Recently the Obama administration announced it had signed an agreement with Russia over the Syrian Civil War. Now, of course that all sounds very nice, but I am very suspect over what it actually means. One thing for certain, from a political perspective, Hillary Clinton can no longer use Russia and Vladimir Putin as some “boogeyman” when it comes to Donald Trump and the presidential campaign. Not that it was working anyway, but after her “Russian reset button” and Obama’s agreement, (i.e. acquiescence), Trump’s assertions and statements of just allowing Russia to handle ISIS has been validated by Obama’s action.
I hope Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson now knows where Aleppo is by now. But, as stated, I do have suspicions about this whole Syria thing, and here’s why…
As reported by Fox News, “A day of intense airstrikes Saturday on and around the northern city of Aleppo killed at least 45 people, according to opposition activists.
The Aleppo Media Center, an activist collective, said 45 people were killed Saturday, just hours after the new U.S.-Russian agreement was reached to try and end the violence in Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 30 people were killed in Aleppo province and another 39 were killed by airstrikes in neighboring Idlib province. Contrasting casualty figures are common in the aftermath of large attacks in Syria.The United States and Russia announced a deal Saturday that would establish a nationwide cease-fire starting on Monday, followed a week later by an new military partnership targeting Islamic State and al-Qaida militants as well as the establishment of new limits on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad forces. Previous Syrian cease-fires or limited truces have also been preceded by spikes in violence as both government and rebel forces seek to consolidate positions or gain new ground in the final remaining hours of warfare. State news agency SANA said the Syrian government accepts the agreement, adding that hostilities will stop in the northern city of Aleppo, the country’s largest, for “humanitarian reasons.” It did not say when the violence will stop, adding that the U.S.-Russia agreement “was reached with the knowledge and approval of the Syrian government.”
Let me provide my assessment of the ol’ Vladimir Putin “bait and switch” when it comes to Syria.
First, let’s all remember it was Barack Obama who made his infamous “red line” proclamation and stated several times that Bashar Assad must go. In Egypt, Obama had his Muslim Brotherhood allies to assist him in the removal of Hosni Mubarak. In Libya, Obama enlisted Islamic jihadist groups, al-Qaida affiliates, in order to topple Muammar Gaddafi, enabled by U.S. air support and weapons.
These models were not to be the case in Syria where Obama was banking on shifting supplied weapons from Libya in order to support Sunni opposition forces to topple Assad. There were several problems with that course of action. First of all, ISIS did not cooperate. And you had another offshoot organization, the Al Nusra Front, an al-Qaida affiliate, further making things complex, yet both were seeking to depose Assad and establish caliphate rule. And when the situation seemed dire, that’s when Vladimir Putin inserted himself — with force. Obama had the foolish notion to state that Putin was operating from a position of weakness by deploying troops into Syria. Who looks weak now?
Putin was savvy enough to recall the missteps of the old Soviet Union in Afghanistan, so his objectives were specific and not associated with “nation-building.” Putin wanted to bolster and secure Assad’s position and thwart Obama’s desires to topple another secular leader in the Muslim world. Egyptian President al-Sisi reversed Obama’s design for Egypt, drawing the Obama administration’s ire.
Will there be a ceasefire in Syria? I say yes, as the opposition forces now realize that Obama has, as with the Americans at Benghazi, abandoned them.
They’ll have no other course of action than to sue for peace with Assad and seek out some manner of existence. And needless to say, Putin will enable Assad to seek out and crush the Nusra Front and ISIS. It will be Putin, not Obama, who will be able to assert himself as the one who defeated the scourge of ISIS — and that is why Turkey’s President Erdogan met with Putin — he knows what’s unfolding. Putin has maneuvered himself into being the leader in the Middle East and he’s arraying his client states, one of which is Iran.
It is Iran who, thanks to the Obama administration, is now flush with cash — and it is Hillary Clinton who has embraced this folly of a foreign policy.
Iran now freely operates with its Quds Force, a designated terrorist organization — along with Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy terrorist army — in Syria with the protection of the Russian combat air capability. By signing an agreement with Russia in Syria, the Obama administration has authorized Iran and its terrorist organizations to support Assad. Now, that has a very clear and present danger and concern for Israel — supposedly our best ally in the Middle East. Israel can hardly afford to have Iranian influence freely operating to its north — but it is. And, as we shared last week, if Iran deploys the S-300 surface to air missile system into Syria, as it has in Iran, it is a lethal move that will affect Israeli combat aircraft operating along the Golan Heights.
The real losers in this morass are, as always, the Kurds. They will have to succumb to Russia and seek Putin’s grace, as Iran becomes the dominant hegemony running Iraq. And Turkey’s Erdogan will seek to decimate the Kurds and crush them as a trade off for losing his alliance with ISIS and other Sunni Islamic groups that sought to depose Assad.
And yes, all of this resulted from Obama’s weakness and his refusal to maintain a residual force in Iraq. You can attempt to blame this on George W. Bush all you want, but in the end, the fateful decision was made by Barack Obama.
The collapse of the Middle East and its reshaping came on the watch of Barack Obama and this failure will be his legacy. Vladimir Putin has the high ground, he holds all the cards, and is clearly in the driver’s seat in Middle Eastern affairs, diplomatically and militarily. Why do we even have our forces trapped in this situation now? And there will be no combined operations with Russia against ISIS — Obama lacks the will to deploy our force. Heck, he wouldn’t even approve a rescue operation in Afghanistan.
Obama and his minions — namely John Kerry — will try and tout this agreement with Russia as some great achievement. It is not, and will have long term strategic ramifications. Once again, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.