SYRIA BURNING: Fighting Continues to Escalate as Outside Forces Continue to Use Events to Political Advantage

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.


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.

Syria Burning photo

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.

Syrian Supply Lines
Syrian Supply Lines

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.

% of Shia by Country
% of Shia by Country

Americans: a peculiar people Dr. Ross L. Riggs The Ministry Minute: When there’s only a minute for ministry.

     And then there were few… yet they still stood strong. The general’s huge army could be seen for miles across the dusty desert. The dust that rose up to meet the nostrils of the hundreds of horses covered the horizon with a thick darkness, foretelling the gloom that was to come. It is not difficult to imagine the few conversations between the men left to guard the small mission outpost. They knew their role was to delay the northward march of Santa Anna’s army in his desire to retrieve, for his country Mexico, land that would become ‘the Lone Star State’. Those who stayed were volunteers. They knew they were certain to die. Their death scene would become a place of honor, a crypt of sorts, a monument to something awe-inspiring. Certainly, to this day, it is a place where visitors are asked to remain respectfully quiet to honor the brave deeds of those whose last breath was the same dust caking the Mexican army horses’ nostrils. If one could ask those men, in those last moments, if they had the chance to decide all over again whether they would agree to stay, there is no doubt that they would. After all, those Americans are a peculiar people.

The air was more turbulent than calm this morning as their flight gained altitude coming up from the tarmac briskly to make room for the next waiting jet filled with commuters ready to begin their day. It was only a handful of time, really, not enough time upon which to decide about a lifetime; but in that handful of minutes, the world changed, each person on that flight was about to share a destiny with the men of that desert mission over a hundred years before. These folks had not volunteered to die heroes’ deaths, to wait out the on-coming attack for hours as the brave men of the Alamo had done. Theirs’ was a destiny thrust upon them; but one from which they did not recoil. Their actions were also needed to hold off an enemy and not allow him a victory strike against their homeland.  When their time came to give everything they had, and to die as one; in a manner no modern day group of civilian patriots had ever done, their response was “Let’s roll.” After all, those Americans are a peculiar people.  

e pluribus omnibus pecularus

In a non-descript auditorium, families gathered in the early morning hours to anxiously await their sons. They had gathered from 39 states and two foreign countries across both the Atlantic and the Pacific to spend a very short 36 hours with their sons. There was no fancy celebration, no glory-filled pomp; just young men, finishing a phase of their training with a chance for a short break before returning to their task. Every single one of the young men who had spent two and a half months in the grueling Georgia sun and survived sleepless nights in between times of rigorous training were volunteers. Those hundreds of men were joining thousands who before them had crossed these same sandy training fields to prepare to go against ‘all enemies, foreign and domestic’ and every one of these soldiers, a volunteer. After all, those Americans are a peculiar people.

One time, not too long ago, there rose up among the American people, a politician (and they defined ‘politician’ with all the bad taste the culture had come to expect). The people elected this politician as President. He told some who would listen that Americans were not exceptional, not much different, if at all, than those in the rest of the world. He approached the enemies of the American people and sought to be their friends. He traveled to a nation in a faraway land where the dreams of democracy are not respected and people are not treated as they should, and this President got down to his knees and bowed in homage to a king who does not care for the citizens of America. This politician-President found no reason to respect the citizens who sacrifice by becoming soldiers or who place themselves in harm’s way for others in so many ways. His ‘first-lady’ declared that she had not found any reason to be proud of America. Both she and her politician husband refused to neither salute the flag of their country nor appreciate its anthem. Perhaps the people who voted for this politician-President thought he would make a difference, and many say he has, though not in a good way. But, most of America holds out hope and seeks to correct their mistake in a legal and bloodless way through the voting booth. And still, the volunteers step forth, ready to do whatever it takes to protect this land that they find so exceptional. After all, Americans are a peculiar people. 

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