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The Only Strategic Rationale for America’s Involvement in Syria Finally Revealed

Authored by Elias Samo via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


“Washington lacks a clear strategy in Syria “; those were the recent words of Robert Ford, the last American ambassador to Syria who served prior to and during the first few years of the Syrian uprising from 2010 to 2014. A man of Ford’s intricate knowledge of the Syrian/American political dynamic is surly knowledgeable enough to assess America’s policy towards Syria. He goes on to say, “It is hard to explain the fundamental American mission in Syria… Is it to fight Daesh? Or is it to help promote a Kurdish autonomous district in Northeastern Syria… Or is it to resist Iranian encouragement?” It is partially all three; however, oddly enough, Mr. Ford avoids the obvious top priority and strategic rationale for America’s involvement in Syria: The Protection of Israel.

To alleviate this dereliction by the executive branch for not presenting a clear strategy in Syria, as the former ambassador asserts, the Congress took it upon itself to identify American strategic interests in Syria and make recommendations to Trump. However, it is legitimate to ask: what do American congressmen know about Syria to qualify them to determine American strategic interests in the country? It is very unlikely for American congressmen to know much about Syria; they are dictated the Israeli narrative and that is all they need to know.

Irrespective of who or what motivated the congressmen to seek information to develop a framework for American strategic interests in Syria and eventually send a letter signed by nearly four hundred congressmen- roughly seventy five percent of the total number of congressmen from both chambers and both parties- to the president about their findings and their recommendations, the congressmen called upon United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to establish a Syria Study Group (SSG) to provide them information about Syria to comprehend the situation and formulate recommendations to Trump.

The SSG was established in February 2019 and gave its interim report to Congress May 1, 2019; the report consists of detailed seven single-spaced typewritten pages.

Subsequent to the SSG submitting of its interim report to Congress on May 1, the four hundred congressmen Letter was sent to the president on May 20. It would be natural to assume that the Letter is a condensed reflection of what the interim report contained and recommended; that was not the case. The elaborate and detailed interim report dealt with a multitude of issues centered around American national security. Ironically, the Letter to the President focused on the sources of threats to Israeli security: terrorism, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iran, Turkey and Russia. Just a note regarding the difference in emphasis in the two documents. In the seven – page single spaced interim report Israel is mentioned nine times, it is mentioned twenty one times in the two page Letter.

The first paragraph of the Letter states “[…] we recommend several specific steps to advance our regional security priorities, including assisting our ally, Israel, in defending itself in the face of growing threats, including on its northern border.” The reference to northern border is Syria and Lebanon. As for Syria, it is suffice to note that Israel occupied the Syrian Golan for fifty two years and annexed it recently with Trump’s blessings. Syria has not fired a shot at Israel in decades while Israel has fired hundreds of shots at Syria just recently; there are no Syrian boots on the ground in Israel, while there are Israeli boots on the ground in Syria. So much for the threat to Israel emanating from Syria. As for the Lebanese scenario, it is similar to that of Syria, albeit on a smaller scale, with one addition: Hezbollah which Israel views it a source of imminent threat. However, it is suffice to note that it is Israel which has been the source of violent onslaughts against Hezbollah. The Letter, in the succeeding paragraphs, elaborates further on the acquisition by Syria and Hezbollah of large and more threatening sophisticated weapons to threaten the security of the regional, nuclear super power: Israel. Need one point out the ridicule?

In the third paragraph, the Letter asserts: “While our nation has encouraged more stable and inclusive political systems in the Middle East, the regime in Tehran has spread its influence and destabilized its neighbors for its own gain.” To say this is an outrageous distortion of the truth would be an understatement. There is not a sane Iraqi, Syrian, Lybian, Yemeni and most Muslim Arabs who would vouch to such a distortion. In fact, internationally, the US and Israel are viewed as sources of threat to international peace and security; both have boots on foreign grounds but no foreign boots on their grounds.

Russia receives a jab at the fourth paragraph for its role “[…] to ensure the survival of the Assad regime.” It adds “Furthermore, in providing Damascus with advanced weapons like the S-300 anti-aircraft, Moscow is complicating Israel’s ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria.”

The last part of the Letter contains three recommendations which are interrelated and converge on the core of the Letter; the security of Israel:

  • Underscore Israel’s right to self-defense.
  • Increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria.
  • Increase pressure on Hezbollah.

Beyond any conceivable doubts, the Letter was dictated by Israelis or their advocates in Washington, signed and submitted by the 400 congressmen to Trump; the height of hypocrisy. What is dismaying is that hardly any voices of protests were raised in the American society at large or the political or intellectual segments about the fact that four hundred congressmen, who are elected by Americans to serve American interests, at a time when the US is bogged down in the Arab region, sign and submit a letter to the US President concerned almost exclusively with Israel Security.

These congressmen had an opportunity to make a coherent recommendation on US policy in the Arab region in the interest of American National Interest, but instead chose to make recommendations to safeguard the wellbeing and security of a foreign state: Israel.

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Michael R. RobertsdanielCornelius SulaHerbert DorseyZhu Garren Recent comment authors
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Pierre Vaillant
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Pierre Vaillant

Thank you, Mr. Samo, for this great post.
People on the right and left remain heavily and willfully blind to the fact that an ultra minority [and foreign] interest is in control of their country’s foreign policy in the ME.

Mondo Kosher
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Mondo Kosher

Amongst all the car flag waving on the 4th of July, I saw a guy driving around with an Israeli flag hanging out the window.

Actually, I didn’t….but it’d have been interesting to see how people would have reacted.

Zhu Garren
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Zhu Garren

Over the years many other Jewish leaders have affirmed Herzl’s outlook. Louis Brandeis, a US Supreme Court justice and a leading American Zionist, said: “Let us all recognize that we Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member.” / 5 Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Congress, told a rally in New York in June 1938: “I am not an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am a Jew … Hitler was right in one thing. He… Read more »

Herbert Dorsey
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Herbert Dorsey

The U.S. and allies have been trying to overthrow the Assad government of Syria since Assad vetoed an oil pipeline through Syria connecting Qutar and Saudi Arabia to Turkey and Europe in 2011. This pipeline would have been competing with Russian pipelines and Russia is an ally of Syria, which prompted Assad’s decision. The oil business often trumps all other considerations. For example, if Assad was overthrown would he be replaced by an Islamic extremist that would remove secular government in Syria and cause all religious minorities, including Christians, to come under attack? This is exactly what ISIS was doing.… Read more »

Michael R. Roberts
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Michael R. Roberts

The full text of the letter can be found here (https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=7EBD2B61-AA29-49AC-9991-53A53DA6A57F). Of the eleven democratic party presidential candidates serving in the House and Senate, only three did not sign: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard. Candidates Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Eric Swalwell signed the letter. Failure to sign does not indicate a proponent of US withdrawal from Syria (e.g., Nancy Pelosi did not sign). In view of Gabbard having a history in Congress of advocating US withdrawal from Syria and publicly pointing out that the US supported terrorist… Read more »

Cornelius Sula
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Cornelius Sula

Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren ARE ZIONISTS! Don’t let their pivot to the dovish side on Israel fool you!
Look up all the positions taken by Warren and Sanders before Trump came into play. They were all touting the bs propaganda of “Israel has a right to defend itself” in order to excuse Israeli apartheid policies and war crimes.
Take the move of the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The senate voted unanimously in favor of this [both dems and reps, including Sanders!]

Michael R. Roberts
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Michael R. Roberts

Tulsi Gabbard is also a zionist (see Herb Keinon, “Presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard loves Israel, just not the Gaza border,” JPost, January 13, 2019). All of the candidates are zionists (i.e., no candidate challenges the right of Israel to exist). The question is not whether they are zionists, but rather whether US foreign policy under each candidate’s administration will follow international law (as opposed to a “rules” based system which allows the US to do whatever it wants), and whether the candidate’s foreign policy will serve clearly defined US interests first. If the candidate follows international law, the US will… Read more »

daniel
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daniel

Israels security and well being was never at stake, only israels ability to expand is threatened. While Hezbollah and a stable syria exist, Israel cannot expand back into Lebanon, israel will be challenged on their hold of Gollan Heights, and Palestinian resistance will continue to gain support. If israel makes peace based on the 1967 borders, all Arab and islamic sides will accept thus ending the whole issue, but israel does not want a fair peace so they need to see the Arab who are not bought out and Iranians crushed to ensure no one can challenge their occupation of… Read more »

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