The Obama Administration Views Iraq and Syria as a “Single Challenge”, Reconsidering “Air Strikes” and to “Train and Equip” Rebels in Syria

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Obama administration is considering treating the crisis in Iraq and Syria in regards to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a “single challenge.” The Obama administration sees an opportunity by exploiting the crisis in Iraq since it failed to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. First, Washington’s plan to remove Assad by supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda failed when the Syrian forces defeated the rebels forcing them to withdraw. Then with Assad’s recent election victory, the international community (Except the US and its allies of course) has welcomed the results paralyzing Washington’s push to oust the Syrian government from power. The Washington Post published an article titled “White House beginning to consider conflicts in Syria and Iraq as single challenge” states that the situation overlaps between both Iraq and Syria, therefore, the US can possibly approach the situation with one strategy:

The Obama administration has begun to consider the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as a single challenge, with an al-Qaeda-inspired insurgency threatening both countries’ governments and the region’s broader stability, according to senior administration officials. At a National Security Council meeting this week, President Obama and his senior advisers reviewed the consequences of possible airstrikes in Iraq, a bolder push to train Syria’s moderate rebel factions, and various political initiatives to break down the sectarian divisions that have stirred Iraq’s Sunni Muslims against the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The Obama administration is contemplating whether to use “air strikes” against Syria and arm “moderate” rebels. “Although spreading faster in Iraq, the advance of ISIS could also force the administration to reconsider its calculations in Syria, where Obama has taken a cautious approach, declining to arm moderate rebel factions or conduct airstrikes on government airstrips, as some advisers have recommended” according to the Washington Post report.

Washington says that the threat imposed by ISIS erases the borders between Iraq and Syria so any military or political action taken for both countries would have a separate strategy. The report stated how Iraq and Syria would be treated differently according to the Obama administration:

Administration officials are also weighing a set of strategic and legal complications that in key ways will force U.S. policymakers to plan as if the border between the countries still exists, even though for the insurgency’s purposes it does not.

“Everybody here recognizes that you can’t silo what is happening in Iraq from what is happening in Syria,” said one administration official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal thinking. “There’s no doubt the border is melting away. But while we look at the two in tandem, our responses in each place will be very different”

If the border between Iraq and Syria does not exist, then “airstrikes” in either country would be justified since ISIS does not recognize any border that currently does exist.

Is the Obama Administration Following the Council of Foreign Relation’s Advice on Syria?

Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) member Eliot Abrams, a neoconservative and war criminal is calling for action against Syria with a ‘New Policy’ guideline recommending air strikes and rearming and training rebels. Abrams served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and one of the officials involved in the Iran-Contra Affair and El Salvador’s El Mozote Massacre that resulted in the deaths of more than 500 civilians wrote an article for the CFR titled ‘Syria: Humanitarian Disaster—and Security Threat’ Abrams proposes that the United States should reconsider training and arming rebels who are “anti-Assad” and “anti-jihadi” who are “composed of nationalist Syrian Rebels “since diplomacy has failed. Abrams even suggests training those who come from other forces. Abrams says that “The balance of forces will change when anti-jihadi groups can arm and train all the men they can attract, including attracting them from other forces to which they have gone because those forces were able to feed and clothe them and supply modern weapons”. Abrams also suggests that the United States should use air strikes against Syria’s chemical weapons depots. He states his case for military action on Syria:

Second, the United States should punish Assad for the continuing use of chemical warfare. This means an air strike robust enough to damage CW targets, including units that have used CW and any air assets ever used to deliver them. Any strike should at this point be broad enough to greatly restrict Assad’s ability to use air power as an instrument of terror. More broadly, punitive air operations should be considered to force the regime to allow humanitarian aid to quickly reach those who need it. And even more broadly, air strikes can both change the military balance on the ground and affect the political and psychological dimensions of the conflict by demonstrating a new American policy and new determination

It is no surprise that Eliot Abrams solution to the Syrian crisis (instigated by the West) is for Washington to continue to arm the rebels even those from other forces (perhaps ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra) and for the US military to conduct air strikes. First, let’s be clear, Abrams “new policy” is not new. They have been arming and funding the rebels since Syria’s civil war began. Abrams was a State Department official for human rights and Humanitarian Affairs then as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs under the Reagan administration. Abrams’s was behind a US organized a counterrevolutionary army to carry out terrorist attacks against Nicaragua and supported right-wing dictatorships in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. He was a propagandist for US interests in Central America where he excused Nicaragua of human rights violations against the Miskito Indians. It was a campaign to portray the Sandinista government as Human rights violators in order to justify support for the contra army, which killed more than 10,000 Nicaraguans. US actions have devastated Central America. Today, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala suffer from extreme poverty and crime with the highest murder rates in the world. Elliot Abrams is now advising what Washington should do in the case of Syria. The Council on Foreign Relations is a think tank for the Western establishment or what US Vice-President Joe Biden would call the “New World Order.”

Elliot Abrams is working for a well funded organization that advises powerful members of Washington and its allies on foreign and domestic issues. In a speech at the CFR, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the CFR and its acting President Richard Haass has contributed to Washington’s policy makers over the years. She said “We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.” Well, Elliot Abrams is trying to ensure Washington follows a path to war against Syria which would destabilize the region even further. It is insanity. Abrams says that Syria is a threat to the US as “The refugee flows and the jihadi presence, which are both growing, constitute a threat to Syria, its neighbors, and the interests of the United States.” The Washington Post says that Iraqi President Maliki has asked for the United States to intervene in Iraq making it legal under international law:

Maliki has asked the administration to carry out airstrikes against Islamist insurgents in Iraq, an invitation that administration officials say would make intervention legal under international law. Obama has yet to decide if such strikes would be effective inside Iraq and what the consequences would be in Syria. The report also said that “No such invitation exists in Syria, even though moderate rebel groups fighting Assad would welcome U.S. military support”

Of course they would welcome US military support, after all, the US has been funding them from the beginning. The report clearly defines that there are no differences between the borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan where President Obama has authorized numerous drone strikes on both sides resulting in mass civilian casualties:

The U.S. training program for Syria’s moderate rebel forces, also at odds with ISIS, is taking place in Jordan under CIA supervision. That could expand under legislation pending before Congress, which would authorize the administration to allow the military to take over training, greatly expanding its scope, and potentially locating some of it inside Syria.

Officials have concluded that, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where a porous border provided Islamist fighters with a refuge from U.S. military pursuit for years, the boundary between Iraq and Syria presents a similar challenge

For the Obama administration, they see it as a new opportunity to intervene in Syria. It is a perfect excuse for Washington’s “humanitarian intervention.” ISIS provides a cover for Washington’s long awaited objective to remove Assad and his government and regain a foothold into Syrian territory. The crisis will result in a US/NATO style intervention as they did in Libya. Obama recently sent in military advisors to Iraq escalating the crisis. The next step would be to set up drone strikes across Iraq, then eventually finding their way into Syrian territory. ISIS is a crisis for Iraq’s oil exports effecting world markets, but it is also an opportunity for Washington’s Middle East Agenda. Fox News reported that “Syrian and Iraqi terrorist forces obtained significant numbers of tanks, trucks, and U.S.-origin Humvees in recent military operations in Iraq and those arms are being shipped to al Qaeda rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials.” ISIS is moving towards Syria’s border with newly acquired weapons they seized from Iraqi forces as Fox news stated what Pentagon Spokesman Commander Bill Speaks had said:

We’re aware of reports of some equipment—namely Humvees—and the pictures that have been posted online,” Speaks said in an email. “We are certainly concerned about these reports and are consulting with the Iraqi government to obtain solid confirmation on what assets may have fallen into ISIL’s hands

This is an opportunity for the US to launch drone strikes in Iraq and Syria. The Obama administration is currently weighing military options in the region. Will there be a war against Syria? Will Washington seize the opportunity because ISIS is now moving towards the Syrian border? It is a likely scenario, since Washington was running out of options concerning Syria. With ISIS in the picture, Washington’s hopes of removing Assad is back in full circle.


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