ISIS needs more trained fighters – Obama and Congress to the rescue
There was an expression I heard somewhat frequently growing up – particularly when working with my father. “Don’t just stand around, do something, even if it’s wrong!” I recognized this for the negative and facetious comment that it was, and filed it in the mental ’86’ compartment where it belonged, because I knew that screwing something up just to appear busy, would really get me in hot water with the old man. Whatever nasty, venomous edge that lurks beneath my ordinarily good nature, is from the paternal side.
I was reminded of that expression by the latest turn of events, in which, Barack Obama – Counterfeit-in-Chief, in an attempt to look ‘busy’, has asked Congress to hook him up with half a Billion more dollars to fund the training and equipping of ‘moderate’ rebels to be deployed in Syria, supposedly against other Islamic militants. The New York Times lets the cat out of the bag, when it reveals, “this scaled-up training program would be overseen by the Defense Department, unlike the current covert program here and a similar program in Jordan, both overseen by the C.I.A.”
Ignoring the fact that Obama has already been covertly supplying and training what the administration has consistently claimed are moderates in Syria, 230 Republicans – 70% of GOP House members voted to support the President’s re-up on outright treachery. Strangely, only 198, or just 43% of Democrats did so. You can view the map and find out how your Congressman voted here. Read it and weep.
Predictably, the Senate rubber-stamped the President’s plans, that is, with the exception of a handful of Democrats and Republicans. Democrats opposing the funding of more jihadi insurgents, included Joe Manchin (WV), Kristen Gillibrand, (NY), Patrick Leahy, (VT), Mark Begich (AK), and Elizabeth Warren (MA). Leahy, in a rare moment of clarity, said he supports the fight against ISIS, but “I am not convinced that the President’s plan to intervene in Syria can succeed. There are too many unanswered questions about the composition, intentions, allegiances, and capabilities of the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels…”
The only Republicans in the Senate that had the good sense and decency to tell Obama no, were; Tom Coburn (OK), Mike Crapo (ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Enzi (WY), Dean Heller (NV), Mike Lee (UT), Jerry Moran (KS), Rand Paul (KY), James Risch (ID), Pat Roberts (KS), and Jeff Sessions (AL). Just 11 Republicans, that’s it.
Leading up to that vote and since the authorization passed, many credible voices have addressed the lunacy in providing support for what are either outright jihadis or are at least Islamists that will be co-opted by the Islamic Caliphate. Senator Ted Cruz demurred in these terms:
“I do not support arming the rebels in Syria, because the administration has presented no coherent plan for distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys,” he said, noting that the Islamic State is a rebel group itself. “Every time I have pressed the administration in both open hearings and classified hearings, as to how they would distinguish the good guys from the bad guys, the administration has failed to have an answer that makes any sense.”
Marine General James Conway, who served as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps during the end of the Bush administration and the beginning of the Obama administration, said, “I don’t think the president’s plan has a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding”. Attendees at the Maverick PAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Friday, described his opposition as based on the fact that,
“the U.S. doesn’t not have a force on the ground in Syria it could rely on, like the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq. Though the Obama administration believes it can support what it says are moderate rebel forces in Syria to aid in the fight against ISIS, there may be no truly moderate force in the country of any significant strength.”
General Conway echoes the viewpoint of a large contingent of military strategists that have been trying for nearly 4 years to convince Obama not to provide training and support to Islamic militants. And war journalists as well have been vocally debunking the fiction of ‘moderate’ rebels. One such reporter is Jonathan Spyer, Senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center who, based on personal observations in Syria, maintains:
“There are also civilian activists and structures within the country which are opposed to al-Qaida and Islamism. But when one looks at the armed rebel groups, one finds an obvious vast majority there who are adherents of Islamism of one kind or another — stretching from Muslim Brotherhood-type formations all the way across to groups openly aligned with al-Qaida central and with al-Zawahiri.”
Former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told “CBS Evening News” that the terrorist group rose to power because the U.S. pulled out of Iraq too quickly and waited too long to intervene in Syria. “I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq.” Panetta said the entire national security team urged Mr. Obama to give more support to rebels fighting in Syria against President Bashar Assad.
This is a classic example of ‘friendly fire’ with the purpose of heading off a more damaging narrative. The administration and former crony officials like Panetta and Petraeus are hitting Obama with paint ball rounds, to protect him from the truth that is emerging that Obama actually has already covertly funded and equipped ISIS. Hillary Clinton, gearing up for another bid for the White House, isn’t tossing bean bags. She thinks she might get her turn to deploy troops to some manufactured crisis.
None other than the New York Times, in March of last year, reported on arms transfers and assistance to what are now ISIS militants beginning in 2012:
With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.
Rand Paul voiced opposition to Obama’s past and present arming of ISIS. “Senator Paul believes arming the same side as ISIS was and is, a strategic error and would oppose such action,” Paul’s senior aide, Doug Stafford, told The Huffington Post. Paul has on numerous occasions made it clear that he knows arming and assisting ISIS has been going on and that Obama has a history of it.
But one of Paul’s potential rivals, Sen. Marco ‘Polo’ Rubio (R-FL), argued in favor of voting for the measure: “What happens in Syria is in our national interests. If we fail to approve this, the nations of that region will say America is not truly engaged. I will support this resolution because I think it is in the best interest of our nation.”
Rubio, solidly in the ‘war at any cost’ camp, along with John McCain, Jeff Flake and Lindsey (Lohan) Graham, is correct. The American sheeple are not engaged. They’ve fallen back on the same old habits they’ve been conditioned to by the corporate warfare state media – the U.S. military must lead and bleed. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reported 62 percent of voters supported Obama’s to take action against ISIS with airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
Sure, there’s no support for a full on ground invasion, yet. But Obama’s ‘Frankenstein’, the Islamic State, will take care of that by supplying a consistent stream of beheading videos. Don’t misunderstand me. Our government has fostered a deadly menace and we must address it. But we must insist that our ‘partners’ – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and Turkey, step up to the plate and take on their fellow bloodthirsty Muslims. No American boots on the ground on this one. We’ve been there, done that.
One wonders if Rubio is so out of touch with reality that he doesn’t know we’ve already been funding and equipping ISIS. In any event, he seems to be supportive of my father’s admonition, “Don’t just stand around, do something, even if it’s wrong!” At least he’s consistent.