Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

"Hillary Clinton was a fine Secretary of State" said Obama

Weekend interview with Chris Wallace on Fox.  Yeah Right.  Fine judge of people that Obama.  Picks the right person every time. 
Hillary was Secretary when the Benghazi consulate was attacked, killing four Americans including the Ambassador to Libya.  She had allowed State Dept cookie pushers to short stop appeals for more security from the ambassador.  She was there when a US general and a US Admiral were fired that night for daring to send rescue missions.  She sent one of her operatives on all the TV Sunday pundit shows to blame the disaster on an obscure bit of internet video. 
   She was Secretary when the Arab Spring began to undermine Hosni Mubarak in Eygpt.  Mubarak had kept the peace that Anwar Sadat had negotiated with Israel.  Mubarak had been a useful and loyal ally of the United States.  When SHTF, and Mubarak's regime began to totter, she did not do the right and proper thing, namely allow the Egyptians to work out their internal problems.  No, she (and Obama) jumped right in and called to Mubarak's overthrow.  
  She was Secretary when the US pulled the troops out of Iraq, turning the place over to ISIS. 
  She was Secretary of State when Putin invaded Ukraineand annexed the Crimea.  She didn't say squat about that.
   She was Secretary will Libya came unglued during the Arab Spring.  We gave the Europeans a little logistical support while they overthrew Qaddafi  and then we all up and left.  Libya is now a failed state, controlled by ISIS.
   She was Secretary of State when Obama announced a "red line" in Syria over the use of poison gas.  She was still Secretary while Assad gassed more of his own citizens and we did nothing. 
   If elected President, Hillary will doubtless find more catastrophes to mismanage.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Donald trashes NATO

We set up NATO shortly after WWII in order to keep the Soviets from gobbling up western Europe the way they did eastern Europe.  In those years the European countries were still all smashed up from WWII and pretty helpless against the USSR.  The NATO treaty was mostly D'Artangnan's cry from the Three Musketeers, "One for all and all for one".  It told the Soviets that the United States would resist any further takeovers in Europe.
   And it worked.  The Iron Curtain stayed where it was, and didn't move west.
   And in 1989 the Soviets collapsed, ending the threat for many years.  NATO kept going, doing a bit here and a bit there, helping out in Afghanistan.  Until we got Putin in the last few years and all of a sudden, the Russians are looking dangerous again.  Since Georgia and the Ukraine, and Syria, the Europeans can see a need for NATO, especially the eastern Europeans like Poland and Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
   I dunno where Trump is coming from when he calls NATO obsolete.  It is an anti Russian alliance, which was needed in the 1950's and look to me like we still need it in the 2010's for the same old reason.  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shopping for boots

Boots to put on the ground that is.  Other than Americans, we have the Iraqi Army, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and some shadowy Syrian rebels.   Our Prez doesn't want to use Americans for political reasons.  The Iraqis haven't fought well since Saddam Hussein's early days.  They put up a good fight during the Iran-Iraq war on the 1980's.  That war lasted 8 or 10 years.  The Iranians had a larger population, a lot of good US equipment left over from the Shah's regime, and a scary level of fanaticism on all levels, from Ayatollah Khomeini right down to the teen age Iranian soldiers who conducted human wave attacks on Iraqi positions.  But when faced with the Americans in 1990 and 2003 they crumped.   Iraqi units didn't fight much, or very hard, and a lot of 'em just deserted under fire.   After a good ten years of rebuilding under American guidance, they aren't even as good they were in 1990.  ISIS was able to brush them aside with ease. 
   The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have a decent rep.  They fight hard and they don't run.  Trouble is, there aren't all that many of them, and they lack heavy weapons, mortars, artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers, even trucks and jeeps.  We could help out there, but the  Baghdad government thinks that Kurdistan is still a province of a greater Iraq, and refuses to give  the Kurds any weapons, lest they use them to declare independence from Baghdad.  And Baghdad gets huffy with us when we suggest shipping arms direct into Kurdistan. 
   Then we have the Syrian rebels.  They have little to no rep.  They have been fighting for years to drive out Assad with little success.  They have been able to stay alive, and prevent Assad from offing them all, but that ain't much. 
   And then there are the Iranians.  Lots of 'em, close by, and they have a pretty good rep.  Trouble is, they are bad guys, trying to go nuclear and nobody wants that.  Iran is Shia, and Iraq is split Sunni Shia.  All the Sunni Iraqis would rather die than allow Shia Iranian soldiers into Iraq.
  Bottom line.  There ain't no good boots to put on the ground in Iraq.  (except ours of course).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dealing with Assad's chemical weapons.

Lots of talk about this subject, negotiations, sharing of credit/blame.  Assad asked for $1 billion dollars to destroy his poison gas.  Henry Kissenger  said nice things about it this morning.  Kerry has had meetings with the Russian foreign minister.  Looks like the "international community" is setting up for a years long carnival.

   Here's what ought to be done.  Intelligence reports that the Syrians have 1000 tons of stuff.  That's a little too heavy to lift out with helicopters.  But an ordinary Army truck can handle 5 tons with ease.  That means 200 truckloads.  We can do that.  Have some tanks to lead the convoy,  bring infantry in armored personnel carriers, provide air support, some choppers right over head, jet fighters on 5 minute alert to back them up.  Drive to the storage site.  Drive the lead tanks thru the gate.  Doesn't matter whether the gate is open or closed.  Load the chemical weapons onto the trucks.  Drive back to the seaport.  Drive trucks, tanks, APC's and all right onto the Roll on/ Roll off cargo ship waiting at the pier.  Steam out of harbor.
   Repeat for each Syrian chemical weapons storage site.  The Economist published a map showing where they are.  If they know, surely Mossad or CIA can do as well.  

   Of course this means American troops going on the ground in Syria.  That will cause intense political heartburn in DC.   But, it will solve the problem of Assad's chemical weapons, for real.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

So what is Putin trying to do?

Two weeks ago,  Obama was about to take a big hit when Congress rejected his call for Authorization for the Use of Military Force,  21st century jargon meaning declaration of war.  Then, in response to an unplanned remark by John Kerry at a news conference in Europe, Putin jumps up and sells a face saving compromise to the world.  Syria will turn its chemical weapons over to a neutral party and the US won't do missile or air strikes on Syria.  The Americans love the idea, the Administration loves the idea 'cause now they don't have to suffer Congressional defeat, Congress loves it because they don't have to be mean to Obama, the voters love it because they never wanted to get mixed up in Syria at all.  Talk about a win-win.  Everybody in America wins.
   What's in it for Putin?  Sure,  he gets a lot of favorable publicity, and gets to write an Op-Ed in the NY Times,  but  all this is kinda light weight stuff.  Old Joe Stalin would not have been impressed unless the deal brought more land under Russian sovereignty,  more countries into the Soviet block, or destroyed enemy armies in battle.  I don't see that happening here. 
  I think Putin would have done better to leave Obama hoist by his own petard (big mouth).  Had Putin done nothing, Congress would have voted down (or trash canned) the authorization for the use of military force.  That's a big hit.  Obama would have either backed off on Syria, or pressed on without Congressional approval, neither of which would have come out well for Obama.
   Far as I can see, Putin bailed Obama out of a deep deep hole.
   I wonder why. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

There must be consequences

For the use of poison gas.  So say Obama's guys, which includes most of the media talking heads.  But that's not the real issue.  Shall the United States take sides in the Syrian civil war against the current dictator, Basher Assad?  Doing so is highly likely to depose Assad and turn Syria over to the opposition, who are not nice people.  The opposition is largely al Quada and other Islamist crazies who have been video taped eating the hearts and livers of slain government soldiers. If they take power they will impose Sharia law, drive all but muslims out of the country, and line up behind the ayatollahs in Teheran.  The minority communities of Christians, Jews and Alawites are terrified. They know what an opposition victory has in store for them.
    Turning Syria into an Islamist republic will harm the reputation of the United States far more than failing to make good on Obama's idle threats.
    The decision to intervene in Syria must be based upon what it will do to Syria, not what it will do to Obama's reputation.    

Saturday, August 31, 2013

We were eyeball to eyeball and our guy just blinked

Probably not a bad idea.  Zapping Bashar Assad in Syria to teach him a lesson about the use of poison gas, actually amounts to tipping the civil war against Assad and in favor of Al Quada.  Which is not a good idea. 
Note:  The reason Obama hasn't gone to Congress yet is he fears he will loose, making him look stupider than ever.  And Congress is just as happy with that, they don't want to vote on anything, 'cause taking a stand on anything just looses you votes.  So Congress doesn't get called into special session. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Destroyers to the rescue?

According to the TV newsie, the US is massing destroyers off the coast of Syria to do a little 21sth century gunboat dipomacy. 
Destroyers?  The smallest warship that counts as a ship?  Smaller vessels are known as boats, not ships.  Either 21st century destroyers are a LOT bigger and meaner than 20th century destroyers, or the proposed strike on Syria is gonna be a lovepat.  I mean, we used to do this sort of thing with aircraft carriers, no destroyers need apply. 
    Actually, destroyers have gotten bigger and costlier over the years.  Used to be, a destroyer was only 2000 tons displacement.  Lately they have been pushing 5000-6000 tons.  Ships that big used to be called cruisers.  Now they are destroyers.