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Syria

A Short History of the War on Syria, 2006-2014

Assad Rally

In 2006 the U.S. was at war in Iraq. Some of the enemy forces it very much struggled to fight against were coming in through Syria. The same year Israel lost a war against Hizbullah. Its armored forces were ambushed whenever they tried to push deeper into Lebanon while Hizbullah managed to continuously fire rockets against Israeli army position and cities. Hizbullah receives supply for its missile force from Syria and from Iran through Syria. Its long-term plans to attack Iran and to thereby keep supremacy in the Middle East depend on severing Hizbullah's supply routes. The sectarian Sunni Gulf countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, saw their Sunni brethren defeat in Iraq and a Shia government, supported by Iran, taking over the country.

All these countries had reason to fight Syria. There were also economic reasons to subvert an independent Syria. A gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey was competing with one from Iran to Syria. Large finds of natural gas in the coastal waters of Israel and Lebanon make such finds in Syrian waters quite plausible.

In late 2006 the United States started to finance an external opposition to Syria's ruling Baath party. Those exiles were largely members of the Muslim Brotherhood which had been evicted from Syria after their bloody uprising against the Syrian state between 1976 and 1982 had failed. In 2007 a plan for regime change in Syria was agreed upon between the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The aim was to destroy the "resistance" alliance of Hizbullah, Syria and Iran:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

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Has The Tide Turned Against the Warmongers?

Will the history books record these past couple of weeks as the point when the tide finally turned against our interventionist foreign policy?

We began September with the Obama Administration on the verge of launching Tomahawk missiles at Syria. The missiles were needed, the administration claimed, to punish the Syrian government for using poison gas on its own people. There were reports that in addition to missiles, the administration was planning airstrikes and possibly even more military action against Syria. The talks of a punishing "shot across the bow" to send a message to the Syrian government also escalated, as some discussed the need to degrade the Syrian military to help change the regime. They refused to rule out a US ground invasion of Syria.
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Holding Assad Accountable

Assad Portrait Actual Banner

President Obama has encountered a series of roadblocks after deciding to use military force against Bashar Assad’s Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians.  Many of those obstacles resulted from statements made by the President and prominent administration officials; a principal one was the failure to talk candidly and plainly to Congress and the American public about the likely scope of planned military attacks.

Repeatedly, Obama and other officials called the military actions as limited, tailored, surgical, and proportional, and they downplayed the level of violence.

The adjectives were unpersuasive because the administration contemplated sending in dozens of cruise missiles into Damascus, followed perhaps by aircraft bombings.  Many lawmakers and their constituents found the administration’s over-optimistic and unrealistic word play to be deliberate efforts to mislead and deceive.


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Putin Steps Into World Leadership Role

Obama Putin G8b

Putin’s article in the September 11 New York Times has the stuck pigs squealing. The squealing stuck pigs are just who you thought they would be--all those whose agendas and profits would be furthered by an attack on Syria by the Obama Stasi regime.

Included among the squealing stuck pigs are Human Rights Watch bloggers who seem to be financed out of the CIA’s back pocket.
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Hillary Mann Leverett: 'Obama Made Two Unforced Errors, in Libya and Syria'

Listen to Ron Paul Institute Academic Advisor Hillary Mann Leverett on the always-terrific Robert Wenzel Show discuss the intricacies of the Middle East. Ms. Mann Leverett is a rare breed of international affairs expert: she knows the region like nobody else, her expertise both inside and outside government is unquestionable; yet she retains a realistic rather than messianic view of what should be the US role in the world. How lucky her American University students are to have such a professor! And we greatly value her friendship as well.
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Obama, Syria, and Interventionism: Ten Questions Worth Pondering

Syria Gun Rebels

1) Question
: Is it justifiable for America to go to war in Syria to get President Obama out of the box he created for himself by talking about a “red line” in the Syrian civil war, a conflict in which no genuine U.S. national interests are at risk?
 
Answer: No. Obama’s inexperience in foreign affairs and his seeming personal arrogance got him -- and America -- into this mess, and so little a man is he that he now refuses to accept responsibility for foolishly drawing the red line, instead blaming it on “the world.” Let him swing.
 
2) Question: Will America’s credibility as a great military power be denigrated if it does not attack Syria?
 
Answer: No. We have already lost most of that credibility because Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and their generals waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq they did not intend to win. The wanton waste of American military lives and money by these men, and their willingness to admit defeat to men armed with weapons from the Korean war, have largely destroyed America’s military credibility among allies and foes alike. Compared to failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, a failure to attack Syria is small potatoes.
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The Golan Heights as a Key to Understanding the Problems of Syria

Golan

The newspaper Israel Hayom conducted a public opinion survey according to which Israel was the only country in which a possible U.S. military strike against Syria is supported by the majority of the population. While in America and Europe 90% of the population is against the operation, in Israel 66% of the population supports it. 73% of Israelis believe that a strike against the el-Asad regime will be made, and only 13% are concerned that it will lead to a regional war.

This attitude among Israelis toward the military operations planned against Syria is the result of active state propaganda. Netanyahu's government has cast aside all concerns that if the ruling regime in the neighboring country is overthrown, even fiercer opponents of Israel may come to power, and it is advocating as powerful a strike as possible against Syria. Behind the missile launches held by the Israeli navy in conjunction with the Americans in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea on September 3 stand geopolitical reckonings connected mainly with the future of the Syrian Golan Heights, occupied in 1967; it is no accident that the question of their ownership has remained in the shadow of the discussion on Syria…


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Syria and Lessons Unlearned from The Bombing of Kosovo

Wesley Clark

One theme we repeatedly hear about the Obama administration’s plan to bomb Syria is that the U.S./NATO bombing of Kosovo serves as a model. An examination of the reason for this is instructive.

It is well understood that the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) will not authorize this use of force against Syria, particularly given Russian opposition to such action. And short of using force in self-defense against armed aggression or with authorization from the UNSC for a specific mandate, such as to protect civilians, any resort to force against another country is under international law an act of aggression, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”.

Incidentally, Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg not only for waging aggressive war, but for conspiring to. Obama is already a war criminal, such as for his illegal bombing of Libya (and, no, the UNSC emphatically did not authorize the use of force to implement a policy of regime change by supporting the armed rebels whose ranks included al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic extremists); but he could be prosecuted under international law just for his efforts to gain support for bombing Syria, even if this doesn’t come to pass, since this is the crime of conspiracy to commit aggression.
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