What worries me is that president Obama might try to divert attention from the NSA spying story by some sort of military adventure, say in Syria, the way Bill Clinton bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan in 1998 when he was being besieged by the Monica Lewinsky scandal. No one was punished for that crime either.
The timing of the Obama administration’s announcement today that it had confirmed Syria’s use of chemical weapons and was upping its support of the Syrian rebels was suspiciously convenient because it took the news headlines away from the spying scandal. As usual, the government said it had evidence to back up its claims but did not share it and the media seemed incurious as usual. Doesn’t anyone remember how the Iraq war was sold to us with bogus claims of weapons of mass destruction?
But Dan Drezner goes even further about the motive for today’s announcement, suggesting that the Obama policy is to try and maintain a military stalemate in Syria as a means of draining the resources of every party in the conflict, and today’s move was to counter the recent losses by the rebels. Of course they do not care that the Syrian people are suffering intensely from this protracted conflict.
To your humble blogger, this is simply the next iteration of the unspoken, brutally realpolitik policy towards Syria that’s been going on for the past two years. To recap, the goal of that policy is to ensnare Iran and Hezbollah into a protracted, resource-draining civil war, with as minimal costs as possible. This is exactly what the last two years have accomplished…. at an appalling toll in lives lost.
This policy doesn’t require any course correction… so long as rebels are holding their own or winning. A faltering Assad simply forces Iran et al into doubling down and committing even more resources. A faltering rebel movement, on the other hand, does require some external support, lest the Iranians actually win the conflict. In a related matter, arming the rebels also prevents relations with U.S. allies in the region from fraying any further.
Jonathan Turley has a good piece on how the administration continues to make wild claims for the success of the secret NSA spying program without providing any evidence to support it, unbelievably asking us to trust them on it.
The Obama administration has long since lost any right to expect us to trust it. As a result of its steady record of blatant hypocrisy and lying, it has reached the stage where if they say it is raining, I still want to see evidence.