Connecting the dots from Washington to Damascus takes a degree in circular logic

With the cowardly bombing of the Boston Marathon still only being measured in hours removed from the attack, on Wednesday, April 17, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed Congress of a new deployment of US troops to Jordan. I don’t know whats more curious, the timing of this new venture during a week where both the American press and public’s attention was focused squarely in and around Boston or the official, on record justification for this move.

According to Jordan Information Minister Mohammad Momani: (MyBlog)


“The deployment of the troops is part of US-Jordanian military cooperation to boost the Jordanian armed forces in light of the deteriorating situation in Syria,


Mr Hagel on the other hand was a bit more in-depth with his comments to Congress on Wednesday in this report by ABC’s Luis Martinez:


“We have an obligation and responsibility to think through the consequences of direct U.S. military action in Syria,” said Hagel.  He added that “military intervention at this point could hinder humanitarian relief operations.  It could embroil the United States in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment.”


More importantly he warned that it could have “the unintended  consequence of bringing the United States into a broader regional conflict or proxy war. ” He stressed that “the best outcome for Syria – and the region – is a negotiated, political transition to a post-Assad Syria.”


He later used blunter language in describing how all factors should be weighed in considering a U.S. military option in Syria. “You better be damn sure, as sure as you can be, before you get into something, because once you’re into it, there isn’t any backing out, whether it’s a no-fly zone, safe zone, protect these — whatever it is. Once you’re in, you can’t unwind it. You can’t just say, well, it’s not going as well as I thought it would go, so we’re going to get out.”


Lets put Hagel’s own words into action. Its obvious the Department of Defense is “damn sure” of what they are getting into or why go into details of it? Its also obvious the DOD is contemplating military intervention that will not only hinder humanitarian efforts but at the same time, could result in “significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment.” The best alternative to negate this? A negotiated political transition with Syria? Does this photo-op on Syrians Independence day on April, 17th (how ironic) look like a regime that wants to hand over or “transition power”?



A picture released by SANA on April 17, 2013, shows members the Syrian Army parading on Syria’s Independence Day (SANA/AFP)

So, when these boots hit the ground, what will be the mission? To hold the hand of Jordan to control humanitarian efforts? Isn’t this a job that is earmarked for the international community as a whole? I would assume the UN or Red Cross would be more than capable of handling this. But alas, the US is taking this bull by the horns.

Then there was this analysis by Washington think tank Foreign Policy in Focus’s Conn Hallinan

 “since a major job for these troops will be logistical, it does appear as if they are preparing the groundwork like they did for the invasion of Iraq by going into Saudi Arabia and preparing there… It’s a serious escalation and a disturbing one.

We want the Syrian regime to concede control. If not we are setting the stages for some type of invasion. In the meantime we will continue to indirectly back the uprising which consists of a variety of players including militants from al Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front, both of whom are on the US terror list. Does this sound familiar? Didn’t Hollywood of all places, recently make a movie about this type of thing starring Tom Hanks called ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’?  

Apparently this irony has not gone unnoticed by Syrain President Bashar Assad:

 “The West paid heavily for funding al-Qaida in its early stages in Afghanistan. Today it is supporting it in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price later in the heart of Europe and the United States”

And to make matters worse, this is no longer just a mixed bag, a hodgepodge if you will, of revolutionaries. These rebels, according to Assad (in the very same article in the Jerusalem Post) these are: “mainly” “extremist forces”.

Last week Nusra Front released this audio statement pledging allegiance to al Qaeda:

“The sons of Nusra Front renew their pledge (of allegiance) to the Sheikh of Jihad Ayman al-Zawahri and declare obedience,”

Now, there seems to be a coalition forming of Islamic extremists in Syria, with many of these extremists part of the group that was driven out of Al Anbar Province in 2007 by US forces and local tribes because of their alleged “extreme interpretation of Islam”. Anbar, located on the borders of both Syria and Jordan provide an eerie backdrop to this story, and by story, I mean another movie that comes to mind; ‘Groundhogs day’. 

And whats even more eerie about this connection is we are just five days removed from the affects of terrorism playing out in our very own streets. Yet here we are, putting boots on the ground on the border of a civil war where we are backing terrorist outfits we have sworn to defeat in our never ending ‘War on Terror’.

I understand the pecking order here. I understand Syria is an easy target, isolated in the middle east outside of Iran. I understand its easier to overthrow a rag tag group of terrorists than it is a nation with armies and chemical weapons (unless your Iraq and you have none of either despite the world saying otherwise). What I dont understand is two fold.

First, I don’t understand, how surprised we are here in the states when terrorists decide to strike here. I mean if you sleep with a porcupine, can you really be surprised about getting pricked? This ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ approach needs to be better explained to the consequences because I dont think many in the general public grasp this.

Lastly, if the Nobel Peace Prize was a prize awarded to promoting peace, would it not be out of the question for the committee who awards said prize to demand its prize back for some type of breach? Or does this make the Nobel, nothing more than a participation award, like a 1980s/90’s “Book-it” pin, which promoted kids reading. Or, is this just a natural development? Someone receives a peace prize who has never done anything to promote peace in the first place, then all of sudden becomes a war hawk is not that surprising.

Either way, Mr Obama, your legacy might be healthcare “reform” to many but others it will be simply contradiction. Whether i agree with what you ran on or not is not my point, my point is you haven’t made good (and in many cases reversed course) on many of the important issues you yourself highlighted in ’08. You’ve been a whore for big business and you have failed miserably on bringing peace and instead have expanded the previous administrations warring. Back in a debate in 2008 you said: “one important thing is that we not get mission creep”. 

Apparently, when you are not running for office, “important things” go out the window. And oh yea, Liberal-peace loving “democrats” (as if there is a difference between parties) you can take off that peace-sign bumper sticker, along with your “coexist” magnet and shove ’em up your asses. Hopefully, that will lead to your heads being forced to come crawling out of ’em.

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