OP-ED: U.S. Getting Snookered Again the the Middle East on Syria; Where Is the Arab League?

By Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick

 It was  only a few years ago that many of us were demanding to know what we were doing helping to finance and fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no clearly defined national interests of our own and with trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of men and women thrust into the conflicts that remain unresolved.

 Comes now the uprisings in Syria, and influential media like the Financial Times of London, among others, demanding to know what President Barack Obama will do to up the ante for American and other Western involvement, mostly to unseat Syrian president Assad.

 Amid all the media commentary, there are no questions asked about the following as the U.S. is slowly being snookered into involvement that not only could cost billions just in funds to questionable recipients but massive negatives to what’s left of our prestige in that shaky part of the world.

 Unasked and unanswered:

1.        What is American national interest to intervene militarily or otherwise in the current Syrian situation?

2.       Who are the rebels and whom do they represent?

3.       Who is financing expensive armed uprising that seems able to contend strongly with national armed forces?

4.       Why has no one demanded the Arab League step in to negotiate?

5.       Why are these questions not being raised in Congress and/or media in the United States?

It is not difficult to recall how we became embroiled in the Libya rebellion against dictator Muamar Qadaffi, the man who was physically embraced by former President George W. Bush who also catered the admitted airline saboteur back into the United Nations who welcomed him back to the  “family of nations”…and the later assault on our diplomatic folks in Benghazi.

We had decided to help rebels then as well…only to reap the realities of Benghazi and assaults on our embassy personnel that caused the deaths of some of them, and the fingerpointing of responsibility that still rages.

Comes now Syria where the President has not only taken steps to supply “rebels” with stuff said to be “non-combat” supplies and has asserted we have somehow “vetted” these folks to be sure they are not rooted in Al Queda or similar nasties.  How those clearances might have been accomplished remains another unquestioned mystery.  Did the rebel leadership fill out applications?

It takes lots of money to fight these battles, keep forces involved by some means to pay them, conduct many other administrative, communications and management operations.  Where is the dough coming from and why is this not asked about…or more than that, why is such information not demanded by Congress, the media or virtually anyone else?

Add to this disgraceful array of realities that cost lives daily in Syria, close to 90,000 at latest rumored information,  the President strongly asserted there would be a “red line” the Syrian government must not cross by using chemical warfare before we would get really ticked off but fail to say what consequences such a “red line crossing” might bring about>  Now the line has been allegedly crossed, but we can neither determine if the Syrian government actually did the deed or whether clever rebels used chemical warfare in order to get the US into the conflict more forcefully….and foolishly.

Amid all this, again, no one in power in the Congress, the media or anywhere else seems willing to ask why the Arab League, of which Syria is a member, has remained in the background instead of finding means to negotiate this situation.  Perhaps it’s because Syria’s wealthy Arab colleagues are too busy financing anti-Israeli propaganda in the Middle East and elsewhere to be bothered with the Syrian situation, knowing the United States could once again be persuaded to come riding into murderous conflict as we have so often to rescue the Saudis, Kuwait et al. After all, the Saudis alone have bought close to $200 billions in arms, planes, etc just from the United States and in just 2010-2012 according to the reliable Defense Industry Daily newsletter.

Tagging on to this embarrassment is the realistic suggestion that, if we do not back up our claims of “red line crossing” with some strong actions, we look foolish in the eyes of not only the rebels AND the Assad government but also Iraq, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere.

But the mere rumored deployment of 200 American military on the Jordan-Syria border already has caused the reasonably calm Jordan to have major demonstrations by crowds fearing another US-Iraq affair that could erupt into even worse war.  In some circles, this kind of interference has been labeled as “BushBama” policy.

So we return to the deafening stillness by all who could make a difference in this latest “snookering” of America in the Middle East.  As we began here, questions that critically demand inquiry are not even being raised simply for debate, and the wonder is why not?


Honick, from Bainbridge Island, WA, is an international consultant to business and government who writes for many publications, including huntingtonnews.net. Honick can be reached at joehonick @gmail.com

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