Why the Syrian Civil War is Important to the United States
The ineptitude of the U.S. President’s foreign policy as it deals with: Iran’s nuclear threat, Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people in the Syrian Civil War and failing to stand behind Israel, our country’s only democratic ally in the region; has caused a dangerous imbalance of power in the Middle East. Not only have a multiplicity of countries in the Middle East declared that if Iran is permitted to have nuclear weapons, then they will do whatever it takes to obtain their own nuclear or WMD arsenal at any cost; and for some of those oil rich nations, cost is not an issue. There has perhaps been no time in the history of the United States when our State Department has had less respect among the nations of the world. Denigrated by the inaction and sanctimonious attitudes of the Clinton State Department, the bureaucrats under Kerry appear to be less representative of the United States citizenry and seen more as lifetime bureaucrats destined for a legacy of ineptitude due primarily to their wholesale inaction in the face of world crises.
Such is their role in Syria which has brought about the intervention of Saudi Arabia in its own interests. The Sunni population of Saudi Arabia cannot bear to have the minority Shias of Iran dictating policy across the Middle East by way of an ICBM or nuclear bomb bearing aircraft. Strategically, Iran is feeding the Syrian rebels through its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon. Without this on-going supply line, the rebels of Syria would have no hope of out-lasting Assad’s army. By interrupting the supply lines and requiring the Hezbollah fighters to remain focused on the crises within Lebanon, they detract from its ability to make any difference in Syria.
Sunni jihadists have attacked Shia militants within Lebanon five times since last summer (2013); the most recent just January 2nd in a Beirut suburb. (See photo) According to intelligence sources, “Hezbollah maintains a heavy presence in the Dahiyeh area; its security headquarters, media offices and political council are near the location of the blast. Most of the damage from the attack was absorbed by nearby cars and a nearby building that houses a restaurant.”[i] The attack, using between 65 and 70 pounds of explosives, killed at least four and injured dozens. In early December, a “Hezbollah commander Hassan al-Laqis was gunned down in the parking garage of his Beirut apartment complex…”[ii] The Iranian Embassy and two other suburbs have been targets of attacks in the last 6 months.
The U.S. response has been unnoticeable. There is the maxim that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Some have attempted to trace this adage to an Arabic proverb but it is most commonly remembered as a portion of the U.S. State Department policy following the Spanish-American War and has our own Theodore Roosevelt to credit for the declaration. Many of his antagonists believed, incorrectly, that Teddy Roosevelt was incapable of deep thinking.
Israel, the United States and Their Future Together or Apart
In the case of Sunni jihadists from Saudi Arabia, it is not wise to claim that adage too quickly. When the enemy of your enemy would just as soon slice your throat as well, that does not make him a friend. Perhaps the adage most appropriate is to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. (Many attribute that line to Sun-Tzu but there is no proof that he said it.) There is an additional line that has been added so that it reads, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Then, push your enemy off a cliff when he has gotten close enough.’ Since that last line is likely impractical in the world of international relations, it is important to note that the Saudi jihadists have been responsible for the weapons that have been run into Israel to support the Palestinians.
As long as the Saudi jihadists are tied up with the Hezbollah militants; Israel can keep the Palestinians on a short leash while they develop any response plans for Iran in the wake of the U.S. failure to stop the nuclear proliferation in that country. Reports indicate that because of Iran’s refusal to comply with even the most basic of the Iranian responsibilities within the ‘negotiated’ give away to the Iranians on their nuclear program, the entire ‘treaty’ is destined to complete failure. All it has done, (which is probably what it was expected to do) was to buy Iran even more time to complete its weapons’ delivery systems.
We should be clear on one aspect: neither side, including the intervening Russians, are very much concerned about the final outcome of the Syrian civil war. All sides expect that whoever ends up running what has been, for millennia, a Syria in chaos; those outside with a long enough reach and deep enough pockets will be the ones running the show and calling the shots. It should be expected that whoever that will be, they will not be friendly toward the U.S. or Israel. The Nation of Israel will continue to be surrounded by those who wish her ill.
Israel’s leadership has made it clear that they have stood their ground for decades, often on their own and they will continue to do so, with or without international assistance. (Often, they forget God’s promises to never leave nor forsake them.) It would be in the United States’ best interest to elect an administration that remembers the biblical quote, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”[iii] The future of the United States, of the imbalanced Middle East, and of Israel can be influenced in the coming two years more by the voters of the United States than perhaps ever in our history. With the high likelihood that the average American voter has very little clue as to the intricacies of such an arena; we can be thankful to God that He has the ultimate control.