Skip to comments.America now recognizes Syria’s opposition as the legitimate representative of the Syria people
Posted on 12/11/2012 10:06:13 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
This is being sold as a morale booster for Syrias rebels as they press in to Damascus, but its really Os way of justifying deeper U.S. intervention going forward as the country falls to pieces. See, its okay to get involved because there are now pro-western moderate Syrian leaders running the show n stuff:
Weve made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime, Obama said
Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities, Obama said of the young coalition. To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, [and] that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects womens rights and minority rights.
Not everybody whos participating on the ground in fighting Assad are people who we are comfortable with, Obama told Walters. There are some who, I think, have adopted an extremist agenda, an anti-U.S. agenda, and we are going to make clear to distinguish between those elements.
Hes referring at the end there to Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian jihadi group whom the State Department designated as a terrorist outfit earlier today. That move was a precursor to tonights announcement recognizing the Syrian Opposition Council; O needed to preempt the inevitable questions about whether were getting in bed with terrorists here by creating some sort of lame narrative in which were friends with the good rebels while ardently opposed to the bad. Fun fact about the SOC: Its less than a month old, and was obviously cobbled together by western nations and its Arab allies precisely in order to put a face of moderation on the Syrian rebellion. Politically, that makes it much easier for the U.S. and Europe to ramp up aid to the less savory characters battling Assads troops in the field. In fact, the Independent reported just last night that plans are in the works to provide air and naval power to the rebels as they make their final push to the capital (and beyond) to try to finish Assad off. Thats what this is really about. The west is now convinced that the rebels battlefield momentum is irreversible, which means its time to make friends with them and to do what we can to make the terrible end to the war as quick and decisive as possible. The longer the battle for Damascus drags on, the more desperate Assad and his troops are likely to get, which potentially means chemical warfare and lord knows what else. If the U.S. and Europe act now, maybe theyll earn some goodwill and a bit of leverage with whatever nightmarish regime succeeds Assad. That wont keep the Islamists out of power but maybe itll convince them to hand over some of the remnants of Assads chemical arsenal.
A few obvious questions. One: Are we sure the rebels are on the brink of bringing down Assad? They may dislodge him from power over most of the country, but not all of it. CSM:
The most likely option, however, and one that appears already to be under way, is for the regime and the core of the army and security forces to retreat to the Alawite-populated mountains on the Mediterranean coast. Diplomatic sources say that there are unconfirmed reports that the regime is planning to register all Sunnis who live in the coastal cities of Tartous, Banias, and Latakia which could potentially form part of an Alawite-dominated enclave. The coastal cities are predominantly Sunni-populated while the mountain hinterland is mainly Alawite
A rump regime well-entrenched into the mountain villages defended by the Alawite core of the army and security services equipped with armor, artillery, air power and possibly even chemical and biological weapons could buy the Assads some breathing space during a likely period of chaos caused by a sudden leadership vacuum in Damascus. But it is questionable whether it would provide a long-term solution for the Assad clans survival.
Are the SOC and its western benefactors going to oversee a brutal Sunni assault on the Alawite mountain strongholds in order to finish off Assad and his supporters? Whats the game plan to stop the inevitable ethnic cleansing thatll follow once it begins? That brings us to question two: What evidence is there that the rebels in the field who are doing the fighting will respect the authority of the SOC? The whole point of the Benghazi attack is that the moderate, pro-western Libyan government has no control over the militias that helped oust Qaddafi. Looks like were headed for the same clusterfark here, but on a grander, much more dangerous scale. Jihadist fighters have already said explicitly that they wont recognize the SOC, in fact; meanwhile, the new military council elected by rebel groups is dominated by Salafists and members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Are they likely to take orders from a pro-western leadership council that counts as one of its vice presidents a secular feminist? Realistically, theres no way the SOC is going to hold things together. And the White House knows it:
Inside the Obama administration, Syria is now likened by some to a second Somalia only at the heart of the Middle East, and with the worlds third-largest stockpile of chemical weapons. One official recently described a near-term future in which the current, two-sided civil war breaks down into a free-for-all in which Sunni forces fight Kurds and each other as well as the Alawi remnants of Bashar al-Assads army; where the al-Qaeda branch known as Jabhat al-Nusra gains control over substantial parts of the country; and where the danger of chemical weapons use comes not just from the regime but from any other force that overruns a chemical weapons depot
The U.S. view of how its strategy will work depends on an extraordinary cascade of unlikely events. First, the [SOC] will gain control over most of the rebel forces. Then Russia or dissident Alawites will force Assad aside. Then there will be negotiations leading to agreement on a transitional government.
A slightly more likely scenario is that the West will get lucky and Assads regime will soon collapse in Damascus. In the resulting vacuum, the [SOC] will gain recognition from the outside world, and most of the rebel forces and Syria will follow the shaky path of Libya, with a weak government coexisting with a panoply of militias some of them allied to al-Qaeda. The difference is that any spillover of terrorists and weapons will affect not Mali, but Israel, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan.
Thats Jackson Diehl, writing a few days ago and wondering why the U.S. didnt respond to the overwhelming likelihood of an unholy battle of all against all in Syria by at least arming the more secular elements among the rebels. Thats what tonights announcement is basically about, though, no? The SOC isnt being groomed as some sort of serious successor to power in Syria, its a political fig leaf that lets the west intervene in the fighting ostensibly on behalf of some sort of liberal democratic government-in-waiting. Tonights news is just Os way of signaling to Americans that, while were getting more involved over there, were certainly not going to make nice with any dirty terrorists. Dont you feel relieved?
This country is playing some extremely dangerous games, Ernest.
Just another Shell Game....Obama’s handiwork.
Great - let’s back the al Queda group. :D
Another radical state on Israel’s border. What could go wrong?
Well, I gotta go with the side of freedom, represented by China and Russia on this one. The USSA is backing the terrorists immigrants in Syria, members of Al Queda, given US taxpayer money, and US funded weapons, to fight Syria’s secular leader Asshat, then remove him, to install an Islamicist totalitarian government like in Egypt, Libya and in Washington DC. I hope the Communist Islamist Kenyan meets crushing defeat in Syria.
It's like the game of RISK - where Israel will be boxed in like Western Australia, Syria is to the North, Egypt to the South. How much you wanna bet Jordan falls before Memorial Day?
This was OBL's grand plan - somebody else is making it happen for him.
Oh, really? Do they recognize gay marriage? What is their position on the endangered shiffle-backed Syrian tortoise? Have they agreed to use only Green RPGs in civilian areas? Will they support Syrian minority traditional head chopping techniques for settling family disputes?
A report for the U.S. Congress found Iran is no closer than it ever was to obtaining a long-range missile. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) doesnt like the waivers Washington issued on Iran sanctions. More coverage of the renewal of exemptions to U.S. sanctions on Iran is here and here. (Reuters, news release, Wall Street Journal, Reuters)
Russia stepped up its opposition to international intervention in Syria. European ministers are going to meet the opposition. Ankara and Moscow wont risk economic ties over Syria. The U.S. and Russia talked about the future of Syria at a meeting in Geneva. The United Nations chief warned Syria about its chemical weapons movement. The U.K. thinks theres proof Damascus intends to use them. Could Irans Qods Force be the one to do it? A Syrian rebel group with ties to al Qaeda that the U.S. may label as a foreign terror organization has proven to have some of the most effective fighters against the regime. (Al Monitor, Wall Street Journal, Al Monitor, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Iran Focus, NY Times)
Japan, the U.S. and South Korea are all eyeing tougher sanctions on North Korea. (Nikkei)
I'm actually getting a kick out of watching the Islamists take over the "Arab Spring". You're going to own the next war in the Middle East. Can't wait. And, there is no way you will be able to spin that on Bush. Haha.
Just do it, Israel.
He is working somewhere between voting “present” and “leading from behind”.
Was the ‘Arab Spring’ ever anything but Islamists who were schooled by MoveOn.org international communist community organizers?
H/T to the Long War Journal.
Wellllll. Don't you?
Anyone wanting on or off this ping list, please advise.
They already got a US ambassador killed. No telling what else is coming down the blow back pipe. There is also some news about a battle between Kurds and the Rebels up in the north east area. Now we have an Al Qeada affiliated terrorist organization just overrun the main Syrian military base near Aleppo. Rumored to contain a significant WMD facility. So just how are they going to convince Al Qeada to handover their newly acquired WMD to a group recognized and assembled by the US president ? The person who ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al Qeada. They call this a plan ? We would of had been better off leaving Assad alone.
Okay. And yet Obama bows to the actual King of abuse of women's rights in Saudi Arabia.
"There are some who, I think, have adopted an extremist agenda, an anti-U.S. agenda, and we are going to make clear to distinguish between those elements."
And exactly what are you going to do other than offer rhetoric in your perpetual campaign? Send Hillary to smile and shake hands? You people are simpletons and have no sense of the evils of the world. Even though you are briefed (on occasion) from the best intel sources, you wallow in your one world beliefs that if you play nice, the world will play nice, also. But then maybe your own appointed NSA, CIA, DOD directors just tell you want you want to hear so your not late for your tee time.
You all are just plain street stupid. I would love to see you dropped into Somalia without security and talk your way out. What a rude awakening you would have. Hell, I'd like to see you dropped into East Los Angeles Mexican Mafia territory and see what happens. Or maybe into a Hells Angels or Mongols clubhouse/block. None of you would last a hour. They would eat you alive as you try to preach to them.
Extrapolate the above to the various rogue nations and realize why so many dis-respect you and look upon you with contempt. You bleeding-heart socialists will never understand that there are some people/cultures/nations that are unrelenting in their pursuits of domination and evil, and cannot be appeased no matter HOW much your heart believes they can be redeemed.
You fools are leading the most prosperous, generous, inventive nation down into the abyss of socialism that has never worked. If I had just 10 minutes to talk with you DC fools, I could easily point out the failures of the 1960's communes, not to mention why the Pilgrims were dying until they let go of their communism and accepted free enterprise.
Your socialist ideology is killing this Great Experiment and history will blame you for wasting such an opportunity! I BLAME YOU NOW!
Hairyape, I think at some point in the very foreseeable future, there is going to being absolute and total Hell to pay for what our country has done and what we the people have allowed it to do.
I hate to say that, because I’m part of the we the people, and I did my best to stop this, but it was not enough. We are all on a doomed ship.