Syria is not Iraq and it is not Afghanistan lest some get caught up in the hysteria of comparing them to one another.
Afghanistan, at the time of 9/11, was a patch of land divided between the Taliban who controlled the major areas and the Northern Alliance who were fighting a losing battle against the Sharia Law-inspired Islamists. The Taliban officially gave shelter to al Qaeda which was led by Osama bin Laden which used that nation as a base of operations to conduct worldwide terrorist activities.
Iraq, at the time of 9/11, was led by dictator Saddam Hussein who was only interested in maintaining his power. Rebel groups did not operate inside of Iraq and any groups – religious or otherwise – which might become a threat to Saddam’s power were eradicated. There had been longstanding decrees to remove Saddam from power and bi-partisan recognition in America that Saddam had WMDs.
Syria, on the other hand, is run by a Saddam Hussein-like dictator who might play things closer to the vest than Saddam did but he does engage is supporting outside terrorist groups such as those found in Lebanon and Jordan. It should also be noted that after 9/11 some prisoners taken by the United States and its allies were dumped in Syrian prisons to be interrogated or to “disappear.” In this regard, Syria was an important – if silent – ally of Washington when a Republican was president.
So what has happened?
I believe Barack Obama wants change for change’s sake. He views whatever rebel groups that have amassed as being legitimate. He seemed to treat the “rebels” in Libya and Egypt the same way. Indeed, his speech in Cairo seemed to give foreshadowing to this.
Even if the rebel groups are filled with al Qaeda and other Islamist groups Obama supports them because they are not the status quo.
This fits a pattern Obama has had his entire political career… if it’s in power remove it… if it’s the way things are done undo it… if it is “oppressed” free it… if it is rich make it poor… if it is poor make it rich.
There is no intellectualism behind Obama’s worldview. There have been numerous articles over Obama’s lack of knowing basic facts about America and the world (though Bush was the “dumb” one).
I do not believe that Obama’s foreign policy has anything cohesive about it aside from simply being oppositional to whatever is going on in a given place.
And, in fact, it makes perfect sense that Obama would have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he had done anything… his entire being is an empty well into which people cast their pennies hoping their wishes will come true… a sort of real life Chauncy Gardener but one with the street smarts to play one set of people against another.
It remains to be seen what is going to happen but the English appear to be backing away from supporting American actions against Syria. I do not support taking action against them… yet.
Too many things are still unclear and I feel we are being rushed into war for no good reason.
For the record… I didn’t support the Iraq War, either.
And my gut tells me Saddam moved his WMDs to Syria… that’s why we never found any (and how they apparently were used on the Syrians). Others tend to agree with me.