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Thursday, October 8, 2015

U.S. Self-Defeat in Middle East

There is no doubt about the lost confidence of the United States in the Middle East.

It is a failure on so many levels: A failure of arms, a failure of coordination but above all, a failure of diplomacy.

Think about it. Before there was a Russian ship in the harbor, before there was a Russian boot on the ground, Putin’s diplomatic core had already secured the blessings of Iran and Iraq. In order to shoot dozens of missiles over 1000 miles to their intended targets in Syria, they had to have it. There could be no large scale strategic planning without knowing if these countries would cooperate. This wasn’t done overnight. How Russia impressed Iran, a country that trusts NO ONE, to participate even a little is a feat in itself. 

On the U.S. side of things we have Secretary of State John Kerry, a legend in his own mind, willing do to whatever it takes to see his name live forever in the annals of U.S. diplomacy. Oh, and it will. What a difference it makes to have the right man in the right job. I'd easily trade Kerry for Sergey Lavrov's understudy any day of the week. 

This isn’t a game to Russia. War to them is still serious business and not a business unto itself like it is in the United States. To us, it’s all about the money war generates. To Russia, it’s still about WINNING and it's about holding onto their civilization which stands to be overrun if they don't do something. That's the difference. Russia is on the front and we in the U.S. are WAY over here across the Atlantic Ocean playing on our iPhones and texting while driving. 

So 14 years after the United States dropped its first Daisy Cutter way back in October 2001 we still have little to show for the effort except thousands of soldiers dead and irreparably wounded and a vast amount of uncounted debt. Nobody really likes us and nobody’s minds have been changed as to our continued presence in the region beyond the collaborators who will be thrown off a three story building if we leave and don’t’ take them with us.

A prime example of what the U.S. war in Afghanistan was all about was the first battle of Fallujah in 2003. Fallujah was surrounded by U.S. forces. Rather than leaflet the place and then level it in spectacular fashion, which would be an example of the U.S. trying to win an “Ugly War”, George W. Bush instead decided to have our troops fight door-to-door in a massively costly manner in time, money and human loss. In other words, for either political or monetary reasons, he wasted our resources namely the best and brightest that the United States could produce, our soldiers. The object was a more “Humane” war of some sort but it wasn’t humane and, as time has proven, not effective either. 

Libertarianism and War

Libertarianism is not an Anti-War platform. If there is going to be a war, say if the United States is directly attacked, a country that we have an alliance with is directly attacked or if U.S. interests like our shipping or invited businesses overseas are under attack, we are going to fight to defend ourselves and our commercial interests.  If there is to be a war, it should be swift, total and have a total commitment to its successful conclusion. There should be a beginning and an end. We don’t fight wars to win them anymore and it shows poorly. War can only be an ugly affair of last resort, one that destroys and makes people lose the will to continue. One side must win and one side must LOSE. Without this, nothing changes.

Our leaders have squandered the good will of the American people by carrying on their endless wars for interests other than national defense. They have made America war weary, indebted and have contributed to a loss of national stature in the world.

We should only pull the sword when we are prepared to dispatch an antagonist quickly, humanly and decisively so that they will hesitate to confront us again. We ignored this principle at our own peril.

And here we are.

Libya Bites Obama in the Ass

By intervening in the Libyan Civil War on the side of the opposition, the United States has lost all moral high-ground when it comes to criticism of Russia in Syria.  Once there is an intervention, there is not much difference whether it’s in support of the opposition or the established government. The difference is that if Assad’s regime survives, it will be more stable than if the fractional and diametrically opposed opposition should prevail. If Assad should fall; only long years of fighting and dying lay ahead for Syria and the people who wish to control it. 

Assad is the “Devil We Know”. He is also the Devil Russia Knows and they will hold onto their port in the Caspian Sea only with Assad in power.

So what can the Obama Regime really say about all this? It was Obama who played God in Libya so to say Russia is wrong in Syria is laughable at best.

NATO Loses Perspective

With its spectacularly stupid tirade and threats to “defend” their allies in regards to Russia’s “violation” of Turkish airspace either real or imagined, NATO puts itself in opposition to a real solution in Syria. What NATO should be doing is fighting ISIL in the region and not Russia.  Get in the game and on the right side of the conflict and leave the saber rattling to the U.N.  Are we in a fight for the preservation of civilization or are we not? Get serious will you?

The Unreliable United States

How can any nation trust what the U.S. is going to do now? Who are we going to back? Who are we going to shoot? Nobody knows.

We have ignored the history or the Russia/Syria relationship. We have brushed aside Russia's concern with their own national defense. We have just gone on like we are the only people that matter in the region even thought we have no vested interest there. None. What U.S. interest are we protecting? Hmm? We're only there because we had an axe to grind 14 years ago! What the United States is right now is a disinterested third party. And it shows. 

There is no consistency in policy, hell, there is no policy. It’s one improvisation after another. The U.S. has demonstrated no leadership and is now attempting to play catch up and thereby making even bigger mistakes in an effort to stay relevant in the region. Witness the Doctors without Borders bombing. One can picture a hastily called Whitehouse meeting in which the military was urged to do something decisive quickly.

And they did.

There is no one currently in the U.S. government to look towards that inspires confidence in their word or decisiveness in their actions. We are a ship without a rudder.

The U.S. should recognize the changing political landscape in the Middle East, step back a bit to avoid any more missteps and attempt to function as a cooperative force. All the pouting and distracting criticism of Russian actions only looks like sour grapes.

Russia's bad, we get it, now what?

If the United States cannot get past its political agenda long enough to be relevant to a mutual determination of what a successful solution in the region should be, we should just get the fuck out of there. 

Isn't this what diplomacy is supposed to be for?

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