Mr. President, Focus here, not over there
By Michael Collins
The United States of America is struggling with economic problems that leading economists call a depression. When you count all of those without jobs seeking one, unemployment is 22%. That figure defines a serious crisis. While we wait for the Obama administration to do something for the people, we can be comforted to know that the president is wasting his time meddling in Syria by supporting rebels who count al Qaeda among their comrades. This was all a secret until Reuters told us about it yesterday. (Image)
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, sources familiar with the matter said.
This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad's armed opponents - a shift that intensified following last month's failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government. Reuters, August 1 (Alternate link)
The term intelligence finding used to describe Obama's action on Syria is a neologism. The more accurate term is stupidity finding. Why?
The citizens of the United States strongly oppose meddling in Syria. They said so in a March poll. More than 60% said no to any aid to rebels or military involvement. Are these people in Washington, DC deaf? The people know that the nation is in a depression. When problems of that magnitude arise, we don't want our chief executive wasting time overseas.
Anyone paying attention to unfolding events in Libya knows that the Syria plan will be bad for the people of Syria. Libya's infrastructure is destroyed. Grotesque torture is common. Revenge killings are not uncommon and ethnic cleansing occurs even if Western media insists on cloaking the story as a mystery?
While the president is supposed to be hard at work at the business of the nation, he is spending time on Syria (when he's not too busy helping select individuals to knock off in Afghanistan and Pakistan).
Mr. President, you are obligated to tell us these things when they happen. You work for us and we pay your salary. Committing the nation to this attack on a sovereign nation with the human and financial cost involved is a major event. But why should Obama be any different than the imperial presidents before him. If he'd told us, we would have objected given the popular support for staying out completely. We're the first to pay and the last to know.
This is the mandatory lie in orders from the top of the U.S. power pyramid. How can I be so cynical? I'm not. In the very same article, we find this news
"Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad's opponents.
"This "nerve center" is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence." Reuters, August 1 (Alternate link)
What could the function of that center be? Training rebels is one of the key roles played by the base according to Haaretz.
"The presence of the secret Middle East-run "nerve centre" [at Adana] may explain how the Syrian rebels, a rag-tag assortment of ill-armed and poorly organized groups, have pulled off major strikes such as the devastating bomb attack on July 18 which killed at least four key Assad aides including the defense minister." Haaretz, July 27
So, Obama's directive says no lethal weapons. Apparently, that is the only limit on lethality. The not-so-secret base trains Syrian rebels to fight an insurgent war that inludes suicide bombings. The rebels are transported about seventy miles down the road from Adana, Turkey to Aleppo, Syria to practice their black arts. The Obama administration does not provide lethal weapons, just lethal training and coordination.
Who are these rebels? German intelligence knows who some of them are, al Qaeda.
"German intelligence estimates that "around 90" terror attacks that "can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups" were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). This was revealed by the German government in a response to a parliamentary question." Asia Times, July 24
Wait! Isn't al Qaeda the enemy? Aren't they the reason we're still in Afghanistan. Didn't that organization get credit for 9/11? Now they're fighting on the same side that the intelligence/stupidity finding endorsed? Who is al Qaeda working for anyway?
We face huge issues as a nation. How do we get people back to work at productive, well-paying jobs? How do we build a sustainable economy; an economy free of financial fraud, not subject boom and bust cycles? What is the solution to so many people struggling with the costs of life sustaining health care? When will we as a nation take responsibility for and act on the calamitous climate change that we helped create?
Obviously, the president has those and other vital questions under control. Why else would he waste his time meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state that posed no imminent danger to us?
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