Thursday, September 5, 2013

Syria Post-Mortem

US - Russian Face-Off?

It appears Mr Obama may get Congress to support his attack on Syria, the result of which will be death, destruction, and ultimately, chaos to both Syria and the region.

Obama has not said there were chemical weapons actually used -- or by whom;
he's skirted responsibility, as usual, by saying
"I can say with high confidence that chemical weapons were used."
It's "legal speak".

--Saying 'with high confidence' is not the same as presenting facts that an event actually occurred.
It's the equivalent of saying:
"Don't hold me to it, but I THINK it may, or may not be true, maybe -- or maybe not."

--Omitted from the statement is a reference to the actual perpetrators of such an action if it did in fact occur; so, the action could have been taken by Assad, the Rebels, a CIA false flag op, or -- not at all
"... weapons were used" -- what weapons?  CBC points an accusing finger at the Rebels.

--There are reporters' statements that some of those reportedly dosed with these chemicals slipped away once the news photography was over.

Senator McCain [R] seems to have drunk a gallon or more of the Administration's Kool-Aid, and is now bouncing around in full attack mode as he worships at the altar of our Leader from Behind.  We are bewildered as the title RINO [Republican in Name Only] seems an appropriate -- though inadequate title.  Some have compared him to Benedict Arnold, who betrayed our Army during the Revolution. We won't go quite that far, but we do have to question his motives.

Our blog-post yesterday on Syria laid out the development of this fiasco from
the start [Benghazi]
to the finish [Red Line],
so we won't repeat it here.

Today, we simply want to review what we're facing in terms of an outcome.

1) The UN investigators have declined to identify the attack chemicals without a full analysis, and

     a) They have advised they can't determine who created or delivered them

     b) Mr Obama has stated he will use his own investigators -- to create his own "facts"
         [it was a successful approach in Benghazi -- why not use it in Syria.]

2) Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor provided a strained, convoluted response for Congress:

    a.  Boehner ...supports
"the President's 'call to action' and encourages all Members of Congress to do the same. Now, it is the President's responsibility to make his case to the American people and their representatives.... [and I] expect the White House to provide answers to Members' questions."

    b. Cantor ...
"America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction"

    c. Both leaders fell short of a clear endorsement of Mr Obama's determination to wage war against Syria, although the Liberal Media interpreted these comments as an endorsement.  A "call to action" is nothing more than saying -- Yes, we need to do something -- without saying what needs to be done.

    d. Boehner has in fact, deflected the issue back to individual Congressional Representatives and has declined to act as the President's acolyte in this persuasive effort -- although the Administration is claiming full Congressional support, particularly since the Democrat led Senate Armed Services Committee, in a vote of 10 - 7, endorsed Obama's plan.
[Not a strong endorsement by any means, and, sadly, McCain voted "for".]

But, we presume that Mr Obama will move forward with his attack on Syria, claiming that Senator McCain speaks for both Houses of Congress -- and particularly, for the Republicans.

What then.

Lacking funds for training exercises, due to the Sequester, a faux war [aka: Live Fire Exercise] against Syria gives the Navy full authorization to fire missiles, launch aircraft, and to
"send in the Marines!"

There are Marines and Special Operations boots on the ground - in unknown quantities - in Jordan already -- they've been there for quite a while, but not in Syria, yet.

The Navy has deployed, perhaps as a swan song, a 40 year old, fully depreciated aircraft carrier and a dilapidated "Landing Platform Dock" possibly already earmarked for the scrapyard.  If they can be listed as damaged in combat, they can be scrapped after putting on a good show in this conflict.

    a)  The USS San Antonio (LPD-17) [Diesel powered bucket of bolts beset with problems]
    b)  The USS Nimitz [CVN-68]. [the Group includes 4 destroyers and a cruiser]

But, not to be left out of the fun, Russia has now deployed
a) The large Landing Craft Carriers Novocherkassk and Minsk,
b) The reconnaissance ship Priazovye, and
c) The anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev to join the permanent Mediterranean naval force. 
d) The guided missile cruiser Moskva will arrive to take control as the fleet flagship.

Other players:
a) China is sending a few Naval ships to "observe".
b) Iran is deploying 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops to reinforce Syria.
c) Turkey is sending its tanks to the Syrian border.

Now, the Russian ships, other than the Moskva, are relatively ancient, and likely wouldn't stand a chance in a battle with the more modern US vessels. The US Navy has little to fear.

Iran Air Flight 655
But, we recall a similarly tense situation in 1988, in which the USS Vincennes did all the right things, but a snap judgment under intense pressure resulted in an Iran Air commercial airliner being mistakenly shot down -- killing 290 men, women, and children. 

It was a faultless event, but the deadly results were the same. 

We're concerned that with a US-Russian face-off, extreme tension situations could lead to unfortunate results and we might end up in a major conflict as a result.

So the line-up in the Mediterranean Sea, east of Syria, will be the Russian Mediterranean Fleet facing off against the US Sixth Fleet.  Not a comforting picture for what is supposed to be a limited US engagement.

But, let's say the Russians do nothing but watch the US destroy Syria.

What then?
Syria, in shambles, with

1) No standing government, and a fragile rebel government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood  
2) The infrastructure [electrical, water, sewage, transportation] is destroyed,
3) Refugees swarm back into the cities to find their homes and livelihoods destroyed,
4) No police force to restrict criminal activity
5) No financial system
6) No community.
7) Sectarian violence akin to that currently in Iraq
8) The US as "Peace-Keeper" with "boots on the ground"?

What is already in place is a Muslim Brotherhood cadre of al-Qaeda operatives ready to step into the vacuum and take full control -- and answer to Saudi direction.

The objectives?
1)  Establish a Sharia State
2)  Establish the exiled, Saudi-backed Syrian Muslim Brotherhood
3)  Seize control of Syria's military assets, to include deadly chemicals,
      and likely distribute to al-Qaeda throughout the region to topple more governments
3)  Terminate the Syria-Iran oil pipeline plan 
4)  Establish an obstruction-free corridor for an oil pipeline to feed Europe - but not Russia

With the bombardment of Syria and collateral damage of thousands of injured and dying, the US will garner the hatred of still more Arabs and Muslims.

But, for a more comprehensive view, take a look at this 2008 RAND study which explains the current version of The Great Game:

Here's an extract to get you thinking:

"The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with a power base of  much of the Salafi-Jihadist network.  This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long that is not easily broken or simply characterized.  For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources. The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact with that of prosecuting the long war."