Remember back three years ago, almost to the day, during the final 2012 presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida when moderator Bob Schieffer asked the question about the greatest geopolitical threat. Gov. Mitt Romney replied it was Russia and carefully explained why. Barack Obama in true Saul Alinsky fashion ridiculed Romney by stating, “Governor, the 80s are calling they want their foreign policy back.” Romney was further assaulted and ridiculed by the liberal progressive media the following day.
Well, now that Vladimir Putin has taken over the Crimea, attacked a sovereign state (Ukraine), and is reestablishing its military presence in the Arctic — who should be ridiculed? Actually, who now looks completely incompetent and weak?
To think a Russian three-star general delivered a message to the U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad Iraq — yep, a senior Russian general is in Iraq — to cease flight operations in Syria. One hour later the Russians began bombing in Syria — but not ISIS positions. They bombed the city of Homs where Syrian rebels fighting against Bashar Assad are based. And here was the response from the Obama administration. White House spokesperson Josh “Not So” Earnest said the Russians were operating from a position of weakness.
Dude, when a general tells our ambassador to “bug off,” that’s not what I call a weak statement…and how did that Russian general get to Baghdad in he first place? U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter held a press conference and spent more time talking about the defense budget and women in combat units. Now what message does that send to Vladimir Putin when our own SecDef does everything to evade the issue?
As reported by Fox News, “Russian warplanes began bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war-torn nation’s north Wednesday, following a terse meeting at which a Russian general asked Pentagon officials to clear out of Syrian air space and was rebuffed. A U.S. official said Russian airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a “couple” of Russian bombers.
The strikes hit targets in Homs and Hama, but there is no presence of ISIS in those areas, a senior U.S. defense official said. These planes are hitting areas where Free Syrian Army and other anti-Assad groups are located, the official said. Activists and a rebel commander on the ground said the Russian airstrikes have mostly hit moderate rebel positions and civilians. In a video released by the U.S.-backed rebel group Tajamu Alezzah, jets are seen hitting a building claimed to be a location of the group in the town of Latamna in the central Hama province.
The group commander Jameel al-Saleh told a local Syrian news website that the group’s location was hit by Russian jets but didn’t specify the damage. According to a U.S. senior official, Presidents Obama and Putin agreed on a process to “deconflict” military operations. The Russians on Wednesday “bypassed that process,” the official said.”
I want you all to consider what “deconflict” military operations means. What we are talking about is control of airspace, and perhaps in the future ground battlespace. Right now all over Syria, you have Russian, American, Turkish, and on occasion, Israeli aircraft flying. Who are the entities responsible for coordinating the airspace control measures – the routes and altitude — as well as areas of operation and strike zones? As a former artilleryman and fire support officer, coordinating air and ground battlespace is not a joke.
Having to do it between four different nations is inviting something very bad to happen — which the Russian Foreign Minister termed “unintended incidents.” Russian President Putin ran the ruse of a coalition to defeat ISIS but his true intent is to support Bashar Assad. And this is where Putin differs so very much from Obama. He knows he can utilize “boots on the ground” comprised of Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Iranian Quds Force formations.
Of course the liberal progressive left will drink the kool-aid of the “Obama has Putin right where he wants him” mentality. But here is Putin’s power play: he has allied with the Iranians who will now become a regional economic, military, and soon nuclear power in the Middle East. Russia has decided it will side with the Shiite hegemony which will force the Sunni hand – they’re not just going to sit back and watch this Greek tragedy unfold.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are seriously concerned with these developments. Turkey and Qatar will continue to provide their covert support to Sunni Islamists groups, namely ISIS. However, the dominant non-Middle Eastern entity is now becoming Russia. Folks, say what you will, but there is a global conflagration forming — yes, a World War. That is not fear mongering. That is the truth. Evil looks for voids to fill, Obama has given it a very big one. And that is his legacy, and will be the main exhibit in his presidential library.
The dismissive ridicule of three years ago has given rise to the enemy. When someone as skilled in the art of psychological warfare as Vladimir Putin knows his global opponent is indecisive and bases his existence on soaring rhetoric, he knows he has the high ground. The question now becomes, are our troops in Iraq capable enough to protect themselves or has Obama placed them in an untenable position? We do not need them trying to fight their way out like the Greek mercenaries led by Xenophon had to do. And understand this, the Russians have deployed surface to air missile defense systems — for what? Neither the Syrian rebels nor ISIS has an air force. But we do.
“In a development first reported by Fox News, the U.S. Embassy brushed aside an official request, or “demarche,” from Russia to clear air space over northern Syria, where Moscow said it intended to conduct airstrikes against ISIS on behalf of Assad, according to sources who spoke to Fox News. The request was made in a heated discussion between a Russian three-star general and U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Baghdad, sources said.
“If you have forces in the area we request they leave,” said the general, who used the word “please” in the contentious encounter. A senior Pentagon official said the U.S., which also has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS, but does not support Assad, said the request was not honored. “We still conducted our normal strike operations in Syria today,” the official said. “We did not and have not changed our operations.”
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters the Russian airstrikes won’t change the strategy of the U.S.-led coalition. “The U.S.-led coalition will continue to fly missions over Iraq and Syria as planned and in support of our international mission to degrade and destroy ISIL,” Kirby told reporters, while acknowledging the meeting at the American embassy in Baghdad.”
The issue becomes a simple one. Syria is a sovereign country. If Syria invokes its sovereignty and declares its airspace is not open to any country not coordinating with it — meaning the Russians — we have a problem. Furthermore, with the void left by Obama’s strategic blunder to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq, we now have Iranian Army leadership and Russian advisors in Baghdad. What if the Iraqi leadership, which is completely subservient to Tehran, demands the Americans leave? And since Obama has done such a good job not supporting the Kurds, guess in what position they now find themselves?
I wonder how much coverage of this is occurring on the liberal progressive media outlets? I’d bet the focus is on Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood. But ask yourself, should the $565 billion in taxpayer funds go to a private sector not-for-profit organization that is turning a $1 billion profit, or should it go to our military to keep America from reducing its active duty Army by 40,000 Soldiers? Something tells me we need those 40,000 troops more than we need to be killing babies and harvesting their body parts.
And that is why Vladimir Putin is in Syria bombing targets, because he knows Barack Obama would rather shut down the federal government to kill American babies rather than the enemy.