A message from the esteemed and astute Ellen Sauerbrey:
“So the bombing has begun. Some of our so called "partners" in the campaign have long been guilty of funding the very rebels that have grown into the Islamic State.
“Fearing that ISIS may target them next, these countries have joined us in the bombing of the ISIS home base in Raqqa Syria. But what happens next? The rebels we will train, arm and fund apparently in Saudi Arabia, will not be prepared for action on the ground for six months to a year. In the meantime??
“The Saudi's have been trying to overthrow Assad for years; and last year Obama was threatening to attack the Assad forces. I predict the current campaign will quickly turn to Assad. As pointed out below, Assad may be evil but he is not a threat to the U.S. And if Assad is taken down, who will fill the vacuum?
“There is a real danger that we will overthrow another dictator as we did with Muammar Gaddafi in Libya only to leave a country in chaos and under the control of the most radical Muslim terrorists that we have armed and trained.
What about the Russians and Iranians? Will they intervene to protect their ally, Assad? Have we opened Pandora's box? What is the end game?
“So-called ‘moderate’ Muslim fighters will not be reliable partners in fighting the Islamic State.”
FUNDING A FOOL’S ERRAND IN SYRIA
By Jeff Crouere September 20, 2014
This week, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to train, arm and fund the elusive “moderate” Muslim rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria.
The plan calls for the U.S. to start supporting between 3,000 and 5,000 rebels in the Free Syrian Army. It is part of a $500 million aid package that will authorize U.S. support through December 11, 2014.
While the bill passed both houses with ease, it received more support from Republicans than Democrats. Yes, it is a truly sad day for the country when Democrats sound more reasonable than Republicans.
According to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), the plan is “lame,” so she opposed it. Speier noted that former generals are also expressing their opposition because it does not address the real problem of stopping the funding for the terrorist group Islamic State. Speier said the terrorist organization is earning $3 million per day on oil income and the U.S. should “disrupt their line of income and that means blowing up oil wells and the roads they use to get….those oil tankers to shipment.”
Her Democratic colleague also voiced a very legitimate concern. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) claimed that “We simply don't know if somewhere down the line it will turn our guns back against us." In Iraq, millions of dollars of our military equipment that was given to the Iraqi army is now in the hands of the Islamic State, who is using it to kill innocent people.
Another issue that the administration refuses to address is that there is a real possibility that these so-called “moderate” Muslim fighters will not be reliable partners in fighting the Islamic State. In the view of former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, the rebels are not focused on fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization. He said that “their priority is not the Islamic State; it is the Bashar al-Assad regime. We need to know that going in.”
This viewpoint is also shared by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who said that he has “seen no evidence that the Syrian rebels we plan to train and arm will remain committed to American goals or interests. Further, the opposition fighters that we will train care more about overthrowing Assad than they do about defeating ISIS. Assad is evil, but he is not a threat to America."
There is no doubt that Assad has a track record of supporting terrorism and is a brutal dictator, much like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. However, we need to be very careful that we do not overthrow another dictator, only to see the country fall under the control of radical Muslim terrorists. A country can go from bad to worse, such as Iraq and Libya, which are today beset with terrorists, who control large portions of the country.
Fortunately, not all Republicans supported the President’s “lame” plan. In the Senate, conservative leaders such as Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) opposed the funding of Syrian rebels; however, the vast majority of their Republican and Democratic colleagues (78) voted for the legislation.
The reason for the President’s impressive margin of victory was that Congress did not want to be seen as opposing his plan to combat the Islamic State. In the wake of the barbaric beheading of American journalists and countless innocent civilians in Iraq and Syria, Congress wanted to show the American people they were doing something, even if it involved supporting a plan that will likely fail.
Instead of supporting a confused President, who initially called the Islamic State, the “JV” of terrorism, Congress should have rejected the plan that will ultimately create more havoc in the region.