It is hard to recall a time when a United States President was so completely isolated on any issue as the current President is on the question of US military action in Syria. It increasingly appears that the issue has become Obama’s personal crusade and that he is determined to lead America into another Middle Eastern tinderbox as a matter of personal pride.
With the exception of lukewarm support from France, a number of sycophantic Democratic politicians who would support the President if he announced plans to invade Lichtenstein and a few spineless Republicans, Obama has no support whatsoever for military action against the Syrian regime. Polls show that the majority of Americans are opposed to US intervention; the group of 20 nations (G20) is not backing a military response and it appears less and less likely that the President will win the support of Congress.
The ego of this President, however, is truly monumental and it is one of only two reasons for his continued determination to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs; the other reason being his close personal relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The consequences facing the United States if military forces are deployed against the Syrian regime are far-reaching and highly disturbing: Aside from extensive damage to an already frail world economy, there is the very real prospect of a military showdown with Russia. Iran is also rattling its saber, although that country has no hope of success in a direct confrontation with the US; its retaliation, however, will come in the form of terrorist attacks against American assets in the region, as well as possible strikes against Israel. Obama’s personal crusade for military action in Syria will win the US no friends, even were that action to result in the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The list of nations and individuals advising against US intervention has continued to grow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has clearly signaled his intention to consider actively defending the Syrian government and has already put Russian naval units in position; whilst this could be considered a bluff or idle threat, can either Russia or the US afford to find out? The consequences of even one engagement between the navies of the two countries could prove catastrophic.
Despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s insistence that the Syrian rebels are mostly moderates fighting for democracy, the reality is that the opposition movement is dominated by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, which fights in Syria under the name of the al-Nusra Front. Neither of these two organizations has ever indicated the slightest intention of fostering friendly relations with the US at any point in the future; both have made numerous statements of their intention to destroy America and the American way of life; the former has been behind terrorist attacks against the United States, including the deadly assault on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the latter is, of course, the terror network that planned and executed the devastating attack of September 11, 2001.
There simply is not a compelling reason for the US military to intervene in Syria. The argument about chemical weapons being used and children dying is a complete red herring; President Obama has never indicated a desire to take military action against any other nation for such actions. It is a well-documented fact that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against his own people and yet Obama was opposed to military action against him. Children are being slaughtered in Africa, but there’s no indication that the President will intervene there. Syria has become Obama’s personal crusade and he must take action in order to save face. That is the danger America faces; it is a nation ruled by a man who is willing to drag it into a war – and, possibly, a global war – in order to satisfy his ego and appease his Islamist friends.
An op/ed by Graham J Noble