Thursday, September 5, 2013

Battlefield Three: Obama, McCain and Graham



Did you hear?!?  American troops have engaged Russian forces in combat in Syria!  It's true!  Here's the footage:

Darn intro text got cut off!  I am still not good at video editing!

Okay, okay, that wasn't actual combat footage, but footage from one of my recent sessions in DICE's Battlefield 3, a first person shooter that revolves around American and Russian troops fighting it out in the Middle East.   So that wasn't real...but I find it a strangely compelling vision of just what a larger international conflict might look like in Syria.

Now, I am not saying that World War III is going to result from the civil war currently taking place in Syria - world wars are not started as easily as some believe.  But what I am saying is that Syria is starting to remind me of another civil war that proved to be a dress rehearsal for World War II:  the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939.  Unlike Syria's islamist inspired warfare, that war largely revolved around the fascist Nationalists of Francisco Franco confronting the Marxist Republicans of Jose Sanjurjo.  What made this Iberian civil war so bitter was the outside forces the flooded into the country from such places as Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy, as well as Stalin's Russia, and even Mexico!  Arms were further supplied by outside countries too, including France.  Can you say "tinderbox"?

I think he have the same situation developing in Syria.  What began as a popular revolt against the despotic Assad has now evolved into a much larger, much more complex civil war involving forces, equipment, and monetary support from such international actors as Iran, Turkey, Al-Qaeda, Russia, North Korea, China...and who knows where else.  In other words, we have another dangerous tinderbox in the making.  Of course, President Obama, being the Harvard educated genius that he is, wants to now inject us into this mess, too. What possible reason could he have?

Well, the official story is that Assad has used chemical weapons on innocent civilians (can there be innocent civilians in a raging civil war?).  It should be pointed out that this story is coming from the same administration that told us a YouTube video was responsible for the death of an American ambassador, something that was quickly revealed to be a bold faced lie.  So I have no confidence in the assurances of our current Secretary of State, John Kerry, a man who himself has been caught lying about his own military record.   Investigative journalist Aaron Klein has reported that his sources are telling him that the chemical attacks could have originated from either a "false flag" operation launched by Turkey, a ferocious enemy of Assad's Syria, or from in-country Russians attempting to save their close ally.  Aaron Klein is the man who first reported the real reason for the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi  - that it was a hub for assistance to Syrian rebels - so I do not discount these two theories; Mr. Klein has proved to be reliable in the past on more than one occasion.  Regardless, despite assurances to the contrary from Kerry and Co., there is a lot of doubt as to just who was responsible for the chemical weapons attack.

Of course, chemical weapons may have nothing to do with this rush to war anyway, as smarter money is on a different reason altogether:  a pipeline that needs to stretch across Syria in order to deliver cheap natural gas to an energy hungry Europe.  Michael Snyder reports:

Why has the little nation of Qatar spent 3 billion dollars to support the rebels in Syria?  Could it be because Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world and Assad won’t let them build a natural gas pipeline through Syria?  Of course.  Qatar wants to install a puppet regime in Syria that will allow them to build a pipeline which will enable them to sell lots and lots of natural gas to Europe.  Why is Saudi Arabia spending huge amounts of money to help the rebels and why has Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan been “jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime”?  Well, it turns out that Saudi Arabia intends to install their own puppet government in Syria which will allow the Saudis to control the flow of energy through the region.  On the other side, Russia very much prefers the Assad regime for a whole bunch of reasons.  One of those reasons is that Assad is helping to block the flow of natural gas out of the Persian Gulf into Europe, thus ensuring higher profits for Gazprom.  Now the United States is getting directly involved in the conflict.  If the U.S. is successful in getting rid of the Assad regime, it will be good for either the Saudis or Qatar (and possibly for both), and it will be really bad for Russia.  This is a strategic geopolitical conflict about natural resources, religion and money, and it really has nothing to do with chemical weapons at all.
This would not be unthinkable, especially seeing how the United Kingdom, France and Italy pushed Obama to also intervene in the Libyan uprising so as to grab those rich oilfields, amongst other self-interested reasons.  This would just be a follow-up to that campaign.

Now, needless to say, President Obama's handling of this situation has been abysmal.  I mean, when even the most liberal members of your party are criticizing you in public, you have really done something wrong.  I cannot account for this, seeing how Obama and his acolytes were sold to America as being the best and brightest ever to hold public service.  Go figure....

Quick recap:  If you will recall, Obama announced a "red line" on the use of chemical weapons back in August of 2012.  On August 21 of 2013, somebody crossed that "red line" with a seemingly sizable sarin attack on a suburb of Damascus.  Obama's response: nothing, as is his habit in foreign policy.  Unfortunately for him, this second attack succeeded in catching the public's attention and people started asking "Where's the president?  What happened to the 'red line'?"  Embarrassed, Obama then announced that he was sending three(!) destroyers(!!) with the idea of "firing a shot across the bow" of Syria with a cruise missile attack - in other words, a purely symbolic attack.  Because most Americans have an IQ larger than your typical politician, many began to snicker at this embarrassing lack of decisiveness on the part of the White House.  Well, if there is one thing self-righteous leftists cannot stand, it is being mocked, so Obama et alia have now decided to up their game by sending a carrier, along with additional naval forces.  Well, that and now denying the "red line" remark altogether


Not to be outdone in idiocy, the Bobbsey Twins of the Senate, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have now begun pushing for something much more decisive.  This isn't surprising, I suppose, seeing how McCain was so eager for America intervention that he visited Syria and took some pictures of himself posing alongside his new Syrian terrorists friends.  *facepalm*  So now we have these two putative Republicans compounding Obama's foreign policy incompetence by calling for "regime change", something that is going to require a lot more than a few cruise missiles. But don't worry: I am sure McCain has given this a lot of thought...in between bouts of playing poker on his smartphone during a hearing on military intervention in Syria:

Not kidding!  That is a real photo taking during the hearing!

And here we are. Not exactly a recap of events that inspires confidence, is it?


Are you starting to see why I have grave concerns that Syria might prove to be the modern-day equivalent of the Spanish Civil War, a possible dress rehearsal for World War III, if you will?  We certainly have all the elements:

  1. An incompetent American government, including the White House, Congress, and the State Department, that is intervening under possibly false circumstances, with an endgame that remains unclear
  2. A conflict that has already pulled other powers into it from around the globe, including Russia, China, North Korea, and more
  3. Energy politics that fuel (pun) the thirst for "regime change"
This situation can easily spill out of control since no one has control, anyway. Again, not saying a world war is probable, or even marginally possible, but I am saying this:

  • What happens if an American attack kills some foreign nationals by mistake? Say Russian or Chinese advisers?
  • What happens if a US attack triggers a response from Iran?  Syria is Iran's client state, after all. 
  • What happens if US attacks are so successful that Assad falls from power...but radical Islamists take control and suddenly find themselves with the keys to Syria's chemical weapons kingdom?
  • What if US attacks are so unsuccessful that Assad shrugs them off?  That he now becomes emboldened, and really unleashes his chemical weapons on the Syrian people?

These are just some possibilities off the top of my head, possibilities that the Obama administration has been unwilling to address, something that is understandable as the most likely answers are not very cheery.  Again, the Spanish Civil War comes to mind.  And, come to think of it, maybe even the Cuban Missile Crisis....

I guess that is why I suddenly find myself playing a lot of Battlefield 3 lately.  Oh, I know that Kerry and Obama has assured us that there will be no "boots on the ground" (how I hate that euphemism!), but that doesn't seem to be the case based on the language used in the proposed resolution:

Senators on Wednesday tried to write a tight resolution authorizing President Obama to strike Syria under very specific circumstances, but analysts and lawmakers said the language still has plenty of holes the White House could use to expand military action well beyond what Congress appears to intend.
And if it does come down to ground troops, it could be as many as 75,000.

So...anybody want to join me in a session of Battlefield 3?   Whether you do or don't, it could be coming to a TV near you regardless of White House assurances.  Might has well get a taste of what could be just over the horizon.  For that matter, maybe the "Battlefield Three" of Obama, McCain and Graham should  play a round or two of DICE's Middle East shooter as well.  It might help clarify things in a way that video poker doesn't....




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