We'll use Patrick Cockburn's articles and a New York Time piece to show why Barack Obama should immediately do a 180-degree change concerning the Assad government of Syria with the proviso that Assad moderate and reform, as he should have when protests first started during the "Arab Spring." Assad will agree. He should not be required by the US to step down, just reform. Then let natural democracy decide Syria's leadership in future.
The same articles also make a strong case for reversing course concerning President Putin.
Western powers and their regional allies have largely escaped criticism for their role in reigniting the war in Iraq. Publicly and privately, they have blamed the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for persecuting and marginalising the Sunni minority, so provoking them into supporting the Isis-led revolt. There is much truth in this, but it is by no means the whole story. Maliki did enough to enrage the Sunni, partly because he wanted to frighten Shia voters into supporting him in the 30 April election by claiming to be the Shia community's protector against Sunni counter-revolution.
But for all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki's failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. "I guess they just didn't believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad," said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week.
You might want to see the House of Saud fall. We do, but we don't want to see the Wahhabism IS (Islamic State) take its place. The Saudis need to wake up and reform, as Assad should have.
An aside but relevant:
We actually agree with the Sunni direction versus Shia because in Christianity, we don't hold with Ebionitism, which contrary to the thrust of what you'll read about it on the Internet, contains a strong element of bloodline inheritance of the leadership of the church. We subscribe to the spiritline leadership, even though we don't completely disagree with everything Ebionite. Shi'ism shares that bloodline insistence.
We don't want to overstate the case. Leave room in your thoughts the idea that we haven't completely fleshed out this issue. We haven't.
One thing we will add though is that in authentic Christianity, there is no coercion used against Ebionites. They may not be allowed to be members of the Church, but they are not oppressed by Christians.
Back to Patrick (2nd article):
The crucial date in this renewed conflict is 10 June, 2014 when Isis captured Iraq’s northern capital, Mosul, after three days’ fighting. The Iraqi government had an army with 350,000 soldiers on which $41.6bn (£25bn) had been spent in the three years from 2011, but this force melted away without significant resistance.
Discarded uniforms and equipment were found strewn along the roads leading to Kurdistan and safety. The flight was led by commanding officers, some of whom rapidly changed into civilian clothes as they abandoned their men. Given that Isis may have had as few as 1,300 fighters in its assault on Mosul this was one of the great military debacles in history.
Isis described its military strategy as “moving like a serpent between the rocks”, in other words using its forces as shock troops to take easy targets but not getting dragged into prolonged fighting in which its fighters would be tied down and suffer heavy casualties. It picked off government garrisons in Sunni-majority districts, and in the places it captured it did not necessarily leave many of its militants behind but rather relied on local allies. Many in Baghdad and in governments across the world hoped that these allies of Isis – local tribes and local Sunni leaders – could be persuaded to split from Isis because of its violence and primeval social agenda.
Speaking at West Point on America’s role in the world on 28 May 28 2014, President Barack Obama said that the main threat to the United States no longer came from al-Qa’ida central but from “decentralised al-Qa’ida affiliates and extremists, many with agendas focused on the countries where they operate.” He added that “as the Syrian civil war spills across borders, the capacity of battle-hardened extremist groups to come after us only increases”.
This was true enough, but Obama’s solution to the danger was, as he put it, “to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists.” By June he was asking Congress for $500m to train and equip “appropriately vetted” members of the Syrian opposition. It is here that self-deception reigns, because the Syrian military opposition is dominated by Isis and by Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN), the official al-Qa’ida representative, in addition to other extreme jihadi groups. In reality, there is no dividing wall between them and America’s supposedly moderate opposition allies.
There is no doubt that the Sunnis in Syria and Iraq have fought back against Shia dominance that was literally created by the George W. Bush administration's actions against Saddam Hussein, action we deplored even though we disagreed with Hussein's often brutal leadership. Saddam Hussein should have been worked with to moderate him, just as Assad should be worked with even yet, and just as the House of Saud must be moved to moderate.
We aren't saying that these leaders must become Obama-ites, far from it. They have a right to self-determination within reason. The overriding issue right now is finding balance where progressive, non-violent, culturally acceptable gains may be made.
The main problem has been US foreign policy that has been focused on violence first as the means of conflict resolution and for the sake of increasing the dominance of the US Empire. That problem has been the direct result of neoconservatism and Zionism being central in US foreign policy. That must change if the US is to succeed.
Rather than thumping hard on Putin's chest, the US needs to simmer everything down and to gain allies who are expected to moderate over time in a reasonable manner designed to avoid all the unnecessary violence.
Also, a deal should be cut with Iran immediately. The Iranians do not have a nuclear-weapons program, and the sooner the US stops pretending that it might, the better.
In addition, the US should deliver an ultimatum to the Likudniks in Israel that they either stop trying to expand and rather roll back to 1967 lines and preferably start working toward a one-state solution, or the US will literally cut them off (and that while the US works directly and closely with Vladimir Putin to reestablish a full working relationship such that the Zionist would not simply be able to turn to him to take the place of the US).
The US should insist that the government of Ukraine purge itself of fascists, fascist who are ethnically bigoted/racists and who have threatened to embroil Europe in a war with Russia and Russia's allies.
There are extraordinary elements in the present US policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the US is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The US would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington's policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.
But US , Western European, Saudi, and Arab Gulf policy is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, which happens to be the policy of ISIS and other jihadis in Syria. If Assad goes, then ISIS will be the beneficiary, since it is either defeating or absorbing the rest of the Syrian armed opposition. There is a pretense in Washington and elsewhere that there exists a "moderate" Syrian opposition being helped by the US , Qatar, Turkey, and the Saudis. It is, however, weak and getting more so by the day. Soon the new caliphate may stretch from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and the only force that can possibly stop this from happening is the Syrian army.
...ISIS has been criticized by the al-Qa‘ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for its excessive violence and sectarianism. After talking to a range of Syrian jihadi rebels not directly affiliated with al-Qa‘ida in southeast Turkey earlier this year, a source told me that "without exception they all expressed enthusiasm for the 9/11 attacks and hoped the same thing would happen in Europe as well as the US."
The spectacular resurgence of al-Qa‘ida and its offshoots has happened despite the huge expansion of American and British intelligence services and their budgets after 9/11. Since then, the US , closely followed by Britain, has fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and adopted procedures normally associated with police states, such as imprisonment without trial, rendition, torture, and domestic espionage. Governments wage the "war on terror" claiming that the rights of individual citizens must be sacrificed to secure the safety of all.
In the face of these controversial security measures, the movements against which they are aimed have not been defeated but rather have grown stronger. At the time of 9/11, al-Qa‘ida was a small, generally ineffectual organization; by 2014 al-Qa‘ida-type groups were numerous and powerful.
In case you haven't figured it out, US foreign policy has been a major disaster. The errors stretch back nearly indefinitely to the beginnings of the nation, which were founded upon mistaken notions of White supremacy vis-a-vis the indigenous peoples of North America and also the Blacks of Africa, whom the Whites imported into America as slaves of the those Whites. The current foreign policy errors are built directly upon those founding errors. Is it ironic that Barack Obama is half Black?
Now here's a non-Patrick Cockburn piece in the New York Times:
The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible American airstrikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilized neighboring Iraq and killed an American journalist, officials said Friday.
While President Obama has long resisted being drawn into Syria’s bloody civil war, officials said recent advances by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had made clear that it represents a threat to the interests of the United States and its allies. The beheading of James Foley, the American journalist, has contributed to what officials called a “new context” for a challenge that has long divided the president’s team.
Officials said the options include speeding up and intensifying limited American efforts to train and arm moderate Syrian rebel forces that have been fighting both ISIS as well as the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Another option would be to bolster other partners on the ground to take on ISIS, including the Syrian Kurds.
But American officials said they would also take a look at airstrikes by fighter jets and bombers as well as potentially sending Special Operations forces into Syria, like those who tried to rescue Mr. Foley and other hostages on a mission in July. One possibility officials have discussed for Iraq that could be translated to Syria would be a series of unmanned drone strikes targeting ISIS leaders, much like those conducted in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
... The president has long expressed skepticism that more assertive action by the United States, including arming Syrian rebels as urged in 2011 by Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, would change the course of the civil war there. But he sent out a top adviser on Friday to publicly hint at the possibility a day after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said ISIS could not be defeated without going after it in Syria.
“We’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends,” said Stephen Miles, advocacy director of Win Without War, a national coalition formed to oppose the 2003 invasion of Iraq ordered by President George W. Bush. “Unfortunately, we see at the end of the day it’s almost always the case that the extremists are emboldened. We play into their hands by giving them what they want, which is a battle with the West.”
At one point, Mr. Obama declared Mr. Assad had to “step aside” and at another he laid down a “red line” against any use of chemical weapons. But the president rejected the 2011 proposal backed by Mrs. Clinton to arm and train small groups of vetted rebels, fearful that the weapons could fall into the wrong hands.
As recently as two weeks ago, Mr. Obama rejected the notion that arming the rebels earlier would have made a difference, saying that has “always been a fantasy.” He said the administration had difficulty finding, training and arming a sufficient cadre of secular Syrians. “There’s not as much capacity as you would hope,” he said.
You'll notice that Barack Obama isn't ignorant about the lack of "moderates" or about the dangers IS poses. He needs to take the helm rather than being lead astray by Zionist-neocons.
Hillary Clinton has been wrong all along. She has advocated the Zionist approach, which brought us the Iraq War. That's turned out horribly, just as we predicted it would.
What the US needs are diplomatic skills, not mindless muscle hammering on others.
Mr. Putin is a natural ally against the hyper-coercive sharia of IS and the like. Even Iran isn't remotely as coercive as IS.
Let's not forget that the current Iranian theocracy is the direct result of the US intervening there and overthrowing Mohammad Mosaddegh. It was a stupid thing to do in a long series of stupid things. Let's break the cycle of stupid.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)