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Neo Con Cheerleading for War in Syria

* Bumped up *

Op-ed today (Friday) by Max Boot illustrates why the neocons are an amazing group of dangerous buffoons. Not a one of these clowns have ever served in the military and none actually understand the process of assessing risk and military planning. Boot presents his madness in the Washington Post and makes his case of why we ought to be on the ground in Syria:

Today, in the case of Syria, any military action needs to be carefully thought through, but we should not refuse to act simply because of the worst-case scenarios being raised by the Pentagon.

Start with Syria’s supposedly formidable air defense. Given the ease with which Israel penetrated those defenses in 1982, during the Lebanon War, and in 2007, to take out the al-Kibar nuclear reactor, it is unlikely that the systems would pose that much of a challenge to the world’s most sophisticated and powerful air force.

The U.S. Air Force had no trouble taking out Saddam Hussein’s air defenses on two occasions, and those, like Syria’s, were constructed largely on the Russian model.

And what about that 330,000-man army? Most of the soldiers are poorly trained and unmotivated Sunni conscripts unwilling to do much to defend a regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Bashar al-Assad’s regime can count on only about 30,000 Alawite soldiers, which is why the same units are used to attack one rebel stronghold after another.

Idiocy on this level infuriates me. Boot gets so busy pontificating about the minutiae of tactics that he utterly fails to grasp the strategy that ought to inform military action. In the case of Iraq we eliminated Saddam and allowed the ensuing vacuum to be filled by surrogates of Iran. But Boot is an ignorant ass. He bemoans the fact that Iran is busy propping up Syria and gives little attention to the fact that Iraq is fully cooperating with Iran’s efforts to resupply and bolster Syria. And who made this possible? We did, courtesy in part of neo-con cheerleading.

We’ve heard the Boot happy horseshit before–Cheney and his bozos at Defense assured America that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. How did that turn out?

The reality in Syria is that there is a battle underway between Sunni extremists loyal to Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brothers in Egypt and the Alawite regime of Bashir Assad. In Boot’s idiocy he sees only Iran. He now conveniently ignores the fact that the extremists in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt were the life blood of Al Qaeda. We were not attack on 9-11 by Iran. The planes were filled predominantly with Sunni Saudis.

But who does Boot want the military to now attack? Iranian surrogates of course. The reality in Syria is that Assad and his troops are beating back a Sunni-led insurrection. The Saudis and the Egyptians backing this insurgent rebellion don’t give a goddamn about promoting democracy or human rights. They are worried that American fumbling in Iraq has empowered Iran and are desperate to try to weaken Iran.

In Boot’s fantasy world, U.S. troops would enter Syria and seize chemical weapons depots. Why? To keep chemical weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah. That’s the neocon justification. What Boot does not understand is that putting small special ops units inside Syria without the support of battalions with artillery and other crew served weapons is a recipe for disaster. Remember Grenada? US Navy SEALS sent in to rescue the Governor were ultimately pinned down by a ragtag band of Cubans and had to be rescued by Marines in tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Bashir Assad is not on tap to win a Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon, but he does understand power and self-preservation. He is not about to cede power to Sunni backed extremists and will kill them to stymie their effort to oust him.

The hypocrisy of America in condemning the Syrians for defending themselves is stunning. We leveled the city of Fallujah in Iraq ostensibly to take out Al Qaeda in Iraq. We can go to a foreign country and force thousands of civilians to flee their homes in terror and that’s okay. Syria conducts a far more limited operation of self-defense and the neocons start screaming for a new military intervention.

This is disgusting. The United States has no role and should have no role in Syria. If it comes down to backing Iranian sponsored Shias and Alawite vice Saudi and Egyptian backed Sunni extremists, I choose Iran. Ask yourself one simple question–would you rather live in Saudi Arabia or Iran? Which country allows women to drive? Which country allows women to serve in Government? Which country allows other religions to practice? The answer is quite simple–Iran.

Iran and Syria are not the Nazis of the 21st Century. Despite what Max Boot would have you believe, our military leaders, especially Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey, have it right. We should not shed one drop of American blood in Syria. Not a drop.

  • Anonymous

    LJ, I hear what you are saying and a strategic point is a muddled picture.

    1) having Iraq as a province of Iran is bad.
    2) Having the Muslim Brotherhood gain a larger foot print in Syria will not be good for anyone.
    3) The Russians have a military interest in their Syrian bases and financial interests in Iran as Putin has stated, an overt action by the US would be viewed as a direct threat to Russia.
    4) The Chinese want un-interrupted natural resources and exports
    5) Israel wants to live in “peace”.
    6) the US has a show of force of the coast of Iran and an increase in naval assets assigned to the fifth fleet with Saudis and Bahrain running proxy operations against Iran.
    7) Iran ? happily with it’s current proxy operations and putting on alert the cells in the US and western Europe….making in roads in So. America.

    Doing nothing is an odd place to be. If we do a Momar on Assad doesn’t that increase the instability for Israel?
    Dollars to dounuts Obama’s ego says he will launch airstrikes on Syria….Doesn’t Iran and Syria have a mutual defense agreement?

    As nasty as Asad is, why is the Obama foreign policy of destuctive chaos any better? I do not see any upside except to say doing nothing has the smallest down side.

    • Anonymous

      1) we should not have invaded Iraq
      2) Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate Islamist group. Better to have these guys involved than other Islamist groups. If they want to fight for democracy then good for them.
      3) The U.S. cannot dominate everywhere in the world. Russia is a big country and will have friends and interests.
      4) The Chinese also want a stable Middle East, which presents a good opportunity to get them on side.
      5) Israel wants “peace”, but only on their terms and how committed to peace are you really when you keep building settlements and steal land.
      6) The U.S. is in danger of further provoking Iran. The U.S. basically has Iran surrounded. The danger is uniting all Iranians and strengthening the Iranian regime.
      7) There is no evidence the Iran has ever attacked America in a terrorist attack nor has any desire to. The Iranian regime is not suicidal.

      “Dagan said the regime in Iran is a rational one. When asked whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was rational, Dagan responded that he was.

      “Not exactly our rational, but I think he is rational,” Dagan said. Adding that though their rationality was different from the Western way of thinking, “they are considering all the implications of their actions…They will have to pay dearly…and I think the Iranians at this point in time are…very careful on the project,” Dagan said. “They are not running…” ”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/ex-israeli-spymaster-iran-response-to-israeli-attack-would-be-devastating-1.417898?localLinksEnabled=false

      And as the current head of the Mossad has said; Iran is a rational regime and not as big a threat to even Israel, as many in the U.S. make it out to be.

      “Mossad chief: Nuclear Iran not necessarily existential threat to Israel”

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/mossad-chief-nuclear-iran-not-necessarily-existential-threat-to-israel-1.404227

      There is no one in the Obama adminstration talking about military action or supplying the rebels with weapons in Syria. It is only McCain and a few in the GOP. Thank god McCain is not President.

      • Anonymous

        2) Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate Islamist group.
         

        The
        Brotherhood calls for jihad against “the Muslim’s real enemies, not only
        Israel but also the
        United
        States. Waging jihad against both of these
        infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded.” —Muslim
        Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed
        Badi, Sept.
        2010

        6) “The U.S. is in danger of further provoking Iran. The U.S. basically has Iran surrounded. The danger is uniting all Iranians and strengthening the Iranian regime.”
              ??? see number 7
        7) There is no evidence the Iran has ever attacked America in a terrorist attack nor has any desire to. The Iranian regime is not suicidal.

        The Embassy in Iran was US soil. It was attacked. In fact Diner Jacket was there, so go ask him about it.

  • Anonymous

    Last week when McCain came out demanding we get involved in Syria he cited R2P, which was the brain child of Samantha Power, and she’s hardly a Neo-Con.

    CNN, more so than Fox, has been doing quite a bit of advocacy for upping our envolvement in Syria under an humanitarian banner, so it may not be accurate to imply  the call to action/arms is coming from solely from the Neo Cons.

    As for the hypothetical choice between backing Iranian vs Saudi interests, that’s a hard choice, although an interesting premise.  Me?
    I’d rather promote the interests and influences of the Galapagos Islands than play a role in either Persians or Arabs Gone Wild.  

  • Anonymous

    Another good reason not to get stuck in this region.

    On March 12, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”

    This is some pretty serious shit. What do you think Obama will do about this? I’m thinking he has another apology up his sleeve.

    When members of the Islamic establishment call for the religious
    equivalent of ethnic cleansing, the leader of the free world must
    respond or risk legitimizing the oppression that follows.

  • Anonymous

    Syria is the least of our worries.

    Here is an Executive Order the White House released yesterday March 16th
    2012. It is long and boring but a necessary read it takes control of
    ALL US production assets…ALL food and food production…ALL
    transportation and ALL persons needed for labor! There is something very
    big about ready to go down and this order anticipates that and makes
    preparation for the President and his 50 Czars to take over the US.
    Welcome comrade to the united socialist republic of north America. If we
    survive the war that this order is preparing for, living under the
    dictatorial rule of our current régime will most likely be the result.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2860454/posts

    • Anonymous

      I’m not certain what to make of this. The legal mumbo jumbo is confusing. Stuff like this should be required to include a Summary so ordinary folks understand what the hell it means. I can see what this may imply and I don’t care much for it. Sure does seem like they are planning on a major war and a suppression of dissent.

      • Anonymous

        Respectfully, It is not confusing at all. It is in fact an edict by executive order that infers the concept of eminent domain to ALL material, intellectual and financial aspects of American life. Including your person.
        There is NO constitutional basis for this blatant power grab by The Executive branch aka Barry Soetoro. When they declare America as a battle space / war zone, then issue this edict, it adds up to the fact that the US Constitution has been suspended and rendered meaningless.
        Sure, most will say it’s just another tiny brick in the wall but when it is executed, it will be the end of this Republic.
        Is that summary enough for you? I know the legalese is confusing…try reading the Obamacare bill…that not even a single member had the opportunity to read before voting on….”amend line 1009 of Us title xyz to read… strike the word ‘and’ in line 500067  and insert…’your screwed’.

        here is the wiki on it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Production_Act
        here is the summary of the “Defense Production Act Reauthorization of 2009″ which is thru 2014.

        If you read “Part III” it is an effort to do an end run around the oversight of Congress and puts Obama’s money laundering schemes via Loan Guarantees, aka Solyndra etc….out of reach under the guise of “national securty”….

  • Anonymous

     We should not shed one drop of American blood in Syria. Not a drop.
    I AGREE..

  • Anonymous

    I keep saying Syria and other countries in that region are the problem of the Arab League. Let them spend blood and treasure.

    • Anonymous

      Every time we stick our noses into situations to help Muslim people we wind up getting crapped upon. How many times do we have to repeat the same scenario before we get the picture. The Muslim Brotherhood is probably laughing their tails off at us for doing their dirty work.

    • Anonymous

      Every time we stick our noses into situations to help Muslim people we wind up getting crapped upon. How many times do we have to repeat the same scenario before we get the picture. The Muslim Brotherhood is probably laughing their tails off at us for doing their dirty work.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not certain why folks in government, or living in the suburbs of government, are so keen to go to war. All the time. Is it the military industrial complex gone wild? Do people still believe that America can or should conquer the world?  Are the politicians and their monied interested surrogates using the problems “over there” to distract us from the problems right here at home? I really don’t get it.

    Was the “intelligence” community so blinded by their ambition that they didn’t see this coming? I mean, come on… really?

    I’m just an ordinary citizen. Don’t know much about the military. Don’t know a thing about how the whole “intelligence” gathering thing works. But one thing I know a few things about is how to conduct research and form a logical conclusion based upon the facts at hand.

    Granted, I am deprived of any “top secret” master plans. Hell, just unraveling the “bottom secret” plans is a daunting task. What I see and have seen for a very long time is the civil war you so astutely point out. As if pointing out the obvious was even necessary. A sad commentary on the apparent collusion between the government and the media to silence dissent.

    Sunnis and Shiites have been at each other’s throats since Mohammed died. No big secret. Any form of casual research would reveal this. Yet this obvious fact is somehow obscured from our general conversation. Why state the obvious when twisting shit around makes for better drama, something even rubes understand? Not to mention the desired knee jerk response of beating chests and chants of USA.

    I don’t want to live in Iran or Saudi Arabia. My sense is that a lot of their citizens would prefer to live elsewhere too. I don’t think we can accurately define any Arab state an a friend much less an ally. And the only Muslim state we can even somewhat trust is Turkey. So why are we deployed and engaged? The only real thing of value any of them offer to the ordinary American is oil.

    We have a president that cheers an Arab Spring that brings The Muslim Brotherhood into power. Coincidence or incompetence?

    We have a president sworn to uphold our Constitution that insists he has the right to assassinate American citizens, even on American soil. Coincidence or incompetence?

    We have a president that cheers OWS that provides cover for  anarchists and socialists to create havoc throughout our country. Coincidence or incompetence?

    I’m sensing a trend here.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not certain why folks in government, or living in the suburbs of government, are so keen to go to war. All the time. Is it the military industrial complex gone wild? Do people still believe that America can or should conquer the world?  Are the politicians and their monied interested surrogates using the problems “over there” to distract us from the problems right here at home? I really don’t get it.

    Was the “intelligence” community so blinded by their ambition that they didn’t see this coming? I mean, come on… really?

    I’m just an ordinary citizen. Don’t know much about the military. Don’t know a thing about how the whole “intelligence” gathering thing works. But one thing I know a few things about is how to conduct research and form a logical conclusion based upon the facts at hand.

    Granted, I am deprived of any “top secret” master plans. Hell, just unraveling the “bottom secret” plans is a daunting task. What I see and have seen for a very long time is the civil war you so astutely point out. As if pointing out the obvious was even necessary. A sad commentary on the apparent collusion between the government and the media to silence dissent.

    Sunnis and Shiites have been at each other’s throats since Mohammed died. No big secret. Any form of casual research would reveal this. Yet this obvious fact is somehow obscured from our general conversation. Why state the obvious when twisting shit around makes for better drama, something even rubes understand? Not to mention the desired knee jerk response of beating chests and chants of USA.

    I don’t want to live in Iran or Saudi Arabia. My sense is that a lot of their citizens would prefer to live elsewhere too. I don’t think we can accurately define any Arab state an a friend much less an ally. And the only Muslim state we can even somewhat trust is Turkey. So why are we deployed and engaged? The only real thing of value any of them offer to the ordinary American is oil.

    We have a president that cheers an Arab Spring that brings The Muslim Brotherhood into power. Coincidence or incompetence?

    We have a president sworn to uphold our Constitution that insists he has the right to assassinate American citizens, even on American soil. Coincidence or incompetence?

    We have a president that cheers OWS that provides cover for  anarchists and socialists to create havoc throughout our country. Coincidence or incompetence?

    I’m sensing a trend here.

  • Anonymous

    There is a huge difference between politicians and the military. I spent last week at West Point and I can tell you that no one is talking Syria, not to mention Iran. John McCain and Max Boot are just out there on their own. Thank god we do not have John McCain as President. He is the consumate war advocate.

    • Anonymous

       They let you on at West Point? There goes the neighborhood!

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

       So what?  West Point?  Got a news flash for you genius–they are cadets, not soldiers.  West Point has no field units available for deployment nor do they have the Middle East as their responsibility.  Are you really this clueless?

      • Anonymous

        Larry,

        You really are full of yourself and I am beginning to think you are not as tapped in as you seem to claim to be.

        • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

           Just trying to figure out why you are citing a visit to West Point as proof of the topic at hand.  Hell, you might as well have mentioned you were at International House of Pancakes and no one was talking Syria there either.  What’s the point?

          • Anonymous

            Figuring out PA is like trying to quantify String Theory….

          • Anonymous

             PPAA has this thing about strawmen….

          • Anonymous

             Well……….

            I was at Costco today and I didn’t hear anyone talking about Syria. Does that count?

            • Anonymous

              I was in the Oval Office yesterday and Barry was saying that unless Asad leaves he will commence airstrikes.
              Right after that Putin called on the red phone and all of a sudden Obama wasn’t black “when he wants to be” he was flat out white.

        • Anonymous

          If you do not think the West Point community has a sense of what is going on in the military and what the focus is, then you really are not as well connected as you portray.

      • Anonymous

        Larry,

        You really are full of yourself and I am beginning to think you are not as tapped in as you seem to claim to be.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

       So what?  West Point?  Got a news flash for you genius–they are cadets, not soldiers.  West Point has no field units available for deployment nor do they have the Middle East as their responsibility.  Are you really this clueless?

  • Anonymous

    Seems like the American public is on the side of General Dempsey… http://www.people-press.org/2012/03/15/little-support-for-u-s-intervention-in-syrian-conflict/

    The question is are the blasted Neocons  and this includes Romney (Bush Jr.) and his Neocon advisers, listening? 

    As far as Obama is concerned, he needs to come out in public and make it very clear that Netanyahu and the Israel lobby are full of themselves! No war signal was ever given! Wink or nod PERIOD!

    http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/03/15/netanyahu-makes-the-case-for-going-it-alone-against-iran/

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-is-preparing-israeli-public-opinion-for-a-war-on-iran-1.418869

    To top this  the Netanyahu PR machine is blasting away!
    THE LAST DAY-היום האחרון

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5T5CF1jhTg&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dthe%2520last%2520days%2520israel%2520iran%26source%3Dvideo%26cd%3D6%26ved%3D0CGoQtwIwBQ%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253Dc5T5CF1jhTg%26ctbm%3Dvid%26ei%3DwnRkT7-DAdSCtge97p3-DQ%26usg%3DAFQjCNGxmkp23k_R74tEjzK9f16GvbqOkA&has_verified=1

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand much about tactics or strategy but I do understand that constant interference by us in the Middle-East has not led in many/most instances to happy outcomes.

    For all the bellicosity of the neo-cons the public doesn’t seem to be going along with their desire to invade another country. Obama won’t start another war without it polling well no matter how loudly the neo-cons beat the war drums.

    The media seems to be quietly beating the drums of war as they did before the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Or is that my imagination?

    I also agree that not one drop of American blood should be spilled in Syria.

  • Anonymous

    I thought Rangers did Grenada not  SEALS

    • Anonymous

      Six was there as well… They rescued the Governor and four were lost during a helio insertion, they actually drowned. The contact with Grenadian forces came as they were securing the radio transmitter…. 

  • Anonymous

    OT

    Irish Luck – Remember. It DOES work. (don’t know if any of this is true but it’s a terrific story)His name was
    Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a
    living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He
    dropped his tools and ran to the bog.
    There, mired to his waist in black
    muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer
    Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying
    death.The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse
    surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself
    as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.’I want to repay you,’
    said the nobleman. ‘You saved my son’s life.”No, I can’t accept payment
    for what I did,’ the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that
    moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel.’Is
    that your son?’ the nobleman asked.’Yes,’ the farmer replied
    proudly.’I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of
    education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll
    no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.’ And that he
    did.Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools, and in time,
    graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to
    become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the
    discoverer of Penicillin.Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who
    was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.What saved his life
    this time? Penicillin.The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill …
    His son’s name?Sir Winston Churchill.Someone once said: What
    goes around, comes around.Work like you don’t need the
    money.Love like you’ve never been hurt.Dance like nobody’s
    watching.Sing like nobody’s listening.It’s National Friendship
    Week.Send this to everyone you consider A FRIEND.AN IRISH
    FRIENDSHIP WISH: I hope it works…May there always be work
    for your hands to do;May your purse always hold a coin or
    two;May the sun always shine on your windowpane;May a
    rainbow be certain to follow each rain;May the hand of a friend
    always be near you;May God fill your heart with gladness to
    cheer you.and may you be in heaven a half hour before the
    devilknows you’re dead.