Did the Syrian government, or did it not, use chemical weapons - that is the question that will apparently decide whether the U.S. will enter another, messy war, one that may have many long-term consequences.
That is the question the media and its talking heads are abuzz with.
And yet, that is also the question that - to any objective, independent thinker - is wholly irrelevant. Why? Because the fact is, from one end of the world to the other, outrageous human rights abuses - many much worse than the use of chemical weapons - are going on. more >>
Who would have guessed that liberal Democrat Barack Obama would end up being one of the biggest warmongering presidents in history. It is suspected by many that his decision to militarily intervene in Syria is being done to deflect the public's attention away from Obamacare, the IRS targeting of conservatives and the NSA surveillance scandal. Intervening on behalf of the Syrian rebels is unpopular because it is not clear that the rebels, who have been infiltrated by al Qaeda affiliates and Iranian-backed militias, are any better than President Bashar al-Assad's Shiite-controlled government, and toppling the regime may lead to instability to the detriment of Israel.
A Gallup poll found that going into Syria is more unpopular than any similar conflict since the airstrikes on Kosovo under President Bill Clinton 15 years ago. Only 36 percent of Americans support the intervention, compared to 51 percent who oppose it. Pope Francis is so opposed to military intervention, he led Catholics around the world in a day of fasting for peace in Syria. British voters are overwhelmingly against military action, with 47 percent opposing it and only 19 percent in favor. Seventy conservative Tories in British Parliament refused to vote for military action last week, and the legislation failed.
Obama claims that 10 countries that signed a vague statement about military action at the G-20 summit last week means they back his plans to invade Syria. However, Britain clearly opposes it, and Russia asserts that only four of those countries support the invasion. If Congress does not approve military action in a vote shortly, Obama appears ready to go ahead with the strikes anyway. This is even more disturbing since Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that his country will provide assistance to the Syrian government if the U.S. militarily intervenes on behalf of the rebels, reviving a dangerous U.S.-Russian rivalry. more >>
Washington is abuzz with the sounds of war. The President is prepared to "go it alone" with a pending air strike against Syria while Congress is holding a series of hearings on whether he has the authority to do so. These are the times that try men's souls.
Over the last year and a half, 100,000 people have lost their lives in the civil war in Syria. Speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter.
Neither our country nor our conscience can afford the cost of silence." If that is true, why did we wait while thousands lost their lives BEFORE the use of chemical weapons? more >>
Our allies among the Syrian rebels have issued a memorandum to the State Department on strategies for the day after Assad falls. David Ignatius reports in his column today that the Free Syrian Army (SFA) has outlined a "Damascus plan" for "handling the power vacuum in case of a sudden Assad collapse." This plan is grossly flawed.
Not the least problem, as Ignatius points out, is that the plan relies on the United States - presumably using American troops - to take out not just Assad's stockpiles of chemical weapons but also the command and control for them. President Obama and his chief congressional supporters have ruled out American boots on the ground in Syria. Right? (See Andrew McCarthy's important observation regarding this pledge.)
Another crucial point in the rebels' strategic memorandum involves revenge killings. This is a major concern, as the Syrian conflict is at its core a civil war within Islam. The regime identifies with the minority Alawite sect that is allied with Hezbollah militias supported by Shiite theocratic Iran, while the rebels, largely Sunnis, are bolstered by al-Qaeda terrorists and other Sunni jihadist fighters and supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Sunni regimes. Christians, who account for 10 percent (or more, when Iraqi refugees are counted) of the population and who have not taken up arms in this conflict are viewed by the two sides as aligned with the regime. They are the most vulnerable, since they have no militias or army to protect them. more >>
As the U.S. Congress debates authorizing a military strike against the Syrian military for its use of biological weapons against innocent civilians, the impact of such a strike on the Christians in the country has been a cause of concern. To get a better understanding of the situation, The Christian Post spoke with Rupen Das, director for community development and relief at the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development.
Das, who is leading the aid efforts in Syria for LSESD, warned that a strike against Syria could make things worse for Christians there, who have already been attacked by some of the anti-Christian rebel forces.
"If the regime forces are weakened or temporarily off balance, there is every indication that the radical groups will use the opportunity to step up their attack on the Christian and Alawite communities," Das said. more >>
President Barack Obama is set to address the American people in a major speech on Tuesday with hopes to convince them that a military intervention in the Syrian crisis is needed.
"I want people to understand that gassing innocent people, delivering chemical weapons against children, is not something we do," Obama said at a press conference in Russia before leaving the G-20 Summit. "It's prohibited in active wars between countries. We certainly don't do it against kids."
Obama has been asking for Congressional support on a planned strike on the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who the U.S. is accusing of using chemical weapons on civilians in August and killing over 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. more >>