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“A NEW RED LINE”
by Don Fredrick, ©2014, The Obama Timeline
(Sep. 17, 2014) — “He’s incompetent! He doesn’t know what he’s doing!” That’s what increasing numbers of Americans are saying about Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Obama (“BHOSO”)—especially with regard to foreign policy. They point to Libya, where Obama’s “kinetic military action” was intended to end suffering and bloodshed but instead produced more of each and resulted in a nation that is now more unstable than it was before. They point to Egypt, where Obama threw President Hosni Mubarak under the bus, resulting not in a new “Arab Spring” democracy but the radical Muslim Brotherhood taking over (albeit only briefly). They point to Syria, where red lines have been drawn and crossed without consequence and it is now a safe haven for ISIS. They point to Iran, which continues both its nuclear program and its sponsorship of terrorism. They point to Iraq, which is threatened by ISIS because of the withdrawal of all U.S. forces at the end of 2011. They point to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is even further from resolution than when Obama entered our Oval Office.
But what if millions of people are wrong? What if Obama is not incompetent? What if he knows exactly what he is doing and is playing a shell game with the American people?
On September 10, a few hours before his address to the nation to announce his half-hearted plans for dealing with ISIS, Obama met with a group of journalists. The purpose of the meeting was no doubt for him to influence the “spin” of their reporting and to “send messages.” According to The New York Times, Obama “vowed to retaliate against President Bashar al-Assad if Syrian forces shot at American planes…” and “went on to say that such an action by Mr. Assad would lead to his overthrow…” (Of course, there would be no reason for Assad to shoot down American planes that are bombing congregations of ISIS fighters, because he is in the crosshairs of ISIS as well as those of the rebels who have been fighting his regime. If a U.S. bomb kills 50 ISIS fighters, that is 50 fewer for Assad to worry about.)
This was another “red line” statement from Obama, but one that might be taken more seriously than his prior Syrian red line because Congress and the American public might support such action now that ISIS has been introduced into the equation. With last year’s red line threat over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Congress and public sentiment kept Obama from acting. (“Syrians killing Syrians? Who cares?” has become, “ISIS is beheading Americans? Kill the bastards!” and can perhaps easily be upgraded to, “Assad shooting down U.S. planes? I want to see some ‘shock and awe!’”)
D. W. Ulsterman quoted a “longtime Congressional source” who said Obama “has been pouting over his Syria humiliation for months,” and that his “enthusiasm” for going after ISIS improved when he realized he could transform anti-ISIS action into anti-Assad action. Obama also reportedly “told at least one major news source” that “Assad is part of the deal. I’m not done with him. He’s gone, and then we can take a look at the rest of the Middle East.” While Obama’s heart may not be in defeating ISIS, it is certainly still in removing Assad.
Ulsterman’s source continued, “I’ve come to believe Syria was the second in line for a re-organization of the Middle East. Egypt was first, though the Egyptian military and business interests took that back from the administration and the Muslim Brotherhood, so getting Assad out became that much more important to a very select and powerful few in the White House.” (Are those select and powerful few limited to Obama and his closest advisor and confidante Valerie Jarrett?) The source also noted that “There’s very little daylight between” the Syrian rebels and the Muslim Brotherhood. …And what organization do you think is waiting in the wings if Assad falls in Syria? The Muslim Brotherhood, which has had a series of recent meetings with their counterparts in Qatar, the same country that was primarily responsible for the Bergdahl-Taliban 5 swap.”
There is a reason Obama’s eyes lit up at the thought that he could use the ISIS crisis to oust Assad. They no doubt lit up the same way when he realized he could use the Arab Spring to oust longtime U.S. ally Mubarak. The removal of Mubarak led the way for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi to be elected president. The removal of Assad would also lead to a Muslim Brotherhood regime. (Obama seemed to have no problem with Morsi being in control of Egypt. It was only after he was tossed out of office by the military that Obama called for aid to be slashed.)
But why would Obama want the Muslim Brotherhood running both Egypt and Syria? There are two reasons.
The first reason is that Obama routinely sides with Sunni Muslims over Shi’ite Muslims or non-Muslims. His Kenyan family is Sunni Muslim, and in his youth he was taught in a Muslim school in Indonesia (which is overwhelmingly Sunni). By nature, therefore, Obama is sympathetic to Sunni Muslims. (This does not mean he faces Mecca and prays five times each day, it simply means that his culture, past experiences, education have influenced his sympathies—just as black voters might lean toward black candidates, Hispanic voters might lean toward Hispanic candidates, and thin people may tend to date other thin people.) Obama is also sympathetic to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which is Sunni. (He insisted that its leaders be seated in the front row for his June 2009 Cairo speech, much to the consternation of then-president Mubarak, and he has in his administration more than a few officials and advisors with links to the Muslim Brotherhood.) When the choice is between Sunni and non-Sunni, Obama sides with the Sunnis. Obama’s automatic preference would be for Egypt and Syria to have Sunni leaders. (Obama is, however, capable of siding with Shi’ites over Sunnis—if it means acting against Israel. For Obama, anti-Israel trumps pro-Sunni.)
The second reason Obama would want the Muslim Brotherhood controlling Egypt and Syria is that they border Israel—and he would relish the thought of Israel being further squeezed by its neighbors. Obama would be happy to see Assad replaced by a Sunni regime in Syria, just as he was happy to see the Muslim Brotherhood take over Egypt (although that did not last long, thanks to the Egyptian Army and the Egyptian people).
It is not surprising that Obama and Jarrett recently met with Mohamed Magedi, whose Islamic Society of North America is as much a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Obama may not be able to speak directly with the most virulent Muslim Brotherhood leaders or with Sunni radicals, but he can speak to them via the ISNA and CAIR, which masquerade as legitimate organizations. Jarrett can easily fly under the radar on her own, meeting with any number of unsavory characters—who even a sycophantic media might question if they were to show up at the White House.
It has been obvious that Obama has been reluctant to go after ISIS. The beheadings of two American journalists certainly led members of Congress and the military to encourage a hesitant Obama to act (as perhaps did his plummeting poll numbers). But a person who can speak a few unemotional words about a decapitation and minutes later be seen joking with his pals on a golf course might need more persuading than a few generals and at-risk Senators can muster. Apparently the suggestion that Assad could be convenient “collateral damage” in a fight against ISIS was enough to persuade him to act. It is not just Obama who wants Assad removed from power. So do the Saudis, the Qataris, and Obama’s pal, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who the media portrays as “moderate” but who seems to have no problem helping ISIS sell Iraqi oil on the black market or allowing would-be jihadists from Europe and the United States to cross the Turkish border into Syria and Iraq.
One must ask, “Who does Obama think will take power in Syria if Assad is removed?” It will most certainly not be anyone who would welcome a Miley Cyrus performance at a soccer stadium in Damascus. It will be burqa-demanding, Shari’ah enforcing, radical Islamists of the Sunni persuasion. Granted, Egypt’s Mubarak and Syria’s Assad are not the average American’s idea of great and just rulers. But suppression under Mubarak or Assad is arguably more tolerable than beheading under Shari’ah law.
One must also consider that Obama’s eagerness to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011 may not have been solely motivated by his desire to end a war. He certainly knew that the primarily Shi’ite government would have difficulty dealing with Sunni opposition, even if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had been up to the task of governing justly. By withdrawing U.S. troops, Obama essentially gave the Sunni radicals a new lease on life. Whether that was the result of incompetence or an ulterior motive on the part of Obama is not known—but neither choice is good.
At Shoebat.com Ben Barrack asked, “Would the Obama administration blame the Assad regime if ISIS shot at U.S. planes in Syria? Without the help of credible reports… that last year’s chemical attack in Syria was actually caused by Turkey and carried out by rebels so that Obama could declare the ‘red line’ crossed to justify an attack on Assad, it might seem like a far-fetched notion. With those reports, targeting Assad for ISIS’s actions could actually be seen as consistent behavior. …Obama has established a new red line, not for ISIS but for Assad. That red line is U.S. planes being shot at. There is very strong evidence that the previous red line—chemical weapons—was crossed not by Assad but by Turkey, Qatar, and ISIS in order to blame Assad. …It is curious that Obama would telegraph what the U.S. would do if Assad shot at U.S. planes. There’s no way of knowing if that is meant as a wink and a nod to ISIS but… does ISIS read the New York Times?”
The use of chemical weapons in Syria gave Obama an excuse to take out the Assad regime, but he was unable to act because of Congressional and public opposition. By now stating that he would act against Assad if his air defenses interfere with U.S. military action against ISIS in Syria, Obama is perhaps hinting that if ISIS or Syrian rebels were to shoot down a U.S. fighter plane, the blame would be pinned on Assad. Obama would then have an excuse to move against the Assad regime.
Obama has been aiding Syria’s “moderate rebels” and the Free Syrian Army. He now wants $500 million more to support them. Who exactly are those rebels? One Free Syrian Army brigade commander has stated that his forces were already working with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate: “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in …Qalamoun.” How can the administration possibly separate “good rebels” from “bad rebels” and ensure that weapons, ammunition, or other aid will not move from the former to the latter? How can Obama identify the “moderates?” (It was not that long ago when both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry described Assad as “moderate” and “someone we can deal with.”)
The reality is that Obama has no desire to seriously degrade ISIS, let alone annihilate+ it, but the beheadings of two American journalists are forcing him to “do something.” Not one to “let a serious crisis to go to waste,” Obama will attempt to use the ISIS situation to remove Assad from power. With the absurd promise of “no boots on the ground,” Obama will almost certainly be leaving ISIS for the next administration to handle. (After taking a few lumps in air strikes, ISIS fighters will simply embed themselves within civilian populations, as do Hamas terrorists, and hide behind human shields.) In the meantime, Israel’s neighbor to the north, Syria, will be a much greater threat under the control of radical jihadists than it has ever been under Assad. Israel’s neighbor to the south, Egypt, was a much greater threat under Morsi than it was under Mubarak. Luckily for the Jewish state, the Egyptian army and the Egyptian citizens ousted Morsi before he could start a conflagration.
The thought that Obama may have been scheming with Turkey, Qatar, and the Muslim Brotherhood to sandwich Israel between a jihadi-controlled Syria and Egypt is nauseating. Worse yet is the thought that Obama would deliberately put the lives of American pilots at risk in order to effectuate his scheme. I hope I am wrong and that Obama is merely incompetent and does not know what he is doing. But if I am right, the appropriate word for his actions is treasonous.