I have a feeling Syria is going to dominate our discussions for the next several weeks, perhaps even months, as the government tries to decide what to do. Personally, I think Congress will vote to allow missile strikes. What that will lead to is anybody's guess, either an escalation that will involve ground troops, or, hopefully, nothing at all. But as we approach another 9/11 anniversary, I am concerned with what I read about who is funding and/or supporting the rebels.
When conservative pundits started throwing around statements that al-Qeada was behind the rebel groups, I, at first, shook it off as more right-wing paranoia. When they kept saying it, I decided it was time for a little research, because it is a troubling thought to think that we may be supporting the enemy.
Here is a Business Week article which mentions the terrorist connection in the first couple of paragraphs.
Here is a report from Breitbart.Com that mentions the same thing.
The proof is out there. We indeed may be assisting al-Qeada by bombing Syria. Why is this not being talked about more? Am I not watching the right news outlets, or is the media, in its unwavering support for Obama, ignoring these apparent facts?
We won't get any help from elected Republicans, apparently.
That blithering, good-for-nothing, geriatric gasbag John McCain, who served in Vietnam, is too busy playing video poker during the Syria hearings to bother mentioning the connection, yet he says we need to support military action. John Boner--I mean, Boehner--is for a bombing. Surprisingly, he didn't burst into tears while saying so.
So we can't count on Republicans to ask the questions; we can't count on the media, either; what are we to do?
Proponents say we need to smack down Assad because he's done something terrible; personally, I think we need to assist him in this fight. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? If al-Qeada is trying to establish a home base in Syria, with its own government, we need to stop that. They failed to establish a base in Egypt, from all accounts; we kicked them out of Iraq and Afghanistan (though Iraq is still to-be-decided), why not do whatever we can to keep them on the run? We're blowing up their leaders every chance we get; why change the strategy now?
Proponents add that if Assad uses chemical weapons in his own country, he may fire them at Israel. True enough, but, at this moment, that is mere supposition. Iran may fire nukes into Israel, too, but nobody seems upset about that idea.
Assisting Middle East leaders against a common enemy is nothing new. We helped Saddam Hussein fight Iran when it was in our interest, and later used the intelligence gained in that assistance to wipe him off the face of the earth when the time came. We aided the Afghans against the Soviets, and later bombed the daylights out of them when they let bin Laden and his gang stay rent-free.
Assad is no hero. He certainly deserves a smack, but it has to be done right. If this situation weren't so cloudy, I'd probably be writing a different column and supporting John Boner--I mean, Boehner, darn it--and John McCain in their support of Obama, God help me.
Whatever happens, it won't be pretty. If Congress blocks the play, Obama will shoot off some missiles, anyway. Because he has to. He's already gone struttin', drawing his red line, even though he claims there isn't a red line. We can't win here.
BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.