Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is a Syrian Moderate Rebel?

Are you for real? You mean to tell me there is no definition in the resolution that specifies what exactly comprises a Moderate Syrian Rebel. Not surprising and it only goes to prove the USA has no clue what it is doing so much as throwing money at a problem and hope it goes away.

To begin, there is no such thing as a Moderate Syrian Rebel. A rebel is a rebel and that is all that is necessary. This is not an election of rebels.

This is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (click here). She is from the 46th District in California. Her committee assignments are interesting.

House Armed Services Committee
  • Ranking Member, Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee
  • Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Committee on Homeland Security
  • Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security
  • Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
She was at the House Armed Services Committee meeting today when Secretary Hagel was speaking. Along side of Secretary Hagel was LTG. Maysville. I have to say that General Maysville did have a conceptual model and idea of what was to come for the Syrian Rebel force.

But, Congresswoman Sanchez was unafraid and not a bit inhibited to verbalize her understanding of what exactly a moderate Syrian rebel would look like.

According to Rep. Sanchez this is exactly what the moderate rebels in Syria looks like. The Congresswoman has a district where Syrians live. They have spoken with her because to them the idea of a moderate rebel was IS/IS/L. It was the moderates in Syria that formed the most deadly force in Syria.

The committee hearing was interesting but also broken. Two members were interested in only campaign ads and it showed. There was no doubt Secretary Hagel is a Republican and threw the occasional bone to the ad seeking Congressman. But, that aside, the questions mostly were answer by the Secretary when in fact it was the General that needed to respond. He had an opportunity to speak twice, one time at the insistence of the Secretary.

While the Congress has no clue as to what a moderate Syrian rebel looks like and how all that money will develop a fighting force, the General had a better understanding. He stated there would be a vetting process and then the candidate for soldier would be assigned to a unit to learn to be a soldier. It was from there they would be a unit and ultimately a unit serving a leader of a new nation. 

I have confidence the USA military is sincere in developing a fighting force that will remove IS/IS/L from Syria. It will not happen overnight. And according to the General not everything will go perfectly and not ever vetted soldier will be what they hope for, but, he was confident it would go well.

I don't know what role the General played in Iraq or maybe didn't at all, but, when the entire country of the USA had confidence in the strategy to train and equip an Iraqi forces so the USA had at least increment of success, it failed. Today more than half of the Iraqi forces trained by the USA are a failed element in Iraq and questionably loyal.

If General Maysville is an example of the military we have among our enlisted and officers, I want something from him. He needs to tell his Secretary of Defense exactly what is transpiring in this effort and if it is failing, that has to be on record. I would really appreciate that.

This is not an autonomous bill, it is an authorization for the President for the next 90 days.

September 18, 2014
By Arlette Saenz
The Senate (click here) passed a stop gap funding measure tonight, which includes authorization for President Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian moderates in the fight against ISIS.
The Senate voted 78-22 on the continuing resolution, which will fund the government and authorizes Title X until December 11.
Many Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the continuing resolution, making this a rare bipartisan showing in the Senate....
President Obama has the idea that this is going to work. Our Air Force has made it possible to end the occupation of Iraq by IS/IS/L and that is what is primarily reflected in this authorization. This does not include any movement of the USA into Syria.
The USA has attempted for 8 years, 8 months, 3 weeks and 5 days to train and equip Iraqi forces to protect the sovereignty of their land and they didn't have the leadership or preparedness to sustain a fight against a terrible rebel force out of Syria. There is nothing that tells me there is going to be a difference in training Syrian rebels.

Saudi Arabia is the only truly successful country in the Middle East to grow a military and contain radical elements in their society without the presence of the USA anywhere in the region. Saudi Arabia can stand on it's own and has a proven track record.

The Saudi forces weren't grown up over night. The stability of that country is due to a long standing government and a steadfast military. Syria is so broken the able bodied that can be soldiers are very divided to their loyalties. I don't see the fall of IS/IS/L without a strong central government and a military to insure complete dissolution of it's loyalists. That is not at all the picture of Syria in the near future.

The USA is completely out of it's element in the Middle East and always takes the Israeli position as a default setting. That is not correct. It is because of the USA's inability to establish a sincere understanding of the Middle East outside of Israel that it fails to have a cohesive policy.

No one wants to admit the anti-Assad policy of the USA is completely wrong, but, it is. Assad and his family have ruled in Syria for a long time. He knows the country and it's people and his Shea minority ethnic identity maintained itself as the leader of that country all these many years.

Assad was accepted as a leader in the Middle East by most Arab countries and they did not complain about him. Israel complained about him. 

The best use of the money being spent over the next 90 days is for the USA Air Force to continue to run sorties for the Iraqi fighting forces including the Kurds. As far as training Syrian rebels, that needs to be left up to advisers in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis don't want this instability and will sort through the ability of rebels to best serve the new militia to end the presence of IS/IS/L. The Saudis will be loyal leaders to the effort and be sure all those that join as individuals will finish their training loyal to their unit and to a political leadership. If there is no political leadership that can provide an effective sovereign presence in Syria the United Nations Resolution in forming a power sharing government will fail.

The untouchable.

Chris Christie blasts bridge scandal committee, says to wrap it up. (click here)

I told you so. The New Jersey Democrats are going to be eating crow until the end of his term. He just is not that guy.

Chris Christi took the long road to political success. He served at the local level and then became a US Attorney and then figured he was ready for the big time. He is not the man that is in politics for what he can get out of it. Chris Christi is in office for governing. There is a huge difference in character and HISTORY when a person wants something out of the office he or she aspires to and he ain't that guy. 

You know what this does? He knows. It makes him and his policies bullet proof.

Never, ever turn on a man with high esteem for the public. Chris wanted to change the way government did things in NJ and he did. You have to read the signs along the way. 

I don't necessarily like some of his policies and he does have issues on a national stage, but, nothing he won't over come. He is a challenger for every office he seeks. Everyone better watch out, the Chris Christi railroad is coming to a town near you.

Leading toward peace...

...I never thought I'd see the day when US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (click here) and I saw so much in the same vision of the USA. I can honestly say I am proud of his thoughtful consideration of the foreign policy issues we face today and he is closer to President Obama's strategy than I ever realized a conservative could be.

US Rep. Rohrabacher was on C-Span 3 today. It is amazing he has grasped the heart of the issues in our foreign policy set down by President Obama and articulated it so well. I appreciate it.

I would like to address some of his words. No negativity intended, but, simply the way I see the world. (In my words, not his.)

President Assad is not the enemy and Syria is no threat to the USA. I could not agree more. What has resulted in Syria is the rise of a radical faction into a power dimension and it is the enemy of all of us. I was more than relieved to hear the words of that while Syria's governance is not pleasing it is no threat to the USA and to that end we have no grievance, except, as with any other country that is primarily a dictatorship and guilty of human rights abuses. China, by the way, falls into the category of human rights abuses and we continue to be it's largest customer.

One other dimension to the rise of IS/IS/L is the fact it has occurred in a civil war now three years on. BUT, the distribution of weapons into Syria headed by Senator John McCain is only one year ago. If any circumstances point in the direction of IS/IS/L and it's rise to power it is the distribution of weapons to so called Syrian rebels. I think the USA needs to take a great deal of caution in distributing weapons to any rebel forces. 

Once upon a time, it was the scandalous methodology of the USA CIA to cause such instability in nations we did not see as friends, but, mostly enemies. That methodology of arming rebels has to stop. It is too wide spread globally and creates deaths and not necessarily a governance the USA would appreciate. I also don't like the idea that once a country is unstable the USA then sends in our troops to attempt nation building. It is out of the question anymore. The world's population is growing, hence it's resources growing ever smaller, the land masses more challenged to provide for citizens and we cannot introduce instability on to lands that are dearly needed to solve the problems of people.

US Rep. Rohrabacher also addressed the Ukraine. I would like to bring forward some events that he may not have considered before.

18 September 2014
In an address to a joint session of Congress, (click here) he said ill-equipped young Ukrainian servicemen were fighting a "war for the free world" against Russian aggression.
US President Barack Obama has condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine.
But he has said that military support will only include non-lethal equipment.
Mr Poroshenko told the joint session of Congress in Washington that Ukrainian government forces needed more equipment - both lethal and non-lethal.
"Blankets, night-vision goggles are important, but one cannot win the war with blankets."
His impassioned plea for US support brought applause and several standing ovations....
Rep. Rohrabacher stated President Poroshenko was elected after Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power after a ligitimate election. He stated he thinks the USA got caught up in Europe's design engineering of the present circumstances. (Again my words not his.) He believed the people of Ukraine should be respected and governed best at the local level allowing east and west to find their choices.

I would like to remind US Rep. Rohrabacher of a few facts.

The Ukraine people took great pains in writing a constitution that reflected the wishes of the people in it's majority as it existed 2004 which included Crimea. That constitution was trashed by the administration of Viktor Yanukovych and was replaced with one that would ultimately deny any relationship with Europe by Ukraine. The new constitution under Yanukovych also took away many, many rights from the 2004 constitution. 

Previous to 2004 were The Budapest Memorandums. These were the agreements between Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Britain, the USA and Russia. The treaty incorporated in that memorandum was Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. It specifically called for retention of the current borders of Ukraine and its sovereign right to peace within those borders without aggression of any kind, including the use of the nuclear material removed under the memorandum to NEVER be turned on Ukraine. 

Then there were the problems in the Maidan. I don't want to hear how the people primarily responsible for the disturbance were NeoNazis. They were Ukrainians and had been demonstrating peacefully up to the point where rifles were turned on the crowd. I REMIND, Viktor Yanykovych was still in power. The peaceful gathering was more than one day old. The people involved in that gathering had been complaining about the removal of the 2004 Constitution while their once Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko sat in a Russia prison on completely false charges. Not only that but Former Prime Minister Tymoshenko was falling into ill health while in that prison. If it weren't for her family being vigilant she may even have been dead by now.

What followed was a travesty to any major agreement between the NATO nations and Russia. A complete travesty. 

Viktor Yanukovych ABANDONED his Prime Ministership and ran off to Russia. He not only abandoned Ukraine because he was scared of being arrested for murders that he may have supervised or given permission or one of his personal militias carried out, but, he alerted his militias THROUGHOUT Ukraine and the first of them took the airport as a staging area in the Crimea.

Viktor Yanukovych had completely removed the power of the national military and replaced it with his personal militias staged throughout the country in order to carry out violence against the citizens of Ukraine at his whim. If it weren't for the determination of Ukrainians to have their democracy back and intact the rest of the world would never know the terror these people lived with.

It isn't as though the government replacing Yanukovych was a dictatorship. There were elections set for May 2014 and were observed by UN observers. Crimea's elections previous to those of Ukraine were not legitimate according to UN observers. Besides that, the memoradum guaranteed Ukraine to keep it's borders intact with Crimea and as soon as Yanukovych abandoned the country Russia did a complete 180 and through it's Duma annexed Crimea. Even today Russia is claiming eastern Ukraine is lined with Russian speaking people that belong to Russia. Russia completely abandoned the Memorandum and any treated noted within that legal document.

What put the frosting on the cake was the fact Yanukovych was accepting huge sums of money from Russia for his personal comfort. When Yanukovych abandoned Ukraine they got their first look at the opulence of their Presidential grounds. It was a real eye opener. With Yanukovych receiving such riches from Russia it was obvious where his loyalties lie and Ukraine would be trapped and without recourse to pursue their longing to be conducting economic interests with Europe. They wanted little else except their freedom as they longed for it under the 2004 constitution, the return of a Former Prime Minister to her homeland and family and the right to conduct economic venture with Europe. The people's demands were completely benign of any aggression and I might add, completely innocent of hatred of Russia.

President Poroshenko came to the USA seeking help with his country. He has come to the USA to secure this people away from a tyranny which has haunted them for generations. They want to have their own country and be able to protect it's borders and carry out economics with any country that is interested in them and practice freedom as they wrote it in 2004. That is NOT unreasonable. 

"...the ones of the community that came back got it out of their system."

I learned about this last night while it was breaking news on the Sydney Morning Herald site. The reason I didn't want to post it is because I was scared for the Muslim community around the world. I think every country needs to instill confidence in their Homeland Security before this becomes a exploited issues politically. 

Australia might be safer (click here for video) if the authorities let would-be ISIL fighters go to Iraq and Syria instead of keeping them here, according to terrorism expert Professor Clive Williams.

The knowledge of a potential terrorist attack in Sydney came when the authorities gather surveillance through a phone conversation.

One of the men (click here) arrested in this morning's anti-terrorism raids in Sydney has appeared in court on a charge of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act.
Prosecutors allege that he was part of a plan to commit an act to "shock, horrify and terrify" the community. He was refused bail.

Isolated incident.

A Christian school (click here) in Sydney's west has reported death threats aimed at Christians this week. 
The principal of the Maronite College of the Holy Family in Harris Park told police that men made the threats from a car outside the school about 2pm on Tuesday. 
Sister Margaret Ghosn said the threats were general and then directed towards a staff member of the school.

Price of Life

According to the Times, (click here) some of the young Britons who travelled to Syria to join the fight against President Assad's forces have been left "despondent" that they have instead become embroiled in battles between rival rebel groups. The paper says one man contacted London's International Centre for Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence and "effectively sought amnesty, saying that the group feared long prison terms but would be willing to enrol on a deradicalisation programme and submit to surveillance".
Anthropologist Scott Atran writes in the Guardian about the lure of jihad as an "egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer: fraternal, fast-breaking, glorious and cool" to Western volunteers he describes as "mostly youth in transitional stages in their lives - immigrants, students, between jobs or girlfriends". He adds: "They are self-seekers who have found their way to jihad in myriad ways: through barbecues or on the web; because they were perhaps uncomfortable with binge-drinking or casual sex; or because their parents were humiliated by form-checking bureaucrats or their sisters insulted for wearing a headscarf."
There are differences in culture and government between Australia and the USA and Great Britain. Those differences are realized when issues like this manifest themselves.

I think a realistic 'profile' should be impressed by the government as well as the cooperation of the Muslim communities within the country. 

When it comes to the 'Right to Possess Guns," I might add, the gun community is in complete agreement with the USA population that guns should not get in the wrong hands. This redefines the issues of guns in the USA and how the country addresses it. I think the gun community needs to realize, mass shootings in the USA happen. If the USA is to provide for personal guns within it's society it also has to handle Homeland Security in a way that protects all people. This is a challenge for the USA and it is complicated by the huge number of guns in the country while balancing the right to own. Homeland Security has to work for everyone, not simply gun owners.