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Syria

Ron Paul: No More US Aid to Syria Insurgents; Better for House to Impeach than Sue Obama

Ron Paul, speaking with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, explains that President Barack Obama’s proposal to spend a half-billion dollars on training and arming Syria insurgents will hurt Americans while helping the military industrial complex. Paul, RPI’s chairman and founder, also argues that the House of Representatives would do better to impeach Obama for unconstitutional actions than to follow Speaker of the House John Boehner’s plan to sue Obama.
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Don’t Compound the Damage Already Done in Iraq by Doubling Down in Syria

The debate over America’s Middle East policy has reached a new level of surreality. In the wake of President Obama’s West Point commencement address last month — in which he pledged to “ramp up” U.S. support for Syrian rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad — Washington elites are exhorting the Obama administration to do much more. Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford urges intensified training and more advanced weapons for “moderate” opposition fighters; others argue for direct U.S. military involvement. At the same time, Washington has been stunned by the success of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and several other strategic targets, and is drawing close to Baghdad.

Washington elites are effectively compartmentalizing these stories — but, in fact, they are intimately related, and policymakers need to understand the connection to avoid another disaster in the heart of the Middle East.
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Obama’s Foreign Policy Rhetoric Does Not Match US Actions

President Obama’s recent foreign policy speech, delivered at this year’s West Point graduation ceremony, was a disappointment to anyone who hoped the president might be changing course. The failure of each US intervention thus far in the 21st century might have inspired at least a bit of reflection. 
 
However, the president made it clear that interventionism and American exceptionalism would continue to guide his administration in its final two years. The president said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” adding the dubious claim that “because of American diplomacy and foreign assistance, as well as the sacrifices of our military -- more people live under elected governments today than at any time in human history.”
 
It’s funny he would mention elections. Last week the Syrians held their first multi-candidate presidential election in 50 years.
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A Middle East Tragedy: Obama’s Syria Policy Disaster

For over three years, the United States has sought to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by supporting an Al Qaeda-infused opposition that Washington either knew or should have known would fail.  Yet, in his commencement address at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama promised the American people and the rest of the world more of the same.

Obama’s vague pledge to “ramp up” support for selected oppositionists is a craven sop to those claiming that U.S. backing for the opposition so far—nonlethal aid, training opposition fighters, coordination with other countries openly providing lethal aid, and high-level political backing (including three years of public demands from Obama that Assad “must go”)—has been inadequate, and that Assad could be removed if only America would do more.  This claim should be decisively rejected as a basis for policy making, rather than disingenuously humored, for it is dangerously detached from reality.


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Why Won't Kerry Leave Syria Alone?

Kerry Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry seems to be on a personal mission to draw the US into an invasion of Syria. At the least, he remains determined to continue backing the rebellion against the Syrian government until the country is completely destroyed. 

Meeting yesterday in London, the self-styled "Friends of Syria," including, in addition to the US and UK, such model democracies as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, determined to increase assistance to those who for three years have fought to overthrow the Syrian government. 

Kerry took the opportunity at the meeting to again accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, apparently not at all chastened by his fraudulent claims to the same effect last year. "Raw data" suggests the Syrian government used chlorine gas, Kerry claimed this time. Very raw, no doubt.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on the same day that, “We’ve not seen any evidence” of additional chemical attacks. It seems that the US administration is at war with itself, with Kerry seeming to go rogue at every opportunity.
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Syria: The Hidden Massacre

Syriarebelgun

The attack took place shortly after the first stirrings of trouble in the southern Syrian city of Daraa in March 2011.

Several old Russian-made military trucks packed with Syrian security forces rolled onto a hard slope on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad. Unbeknown to the passengers, the sloping road was slick with oil poured by gunmen waiting to ambush the troops.

Brakes were pumped as the trucks slid into each other, but the shooting started even before the vehicles managed to roll to a stop. According to several different opposition sources, up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.

One Daraa native explains: “At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed.”
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Syria Election: Vote The Right Way — Or Else

Syriaelection

It's a parody of democracy. It will damage the political process and hinder the prospects for peace. This is how Western leaders — their regional allies and also UN bigwigs — have dismissed the presidential elections in Syria set for June 3.

It seems that despite having a choice of several candidates, the Syrian people having an election to decide for themselves who should be their country's president is a very bad thing. In the name of 'democracy', elections in Syria should only happen after the current government has been forcibly removed from power. 'Assad must go', even if it could well be the case that the majority of Syrians don't want him to go.

The Western elite's dismissive response to these elections tells us everything we need to know about their commitment to “democracy”.

The truth is that the emergence of a multi-party democracy in Syria enabled by the country's 2012 constitution, which ended the decades’ long monopoly on power by the Ba'ath Party, is the very last thing the US and its allies want; they know that the Baathists and President Assad have too much popular support in the country. By continually repeating “Assad must go” before any new presidential elections are held, these “democrats” are effectively disenfranchising a large chunk of Syrian society – the people who do support their government. We should not be surprised at this as these Western “democrats” routinely seek to disenfranchise those who have the “wrong” views.
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Can the West Get Out of Its (Self-Made) Cul-de-Sac in Syria?

Obamakillingsyrian

In recent years, the limits on America’s ability to shape important outcomes in the Middle East unilaterally—or even with a few European partners—have been dramatically underscored by strategically failed interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Last year, President Obama’s inability to act on his declared intention to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there in August made clear that Washington can no longer credibly threaten the effective use of force in the region.

Still, American and other Western elites persist in thinking they can dictate the Middle East’s future by helping armed insurgents overthrow Syria’s recognized government. If Western powers don’t drop their insistence that President Bashar al-Assad leave power—even though he retains the support of a majority of Syrians and is winning his fight against opposition forces—and get serious about facilitating a political settlement between Assad and parts of the opposition, they will do further damage to their own already distressed position in the Middle East.

Since protests broke out in parts of Syria in March 2011, Western policy has focused on destabilizing President Assad and his government.  American, British, and French decision-makers calculated that, by undermining Assad, they could inflict a damaging blow to Iran’s regional position. They also reckoned that targeting Assad would help coopt the Arab Awakening that had emerged in the months preceding the start of unrest in Syria.
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We Really Do Not Need Saudi Arabia Any Longer

Saudiking

The family owned and run corporation called Saudi Arabia has been useful to the United States since the 1950s, but the kingdom's relationship to the US has always been transactional in nature rather than an alliance that committed Saudi Arabia to do anything for the US that it did not wish to do. To this day there are no documents of alliance, only arrangements for meetings, sales, training, etc. 

The relationship has always been an odd thing. Saudi Arabia has no civil law other than some elements of the Swiss commercial code. There is no civil constitution. "The Qur'an is our constitution." Sharia law of the most severe sort is the official law code. Amputations for theft are routine. No religions other than Islam are allowed. There are no civil rights other than those found in Qur'an and Hadith. Such appurtenances of civilized life as tourist visas do not exist. It was always an awkward "partnership" for the United States except for the money made by US exporters re-cycling petro dollars to the US. Saudi armed forces are largely a static display of military equipment useful only for internal security.

On the other hand, Saudi petroleum was for a long time necessary to the Western World, Japan, and parts unknown. Saudi fear of godless communism made the country a useful tool in resisting Soviet penetration of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia also contributed a lot of money to US covert actions that the US Congress would have refused to fund.
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War in Syria Set to Intensify

Syrian Rebels 2

As Syria lies dying, western media cries, “we must save Syria’s suffering children.” Indeed so, among Syria’s nine million internal and external refugees, some 450,000 are children.

All civil wars are bloody and cruel, but Syria’s strife has reached new extremes of violence and mass civilian suffering as the US and Saudi Arabia use this once beautiful, bountiful nation as a proxy battleground against Iran.

I extensively covered Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war; its ghastly memory still makes me shudder. In the 14 wars I’ve reported on, Lebanon holds top ranking for barbarity and sadism. One friend of mine, the owner of women’s boutiques, became a paramilitary Rambo and went from selling perfume to cutting off and collecting the ears of Muslims.

A similar madness has descendent on Syria as its many ethnic and religious groups tear one another’s throats. Syria’s 630,000 Palestinian refugees have suffered frightfully, caught between the warring parties.


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