Posts Tagged ‘chemical weapons’

Trump’s Foreign Policy Act I: Kill a Chicken to Scare Monkeys

April 10, 2017 Leave a comment


Assad's Chemical Weapons-1

What happened in Syria is horrible, but it’s not unique. The world sat idly by when it happened in Syria before – as the bodies piled up in there. Why should this time be any different?

The bombs just flew, so we have politicians and journalists mounting their high horses and patting themselves on their backs for caring and others condemning the action as unlawful. Everyone falls in line behind whatever suits their political needs, and nothing changes.

The world likes to be seen denouncing monsters and their inhuman actions, but it doesn’t like actually doing anything essential about it. President Donald Trump’s “targeted” bombing of the airfield from which the latest chemical attack was launched might stop chemical weapons from being used for a while, but it won’t stop the slaughter in Syria. Does it make any difference to be killed by chemical weapons or by conventional ones?

It makes more sense to say that Trump’s airstrike was merely a politically motivated reaction rather than an act in a meaningful way on matters of the actions of monsters. The target of air strike was Syria & its sponsor terrorist states of IRI and Hezbollah (killing the “chickens”), but the message was intended for China & its client state, North Korea, and the Russia as well (scaring the “Monkeys”).

My hope is that the airstrike would be part of a long-term military strategy for a complete crack down on evil actors in Syria and the rest of the Middle East region including Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and in particular Iran, where the head of the snake (Mullahs) has nested.

President Donald Trump has signaled confidence in his ability to handle foreign policy, promising that the world would be in much better shape in his administration. I trust the new administration to stand firm on his resolution. [DID]

“To kill a chicken to scare monkeys” is a famous Chinese military strategy, and is often attributed to one of the greatest military strategists who ever lived, Sun Tzu, author of the famous treatise, The Art of War. This particular strategy is designed to send a message (often a warning) to powerful enemies by attacking a smaller, weaker power first.  I don’t know if Trump, the author of The Art of The Deal, ever read The Art of War, but his surprising air strike on Syria on April 6th, 2017, clearly achieved a similar effect to this ancient strategy.

Many political pundits worried that the air strike is a prelude to the U.S. deepening its involvement in the war with the Assad regime. I think they miss the point. If Trump’s intention is to go to war with Assad, he could have waited until Chinese president Xi left Mar-a-Lago.  Instead, he chose to strike Assad on the eve of the much hyped summit with Xi. The timing of the strike didn’t seem like a coincidence. Read more…


U.S. Risks War through its Own Indecision

May 5, 2014 2 comments


In the Philippines this week, President Obama took a cheap shot at critics of his foreign policy.

“Why is it,” the president pondered at a news conference, “that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget?”

But who is banging the shield, demanding war? Critics of the president’s foreign policy have ranged from human rights activists on the political left to congressional Republicans on the right. Read more…

U.S. Foreign Policy: In Troubling Disarray

April 25, 2014 Leave a comment





U.S. foreign policy is in troubling disarray. The result is unwelcome news for the world, which largely depends upon the United States to promote order in the absence of any other country able and willing to do so. And it is bad for the United States, which cannot insulate itself from developments beyond its borders.

If success has many fathers, it turns out that so, too, does disarray. The Administration of George W. Bush overreached in Iraq and (along with the Federal Reserve Board and Congress) under-regulated the financial sector in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Congress should also be held accountable for the sequester Read more…

Is The Red Line Back?

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment


A report alleges that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons again. Does the Obama Administration care that its threats and warnings mean so little in this ever-more chaotic world?

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) is reporting this morning a deadly government aerial attack using poison gas against rebel forces near Harasta, a far suburb northeast of Damascus, at a place (I never heard of) called the A-Kou’ front.  Here is the essence:

The Syrian regime used a missile loaded with poisonous substances that we couldn’t identify its type. However, we verified the killing of 7 people in addition to 30 people wounded at least; all of them were rebels. Dr. Hazem, head of the medical center in Harasta and the supervisor of the injured cases, offered us his testimony: Read more…

President Obama’s Empty Boast on Syria

December 26, 2013 Leave a comment

As of this moment more than 150,000 Syrians have been killed, Assad is still in power and killing more people every day by dropping

Mr. President: You who feel no pain at the suffering of others,  It is not fitting for you to be called human

Mr. President: You who feel no pain at the suffering of others, It is not fitting for you to be called human

barrel bombs over their heads, 9 million Syrians have been homeless and displaced within and outside the Syria’s borders. Syrian refugees are residing in a deplorable living condition across the borders. While Obama boasts to his appeasing foreign policy, his dogma in Syria has led to inconceivable growth in number of the Islamists and Al-Qaeda in the country, which has boosted the security threat not only in the region but around the globe. Obama cannot be called as an honorable man because an honorable person stands and fight for what is right, he not only did not stand against the intervention of the Iranian Mullahs’ terrorists in Syria (which would be the right thing to do), on the contrary he helped them out financially by lifting some of their sanctions so that they can continue helping Assad slaughtering the Syrian people. The end result has been the accumulations of Islamists, Al-Qaeda groups, and the Mullahs’ terrorists in Syria and neighboring countries, enough apocalyptic power to turn the whole Middle East upside down. [DID]

IT WAS astonishing to hear President Obama, in the preamble to his end-of-year news conference last week, cite Syria as one of his foreign policy successes.

“[J]ust as we’re strengthening our position here at home, we’re also standing up for our interests around the world,” Mr. Obama said. “This year we’ve demonstrated that with clear-eyed, principled diplomacy, we can pursue new paths to a world that’s more secure, a future where Iran does not build a nuclear weapon, a future where Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are destroyed.”

Unfortunately, the White House press corps was not as struck by this boast as were we, and there were no follow-up questions. Here’s what we would have asked: Read more…

Iran and the Syria Model

October 3, 2013 Leave a comment

From the Syria debacle, Iran has learned that our threats are empty and posturing as a “moderate” works. Iran and Syria model

When — not if — is the only mystery about an Iranian nuclear bomb.

All the warning signs are there.

‘Game Changers’

In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama on two occasions went out of his way to warn the Iranians that the development of a nuclear weapon “would be a game-changing situation, not just in the Middle East, but around the world.” Obama later added, “It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; it would be a game changer.”

Strong language. And Obama twice this year again used “game changer” in reference to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, warning him not to dare use chemical weapons. Read more…

Obama’s Iran Problem

September 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Is President Obama pursuing a foolish policy aimed at appeasing Iran? Or is his outreach a sensible move that signals he is moving, as John B. Judis, puts it in obama_standing_pd_92513the New Republic, towards realpolitik?

Not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal is scoffing at Obama’s speech at the United Nations yesterday. Obama sounded a cautious note: “The roadblocks may prove to be too great but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested.”  But the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s refusal to meet with Obama at the U.N. General Assembly meeting  sent the  Journal into transports of rage. It was nothing less than “an expression of lordly contempt for what Iranian leaders consider to be an overager suitor from an unworthy nation.” At the same time, opposition to Obama’s more concessive tack is also manifesting itself on Capitol Hill, where Senator Marco Rubio headed a group of Republican legislators Read more…

US Foreign Policy Off-Balance

September 26, 2013 Leave a comment

The defining feature of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been the so-called ‘pivot’: his attempt to rebalance US resources and focus from the Middle East to the208513 Asia Pacific. However, the gyrations in America’s diplomacy over Syria in recent months risk undermining the administration’s strategy. 

Questions about America’s willingness to carry the burdens of deterrence in one region will inevitably affect the other. President Obama’s prevarications over how to respond to the 21 August chemical attack in Damascus have given cause for some to doubt the clarity of his red line against the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran. If doubts grow among US allies in Asia about America’s willingness to project military force, the United States could see its influence undermined in both regions. Read more…

Good time for Mullah Hassan to sell US an Empty Deal

September 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Mullah Hassan, a Britain protege and a great con man who can even make the IRI monster appear fascinating.

Rumor has it that big things are going to happen between the United States and Iran next week at the United Nations General Assembly. img-rouhaniirgcspeech091613_094654558040.jpg_item_large

But I have a little confession: Something is gnawing away on the periphery of my diplomatic euphoria. I’m a little worried about the Syria precedent. What’s that, you ask? Isn’t that last week’s problem? So…I dunno…August? It’s true, we have a deal with the Russians. The Syrians are going to cough up a comprehensive list of their chemical weapons this weeksoonish. It’s true, Assad signed the Chemical Weapons Convention. And he is a man who, once an international obligation is made, really sticks to it. I mean, look at how strictly Syria has adhered to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (What were the Israelis doing there in 2007 anyway?) Read more…

Kerry Just Took the Teeth Out of the Syria Deal

September 18, 2013 8 comments

This afternoon (Sept 17) in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United Nations, not the United States, would be enforcing the terms of the Syria chemical weapons deal agreed to this 08012013_Kerry_Israel_Palestine_articleweekend.

Kerry said that the United States, France and Great Britain “will not tolerate avoidance or anything less than full compliance.” Kerry, while visiting Israel this past weekend, also said that the “the threat of force is real” if Syria does not comply with the terms of the deal.

But by giving enforcement power to the United Nations, Kerry has essentially invalidated any threats of force by the United States. This is for a very simple reason: any use of force authorized by the United Nations needs Russia’s approval. And events in recent weeks show that Vladimir Putin is not likely to budge from his position that military forced should not be used. Read more…

Obama Falls Right Into Putin’s Trap

September 14, 2013 Leave a comment

President Vladimir Putin loves to set traps for U.S. President Barack Obama. The only thing Putin loves even more is when Obama falls smack into one.obama falls right into putin's trap

Trap No. 1. Putin set his latest trap Monday with a seemingly attractive proposal to have international monitors identify and destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad’s vast stockpile of chemical weapons.

If Obama falls for this one, he and international monitors will be jumping through hoops for years — first, trying to agree on acceptable language for the United Nations Security Council resolution, and then trying to find the dozens of suspected chemical weapons sites that Assad is hiding or constantly moving around the country. What’s more, amid Syria’s fierce civil war, inspectors will be constantly dodging bullets as they search for Assad’s sites.

Without a foreign military intervention, Assad will never fully give up his chemical weapons. After all, they are his main trump card against the rebels and nuclear-armed Israel. Read more…

Obama Is Lost in the Mideast Bazaar

September 14, 2013 Leave a comment

There is a trick in the great labyrinthine bazaars of the Middle East: petty hucksters luring the vacationing franjis into the market maze and then getting paid to lead them out. As dusk looms, the 090513opiniong20_512x288unnerved outsider is always glad to be steered to familiar surroundings. In the matter of Syria, and America’s staggeringly inept diplomacy, Vladimir Putin is the clever trickster who has seized upon an unsuspecting prey. The Russian strongman now proposes a way out for an American leader desperately searching for deliverance.

For the full length of this relentless Syrian rebellion, the Russian autocracy aided and abetted the Syrian dictatorship, a Mafia regime made in the Kremlin’s own image. Moscow granted Bashar Assad diplomatic cover at the United Nations, and kept him supplied with the military hardware that enabled him to wage a cruel war against a determined rebellion. Read more…