By Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge
At this point, it’s abundantly clear that the US is on the wrong side in the Mid-East.
Washington has always resorted to covert operations and support for unsavory characters on the way to bringing about regime change in countries whose governments aren’t deemed conducive to American interests. That’s nothing new.
Usually, however, there’s at least a semi-plausible argument to be made for why Washington feels the need to support one side over the other.
In Syria, there’s no such argument.
The idea that the Russians and Iranians represent a bigger to the world than ISIS doesn’t even make sense to the most clueless members of the American electorate and indeed, the very idea Putin that is more dangerous than Baghdadi isn’t consistent with Washington’s contention that Islamic State represents the greatest threat to mankind since the Reich. Furthermore, more and more Westerners are starting to understand that the Saudis and their brand of puritanical Islam are really no different from ISIS - the only real distinction between the two is in how many barrels of oil they pump each day. The implication of that rather sobering assessment is that perhaps Washington should be supporting Tehran rather than Riyadh when it comes to picking a Mid-East power broker ally.
And then there’s Turkey, where NATO stood aside and watched as Erdogan started a civil war in order to nullify a democratic election outcome. Now, he’s shooting down Russian planes and trafficking ISIS crude.
In short: this makes absolutely no sense. The US should be aligned with Russia and Iran in Syria, not with Turkey, not with Saudi Arabia, not with Qatar (all of whom fund Sunni extremism) and most certainly not with the FSA, al-Nusra, and/or ISIS.
Well, thankfully, US lawmakers are beginning to wake up to what’s going on as evidenced by Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign to stop what she calls the “illegal war” against Assad. In the latest example of lawmaker revolt against Washington’s Syria strategy, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats recently issued a statement on everything the US is doing wrong. It’s presented below without further comment.
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Rohrabacher Statement on Turkey’s Clash with Russia
WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, on Saturday issued the following statement concerning Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet fighter on the Turkey-Syria border:
It is imperative that American decision-makers admit to themselves and begin basing their decisions on the hard fact that Islamic terrorism poses the primary threat to our safety and the peace of the world.
Our president seems incapable of uttering the phrase Islamic terrorism, much less of overseeing a policy that will defeat this evil. His incoherence is ever more evident as events in Syria unfold.
Not radical Islam, but the Russians have been portrayed to us as the villains in this chapter of history. Yet our government demonstrates a lack of will, incompetence, or both, in confronting the most monstrous of the radical Islamic marauders now spilling vast quantities of innocent blood in the Middle East -- as well as in Africa and France.
When Russia courageously stepped into the breach we should have been applauding its willingness to confront ISIS. Instead, we continue to denigrate Russians as if they were still the Soviet Union and Putin, not Islamic terrorists, our most vicious enemy.
So now we see the travesty of a harsh condemnation of the Russians for introducing air strikes against terrorists who will murder Americans if they get the chance.
Yes, Russia does this to protect Syria’s authoritarian Assad regime, which has close ties to Moscow. So what?
Assad, like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, is no threat to the United States or the Western world. If Assad is forced out of power he will eventually be replaced by an Islamic terrorist committed to raining down mayhem on Western countries.
Today we witness the spectacle of American decision- makers, in and out of the Obama administration, joining forces with a Turkish regime that grows more supportive of the radical Islamist movement. There is ample evidence of President Erdogan’s complicity in ISIS’s murderous rampage through Syria and Iraq.
Yet, we hold our public rebukes for the Russians, who are battling those terrorists. A Russian plane on an anti-terrorist mission did violate Turkish airspace, just as Turkish planes have strayed into Greek airspace hundreds of times over the last year. This overflight was no threat to Turkey. Still, it was shot down, as was a Russian helicopter on the way to rescue the downed Russian pilot.
Why do Americans feel compelled to kick Russia in the teeth? Russia’s military is attacking an enemy that would do us harm. Why ignore the hostile pro-terrorist maneuvering of Turkish strongman Erdogan?
President Obama is wrong. American politicians who try to sound tough at Russia’s expense in this case are not watching out for the long-term interests of the United States by undermining those fighting our primary enemy, Islamic terrorists.
Russia should be applauded. Instead, it is being castigated for doing what our government is unwilling to do to confront the terrorist offensive now butchering innocent human beings from Africa, to the Middle East, to the streets of Paris.
If being in NATO means protecting Erdogan in this situation, either he shouldn’t be in NATO or we shouldn’t.