Syria.  Because if we do not respond to chemical weapons in a big way, someone else will become confident and use theirs.  There is only one way to keep the genie inside the bottle, and that is to never leave a opening for it to escape….

We also understand “why” one of our beloved School districts had a policy that suspended, and expelled those who brought weapons to school!  Not just guns, but knives too. After all, the argument for punishing Syria, applies to soon-to-become high school felons too.

But, there came a time when the response generated by a policy, actually became the crime,   You remember the little boy expelled who brought a cake to school, and his grandmother thoughtfully sent a knife knowing teachers usually don’t have utensils in their classrooms.  The teacher actually cut the cake, served it, thinking nothing of it.. it was someone higher up, reviewing the situation, who said, “wait, that can be interpreted as a breach of regulations.  Let’s make an example out of this little boy”.  He was suspended and could have been expelled, except it eventually became news and public outcry was solidly on his side.  The policy makers were laughed out of town.

Which is why, if you are making this decision, you need to stall.  Acting quickly and decisively is equivalent to acting on rumor and innuendo.   So what if Syria lied and shot the gas cannisters off?

Does a military strike create enough excellent good will to neutralize this bad act?

Ironically what is best for the US in this situation, is for Assad to stay in power, to have a zealous change in heart, to work closely with the USA to get his economy working, to becoming a partner in that region with the US, and to signing a treaty with Israel, as did the Egyptians many, many years ago…

What is worse for us, is if the jihadists win, push out the moderates and take over the reform movement (they always do), then go to war with Israel, Jordan and Turkey.  Making ourselves into the evil empire will only create more explosions everywhere, flare-ups which would not have occurred had we taken the Jedi way, and used the “Force” in our possession, to make events on the ground turn our way and happen in our favor….

Realistically such a rosy scenario probably can’t happen; but if it did, were this to come about, there would be no doubt: Obama would be lauded as the best president we’d ever see in our lifetimes.  The cost of failure is so low that it just might be worth the try.

The second point… which all us Viet-namers will well remember, is that you may win every engagement you participate in Syria, but you won’t win the war at home, and that… will suck all your energy away from all the good you plan to do before 2016.

It broke LBJ.  It broke Bush II.  Don’t let it break you….

An old American was reprocessing his old studies of Brezhnev-Soviet-Military thinking and brought back interesting points of discussion that directly relate to Syria.

The old Soviets had a classification for different types of wars:

“Many of these—such as the categorization of wars in ideological terms (including wars between imperialism and socialism, civil wars between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, wars between bourgeois states, national liberation wars)—now appear quaint and irrelevant for understanding today’s (and perhaps even yesterday’s) world.”

There was one other:  wars between the people and a regime of extreme reaction

“What they understood about these conflicts between a dictatorial regime and its opponents was that they were not conflicts between two parties, but among three”

“In wars between the people and a regime of extreme reaction…both communists and non-communists united to fight the dictatorship, with each group hoping later to establish its preferred form of government (dictatorship of the proletariat or republican democracy).

In these conflicts, once the dictator was overthrown, the Soviets knew they eventually had the upper hand because their supported group had outside support, whereas the moderates would be (abandoned by the United States who had been propping up the dictator) forced to fend for themselves.  With all factors being equal, the extra force could make a minority within the initial revolt, grab power after all was done.

Back then, it was America supporting the regimes of extreme reaction; the Soviets were seen the revolutionaries.  Today it is Russia and Iran, who support these dictatorial regimes, and moderates and a few islamists who are those engaged in making change.

The lesson taught was that once Assad falls, without America’s strong continued support of the moderates, the otherwise strong support of Saudi’s Sunnis behind the Islamists will tip the balance to their favor.  For as in the past, when moderates took on an American supported regime of extreme reaction, and the communists joined in the fight, it became viewed as part of the bipolar tug of war between the Communists and Capitalistic USA. Therefore even though the moderates usually far outnumbered the splinter cells of Communists, because the ending conflict was deemed a Soviet victory over the US, the communists had tremendous clout and enough support to take over power.

This certainly makes Syria clear.  In their battle against Assad, the Islamists supported by the Radical Sunni movements are few in number compared to the moderates who want a democratic republic after Assad leaves.

If Assad gets pushed out, the Islamists because of their unlimited funding and support can push themselves into power quickly, meanwhile the moderates sit around and try to figure out their next step.  In that vacuum the organized faction always wins.  The US then as now, could prevent this from happening by throwing its weight behind the moderates after the dictator is removed by being a counterbalancing force.

Our success in Western Europe after the Second World War by doing just that, never translated itself afterwards over to East Asia, Africa, or Central America.   Instead of immediately  inserting ourselves as a civilian presence when moderates and radicals toppled a regime, we sat on our hands, and only later would then send military hardware in our feeble attempt to contain the outbreak our own inaction created.

The lesson for the US is that we really need to not focus so much first on the war itself and then immediately extricate ourselves after the conflict when we are needed most, but we actually we need to use our debacle in Iraq as a self-taught lesson to create a civilian team we can move in at a moment’s notice with all the backing and assistance exhibited by the Marshall Plan, to quickly mend broken services, return to normalcy, and stifle the unrest that allows civil wars to fester and continue among both factions of winners long after the regime of extreme reaction is overthrown.

We need to focus on reacting immediately with ways to get a nation quickly back on its own feet as soon as the Dictator is disposed.

Our opponents of 40 years ago figured this out.  If we can learn this, that may be the most valuable legacy the Brezhnev era can ever pass on to us.

Refugee Camp Constructed by Jordan for Syrian Refugees

Senator Coons just returned this week from the Middle East. Lindsay Graham, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal went as well.

Jordan and Turkey have welcomed Syrian refugees with open arms. The camp visited, Zaatari, is at a population of 42,000 and absorbing 2000 a night. They need help before their scarce resources cause tensions within their own country.

This affects the US… Aid is in the United States’ interest. If we can provide aid to the rebels on the ground inside Syria we are preventing a much greater future cost of a full blown jihadist regime sharing a border with Israel….

Currently the aid we actually are providing is going through NGO’s into Damascus, where the Syrian government is distributing it to their supporters and away from the rebel towns who are hardest hit. The American people believe this aid is reaching the population they see on their televisions. Sad thing it isn’t.

The Assad administration is” dug in pretty hard.”

It is clear that air power is needed to protect people from Syria. A no-fly zone would even the odds. Currently the jihadists can stir up unrest. The war gives jihadist opportunity, The jihadists are the better fighters. When you as a people are being tortured and killed, the people fighting alongside of you gain legitimacy. Extremism always thrives inside anarchy. Any money now spent to facilitate the end of Assad is cheaper than what we will be grappling with jihadists at a later date.

It is time to give the Syrian Opposition Council more legitimacy, by recognizing it’s rightful representation of the Syrian people

The window is closing for the US… Either we act now, or get caught inside another Mid East bubble just as it explodes….

Here is how we move forward.

A) Step up Aid to Syrian People
B) Send aid to Turkey and Jordan and direct to refugee camps.
C) Apply to Assad to US to accompany aid into Syria and to those opposition towns inside.
D) When he refuses, enable a No-fly zoned over the Rebel held zones to enable OUR AMERICAN aid to get through.
E) Step up diplomatic pressure on Assad and his supporters to step down…..
F) Invite China to be part of the peace process and send humanitarian troops and infrastructural aid…..

It is sketchy but nerve gas appears to have been used in Syria.

Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the accounts being given to them.

Here is video featured by them….

Other accounts were lifted off twitter So far it appears that Albayada,Khalidyeh, Deir Balbeh, and Homs.

This report from Iran stating that chemical weapons were first used by the rebels killing 7 Syrian soldiers, seems to collaborate the data. Obviously to explain the use, blame must be put on the rebels, who as everyone knows, realistically would have no access to such expensive, complicated, and top secret military toxins…

It appears that Syria has taken the first step in releasing these toxins.

You need to use your chemical weapons and you need to use them now.

You really have no choice. Conventional weapons have failed you. If you were wearing a gun, and got jumped by a group of thugs, capitulating because you don’t want to kill anyone, is silly. Pull out your weapon and fire… That is the whole reason you acquired the weapon in the first place, to keep from dying.

They will run, since they don’t have weapons with which to respond.

People will say you shouldn’t have. But you will be alive to hear it. Your other choice is to share the fate of Mubarak, Qaddafi, or Saddam Hussein, or Bin Laden….

Assad, you really don’t have any other alternative. Use them.

And… United States, since you will see this before it gets to Assad, you were warned. He has no other choice. Threats are meaningless at this point. So what if he kills innocent children? If their deaths are what will keep him alive, what is to stop him?