A Promise Worth Breaking

Since he was first elected, President Obama has taken heat over his myriad of broken promises – from his pledge to lead the most open and honest administration in US history (which could not be further from the truth) to his pledges that under his health care bill, Americans will save money on health insurance rates (hasn’t happened), and will be able to keep their doctors (will not happen).  And these are just a few small examples.

But now that the president is up against a political promise that is worth breaking, the narrative is that he has “painted himself into a corner.”  President Obama pledged that, should the Assad regime in Syria be caught using chemical or biological weapons, America would step in and offer military aid to the Syrian rebels.

Well, last week it was announced that Assad’s troops had used chemical weapons in their ongoing civil war, and since then, all eyes have been on Obama.  You see, since the president made his unfortunate pledge, we now know more about these rebels than we used to, and it has become abundantly clear that, as tragic as the Syrian conflict is, the United States has no stake in this game, and would do better to stay away.

For starters, the Assad regime now has the backing of Russia and Iran, which have been lending military assistance to the dictator for some time now.  Where the Obama administration is talking about sending small arms to the rebels, Russia and Iran have already provided some advanced weapons systems to Assad, and have pledged further assistance.  If the United States starts backing the rebels, then there is a good chance that we could have a full-blown proxy war/arms race in Syria – something that the United States cannot afford.

Then you have to factor in just who these rebels are.  The “Syrian Rebels” actually consist of several factions.  The smaller faction is fighting for the freedom of the Syrian people, while the larger faction is heavily affiliated with Al-Qaida, and has more interest in establishing a new Islamic republic…not that the Obama administration necessarily has a problem with that – after all, we are giving millions of dollars in monetary aid and advanced military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt.

But it isn’t much of a stretch to remember the last time the United States backed the wrong horse in a proxy war against Russia, particularly because U.S. troops are still fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.  The enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend, and in this case, the potential that any assistance we give to any Syrian faction could one day be used against us is too great to make aiding the rebel factions a good idea.

One interesting thing about the president’s plan to supply small arms to the rebels in Syria: according to the media, the weapons will be funneled in to Syria through Turkey and Jordan.  So I guess President Obama owes Ambassador Christopher Stevens an extra-special thank-you, as the ambassador was in Benghazi last September working to set up that very weapons pipeline when the consulate was attacked, leading to the ambassador’s untimely death.  But now, since Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons has removed the need for the president to keep his gunrunning scheme a secret, I guess the deaths of those four brave Americans truly were in vain, and all thanks to the president’s negligence and political bungling.

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