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War Party Targets Putin and Assad
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Having established a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin last week began air strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad.

A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad repel the threat, and keep the Islamic terrorists out of Damascus.

Russia is also fearful that the fall of Assad would free up the Chechen terrorists in Syria to return to Russia.

In intervening to save Assad, Putin is doing exactly what we are doing to save our imperiled allies in Baghdad and Kabul.

Yet Putin’s intervention has ignited an almost berserk reaction.

John McCain has called for sending the Free Syrian Army surface-to-air missiles to bring down Russian planes. Not only could this lead to a U.S.-Russia clash, but U.S.-backed Syrian rebels have a record of transferring weapons to the al-Qaida affiliate.

The end result of McCain’s initiative, sending Stingers to Syria, could be airliners blown out of the sky across the Middle East.

Hillary Clinton wants the U.S. to create a no-fly zone. And Friday’s Wall Street Journal endorsed the idea:

“Mr. Obama could make Mr. Putin pay a price. … In Syria the U.S. could set up a no-fly zone to create a safe haven for refugees against … Mr. Assad’s barrel bombs. He could say U.S. planes will fly wherever they want, and if one is attacked the U.S. will respond in kind.”

U.S.-Russian dogfights over Syria are just fine with the Journal.

Saturday’s Washington Post seconded the motion, admonishing Obama: “Carve out safe zones. Destroy the helicopter fleet Mr. Assad uses for his war crimes.”

Has the War Party thought this through?

Establishing a no-fly zone over Syria, which means shooting down Syrian fighter-bombers and helicopters, is an act of war. But when did Congress authorize the president to go to war with Syria?

When last Obama requested such authority — in 2013, when chemical weapons were used — the American people arose as one to say no to U.S. intervention. Congress backed away without even voting.

Unprovoked air strikes on Syrian government forces would represent an unauthorized and unconstitutional American war. Does the Party of the Constitution no longer care about the Constitution?

Is a Republican Congress really willing to give Barack Obama a blank check to take us to war with Syria, should he choose to do so?

Is this what America voted for in 2014?

A no-fly zone means U.S. warplanes downing Syrian planes and helicopters and bombing antiaircraft defenses at Syrian airfields.

To Damascus this would mean the Americans have committed to the defeat of their armed forces and downfall of their regime.

The Syrians would fight — and not only the Syrian army. For Russia, Hezbollah and Iran are all allied to the Damascus regime, as all believe they have a vital interest in its survival.

How would Russia, Iran and Hezbollah respond to U.S. air strikes on their ally? Would they pack it in and leave? Is that our experience with these folks?

Today, the U.S. is conducting strikes on ISIS, and the al-Qaida affiliate. But if we begin to attack the Syrian army or air force, we will be in a new war where the entire Shiite Crescent of Iran, Baghdad, Damascus and Hezbollah, backed by Russia, will be on the other side.

We will have taken the Sunni side in the Sunni-Shiite sectarian long war.

How long such a war would last, and how it would end, no one knows.

Whatever one thinks of Putin’s policy in Syria, at least it makes sense. He is supporting an ally, the Assad regime, against its enemies, who seek to overthrow that regime.

It is U.S. policy in Syria that makes no sense.

We train rebels at immense cost to fight Assad, who cannot or will not fight. We attack ISIS, which also seeks to bring down the Assad regime. And we, too, want to bring down Assad.

Who do we think will rise if Assad falls?

Do we have a “government in a box” that we think we can fly to Damascus and put into power if the Syrian army collapses, the regime falls and ISIS approaches the capital?

Have we forgotten the lesson of “Animal Farm”? When the animals revolt and take over the farm, the pigs wind up in charge.

For months, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia has called on Congress to debate and decide before we launch any new war in the Middle East.

One wishes him well. For it is obvious that the same blockheads who told us that if the Taliban and Saddam and Gadhafi fell, liberal democracy would arise and flourish, are now clamoring for another American war in Syria to bring down Assad.

And who says stay out? Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, both of whom also opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

There is something to be said for outsiders.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Neocons, Russia, Syria 
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  1. As General Breedlove (!) admitted 2 days ago, Russia has Syria covered by S-400´s in addition to Syria´s formidable air defenses incl- S-300´s, BUKs and Pantsir´s and that is, Breedlove(!) again: “A no fly zone the US nor NATO will oppose”.

    There has been a lot of confusions, face saving measures and smoke screens from CNN & Co but fact is, the US nor NATO has been violating Syrian airspace since a Russian 1 star general, 1 hour before the Russian attack on the western backed terrorists, walked up to the Americans in Baghdad and ordered them to stay off.

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  2. I swear to the almighty, if one more analyst uses the term “shiite crescent”, I will drive up to their house, and throw a döner kebab at their face.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    I swear to the almighty, if one more analyst uses the term “shiite crescent”, I will drive up to their house, and throw a döner kebab at their face.
     
    Ha! Good one.

    Personally, I prefer the term 'Axis of Resistance' myself.
  3. Dear Mr Buchanan,

    It seems that our overarching strategy in the middle east has absolutely zero relationship to any US national interest.

    Except if one perceives that national interest as driving the United States into insolvency, then we are doing a superb job.

    Superb!

    Currently we are running a mind staggering 19 trillion dollar national debt….fully two thirds of that debt (13 trillion dollars) has been accrued over the last 14 years..

    This is obscene.

    It seems that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have no real understanding of US interests at all.

    Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?

    That seems profoundly imbecilic .

    Doesn’t it seem profoundly imbecilic to you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?"

    I agree with your comments but there are BIG bucks in war. Daddy War Bucks lives.
    , @Max Payne

    Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?
     
    Because it helps Israel. Get with the program already.
  4. rhetorical questions unnecessary. If the Zionist-stooge, Sanhedrin-owned politicians who inhabit the current upper echelon of the Universal Demoncratrepubliscam Party attempt a “no-fly zone” against Russian aircraft over Syria, most of the northern hemisphere will shortly become highly radioactive. Bernie is looking better by the minute

    Read More
    • Replies: @RobinG
    This shows how desperate you are. Bernie's big idea is to have the Saudis do more. Please, haven't they done enough? And Bernie's a Zionist; he just keeps a low profile about that.

    https://theintercept.com/2015/10/05/dissent-on-israel-not-permitted-at-bernie-sanders-event/

    excerpt:
    To a certain extent, the episode reflects an underlying tension between Sanders’ base of young progressives and his comparatively friendly posture toward Israel. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found minority and millennial Democrats markedly more critical of Israeli military actions. At a town hall event last August, Sanders lost his temper with supporters who had interrupted him to question him about U.S. support for Israel, telling them to “shut up,” and attempting to change the subject to ISIS. During Israel’s 2014 military campaign against the Gaza Strip a plurality of Democrats described the action as “unjustified,” while Sanders was part of the unanimous Senate consent supporting Israel’s actions. He has continued to defend the “Protective Edge” operation as a legitimate act of self-defense, albeit one in which Israel “overreacted.”
  5. I was always puzzled as to why the US had to see off Islamic State. Barbaric they maybe but they are Iran’s problem not ours. Obama even called them, mistakenly, a junior varsity team back when he was embarrassed by a laughing negro warlord’s video threatening to sell into slavery 200 captured Nigerian school girls.

    If anything Obama’s war on ISIS has bolstered their standing in the Sunni world. Boko Haram has declared its allegiance to the Islamic State and even Taliban forces have declared their loyalty to the ‘junior varsity’ team.

    I think Putin has made a grave mistake intervening on behalf of Iran and Assad. Sunnis are the dominant branch of Islam and trying to turn an Arab/Sunni state into part of the Iranian empire is not a winning bet over the long term. For the US and Europe, Islamic state was a convenient sump into which Sunni radicals around the world could drain. One has only to look at the number of suicide bombings these guys can pull off month after month in Syria and Iraq to realize they are best left alone. If Putin thinks he can defeat Sunni Islam with a squadron of fighterbombers and a tiny garrison in Alawite province let this genius try his luck. My guess is Russia is going to regret it when Moscow starts to resemble Baghdad!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    Well, someone's going to look like a fool soon. It might be you, it might be me. But you really think Moscow will start resembling Baghdad because of Sunni suicide bombers?
  6. Putin’s policy does not make sense.

    He is propping up a wildly unpopular tyrant and he is creating bad will for Russia throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world.

    However, if he wants to waste valuable blood and resources on behalf of Assad that’s his business.

    I thought he would have learned from our misadventures in the Mideast.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Realist
    • Replies: @eric
    I don't know that Assad is so unpopular in Syria like he is in the USA . He offered to stand for election but United States says he must leave the country and can't run .
    , @greysquirrell
    To the contrary Assad is preferred over the Rebels by the minorities in Syria. A delegation of Christian leaders were in Washington last year or maybee it was earlier this year imploring US political leaders not to support the Rebels. Hezbollah which is supporting Assad has very recently joined up with Christians in Lebanon and is aiding them to resist ISIS.
  7. In intervening to save Assad, Putin is doing exactly what we are doing to save our imperiled leeches in Baghdad and Kabul..

    FIFY

    “John McCain has called for sending the Free Syrian Army surface-to-air missiles to bring down Russian planes. Not only could this lead to a U.S.-Russia clash, but U.S.-backed Syrian rebels have a record of transferring weapons to the al-Qaida affiliate.”

    The most egregious thing North Vietnam did to the US was sending McCain back.

    “Has the War Party thought this through?”

    Absolutely. There is big bucks in producing war materiel.. Greed and power is the name of the game.

    “Is this what America voted for in 2014?”

    America: Where idiots elect assholes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    The most egregious thing North Vietnam did to the US was sending McCain back.
     
    So true! John McCain: the Hanoi Candidate.
  8. @alexander
    Dear Mr Buchanan,

    It seems that our overarching strategy in the middle east has absolutely zero relationship to any US national interest.

    Except if one perceives that national interest as driving the United States into insolvency, then we are doing a superb job.

    Superb!

    Currently we are running a mind staggering 19 trillion dollar national debt....fully two thirds of that debt (13 trillion dollars) has been accrued over the last 14 years..

    This is obscene.

    It seems that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have no real understanding of US interests at all.

    Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?

    That seems profoundly imbecilic .

    Doesn't it seem profoundly imbecilic to you?

    “Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?”

    I agree with your comments but there are BIG bucks in war. Daddy War Bucks lives.

    Read More
  9. @Realist
    In intervening to save Assad, Putin is doing exactly what we are doing to save our imperiled leeches in Baghdad and Kabul..

    FIFY

    "John McCain has called for sending the Free Syrian Army surface-to-air missiles to bring down Russian planes. Not only could this lead to a U.S.-Russia clash, but U.S.-backed Syrian rebels have a record of transferring weapons to the al-Qaida affiliate."

    The most egregious thing North Vietnam did to the US was sending McCain back.

    "Has the War Party thought this through?"

    Absolutely. There is big bucks in producing war materiel.. Greed and power is the name of the game.

    "Is this what America voted for in 2014?"

    America: Where idiots elect assholes.

    The most egregious thing North Vietnam did to the US was sending McCain back.

    So true! John McCain: the Hanoi Candidate.

    Read More
  10. @Kamran
    I swear to the almighty, if one more analyst uses the term "shiite crescent", I will drive up to their house, and throw a döner kebab at their face.

    I swear to the almighty, if one more analyst uses the term “shiite crescent”, I will drive up to their house, and throw a döner kebab at their face.

    Ha! Good one.

    Personally, I prefer the term ‘Axis of Resistance’ myself.

    Read More
  11. @alexander
    Dear Mr Buchanan,

    It seems that our overarching strategy in the middle east has absolutely zero relationship to any US national interest.

    Except if one perceives that national interest as driving the United States into insolvency, then we are doing a superb job.

    Superb!

    Currently we are running a mind staggering 19 trillion dollar national debt....fully two thirds of that debt (13 trillion dollars) has been accrued over the last 14 years..

    This is obscene.

    It seems that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have no real understanding of US interests at all.

    Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?

    That seems profoundly imbecilic .

    Doesn't it seem profoundly imbecilic to you?

    Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?

    Because it helps Israel. Get with the program already.

    Read More
  12. @Max Payne

    Why is it important to the United States to continue to exterminate our National Solvency in order to destroy another country in the middle east that never attacked us and never intended to ?
     
    Because it helps Israel. Get with the program already.

    Oh right !

    Sorry !

    Read More
  13. Remind me again, when was the last time America won a war? Most of the World’s soldiers regard the Americans as incompetent fools.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "Remind me again, when was the last time America won a war?"

    It has been awhile. But the last legitimate war America was in, was in 1812
    , @woodNfish

    Most of the World’s soldiers regard the Americans as incompetent fools.
     
    Do they? And you know this, how?
  14. @unit472
    I was always puzzled as to why the US had to see off Islamic State. Barbaric they maybe but they are Iran's problem not ours. Obama even called them, mistakenly, a junior varsity team back when he was embarrassed by a laughing negro warlord's video threatening to sell into slavery 200 captured Nigerian school girls.

    If anything Obama's war on ISIS has bolstered their standing in the Sunni world. Boko Haram has declared its allegiance to the Islamic State and even Taliban forces have declared their loyalty to the 'junior varsity' team.

    I think Putin has made a grave mistake intervening on behalf of Iran and Assad. Sunnis are the dominant branch of Islam and trying to turn an Arab/Sunni state into part of the Iranian empire is not a winning bet over the long term. For the US and Europe, Islamic state was a convenient sump into which Sunni radicals around the world could drain. One has only to look at the number of suicide bombings these guys can pull off month after month in Syria and Iraq to realize they are best left alone. If Putin thinks he can defeat Sunni Islam with a squadron of fighterbombers and a tiny garrison in Alawite province let this genius try his luck. My guess is Russia is going to regret it when Moscow starts to resemble Baghdad!

    Well, someone’s going to look like a fool soon. It might be you, it might be me. But you really think Moscow will start resembling Baghdad because of Sunni suicide bombers?

    Read More
  15. Most of the elites who run Washington want to flood Europe and the U.S with as many Syrians and other hostile 3rd world Muslims as possible, while at the same time they want to murder as many Russians as possible.

    Most of the elites in Washington see ISIS as the lesser of 2 evils when compared to Russia. That is why they have harsher words for Vladimir Putin than they do for ISIS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kamran
    Yeah I'm sure it's all in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion somewhere.....
  16. @Haxo Angmark
    rhetorical questions unnecessary. If the Zionist-stooge, Sanhedrin-owned politicians who inhabit the current upper echelon of the Universal Demoncratrepubliscam Party attempt a "no-fly zone" against Russian aircraft over Syria, most of the northern hemisphere will shortly become highly radioactive. Bernie is looking better by the minute

    This shows how desperate you are. Bernie’s big idea is to have the Saudis do more. Please, haven’t they done enough? And Bernie’s a Zionist; he just keeps a low profile about that.

    https://theintercept.com/2015/10/05/dissent-on-israel-not-permitted-at-bernie-sanders-event/

    excerpt:
    To a certain extent, the episode reflects an underlying tension between Sanders’ base of young progressives and his comparatively friendly posture toward Israel. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found minority and millennial Democrats markedly more critical of Israeli military actions. At a town hall event last August, Sanders lost his temper with supporters who had interrupted him to question him about U.S. support for Israel, telling them to “shut up,” and attempting to change the subject to ISIS. During Israel’s 2014 military campaign against the Gaza Strip a plurality of Democrats described the action as “unjustified,” while Sanders was part of the unanimous Senate consent supporting Israel’s actions. He has continued to defend the “Protective Edge” operation as a legitimate act of self-defense, albeit one in which Israel “overreacted.”

    Read More
  17. The present policy did not start in 2014. It is the US template that began 50 years ago and earlier when USA set up these dictators and finally the script ran out. They were all thrown out by hook and by crook. US then got rid of Saddam, whom they had pegged over Iran while underhandedly supporting Iran (Remember Guns For Drugs with Ronald???). Then all hell broke loose and this si what we have now. These policies did not start yesterday…..

    Read More
  18. @Renoman
    Remind me again, when was the last time America won a war? Most of the World's soldiers regard the Americans as incompetent fools.

    “Remind me again, when was the last time America won a war?”

    It has been awhile. But the last legitimate war America was in, was in 1812

    Read More
  19. @Sherman
    Putin's policy does not make sense.

    He is propping up a wildly unpopular tyrant and he is creating bad will for Russia throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world.

    However, if he wants to waste valuable blood and resources on behalf of Assad that's his business.

    I thought he would have learned from our misadventures in the Mideast.

    I don’t know that Assad is so unpopular in Syria like he is in the USA . He offered to stand for election but United States says he must leave the country and can’t run .

    Read More
  20. I have a suggestion. Let Putin offer a compromise proposal to Obama.

    I (Putin) will allow a regime change in Syria, if you (Obama) will do the same in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Israel.

    Problem solved.

    Read More
  21. @Jefferson
    Most of the elites who run Washington want to flood Europe and the U.S with as many Syrians and other hostile 3rd world Muslims as possible, while at the same time they want to murder as many Russians as possible.

    Most of the elites in Washington see ISIS as the lesser of 2 evils when compared to Russia. That is why they have harsher words for Vladimir Putin than they do for ISIS.

    Yeah I’m sure it’s all in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion somewhere…..

    Read More
  22. @Renoman
    Remind me again, when was the last time America won a war? Most of the World's soldiers regard the Americans as incompetent fools.

    Most of the World’s soldiers regard the Americans as incompetent fools.

    Do they? And you know this, how?

    Read More
  23. Tonight I witnessed a journalist from NBC interviewing Pres Obama. This journalist kept prodding Pres Obama and taunting him that Putin was showing him up. As I kid I can remember other kids trying to get a couple kids to fight by telling one that the other kid was making him look bad. This is kid behavior but on this scale it is equivalent to baiting us into a nuclear war. This is sick.

    Then Pres Obama states in a questioning and answerseesion that Assad must go because he is a terrible dictator and oppresses his people and his people hate him. In 2014 Assad got 88% of the votes. Okay maybe the 88% can be suspect. Still Assad has been fighting against the rebels for four or more years, to do this he must have the support of a lot of people. Especially after we have stated that we welcomed the overthrow of Assad, which certainly would encourage rebellion. Then the syrian Kurdish leader has said while he did not like assad he wanted to see him remain in power, and the Catholic Patriarch of Syria has been pleading the U.S. not to push for the overthrow of Assad because the Christians in syria would then be massacred. None of this was brought up by Obama nor any “journalist.”

    Finally we have Ash Carter warning the Russians that by getting involved militarily would lead to terrorist attacks on Russia. Utterly fantastic as we categorically that our policies and military intervention in the Middle East was responsible for the terrorist attacks on us. No our bombing the Muslim’s was not the reason we have been targets of terrorists. But as soon as Russia does something immediately we advertise the linkage. We are not an exceptional people, we are a pathetic people. We have no men of stature in either party.

    Read More
  24. They tried to peg the gas on Assad while its so simple Isis. McCain is like a broken record free Syrian rebels & for iraq the surge worked. Repeat repeat. McCain is owned.

    Read More
  25. @Sherman
    Putin's policy does not make sense.

    He is propping up a wildly unpopular tyrant and he is creating bad will for Russia throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world.

    However, if he wants to waste valuable blood and resources on behalf of Assad that's his business.

    I thought he would have learned from our misadventures in the Mideast.

    To the contrary Assad is preferred over the Rebels by the minorities in Syria. A delegation of Christian leaders were in Washington last year or maybee it was earlier this year imploring US political leaders not to support the Rebels. Hezbollah which is supporting Assad has very recently joined up with Christians in Lebanon and is aiding them to resist ISIS.

    Read More
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