For years, the Syrian state has been involved in conflict or what the media would refer to as a “civil war”. It was not too long ago that the now tarnished leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, was an up and coming prospect for Middle Eastern leadership. Being exposed to western values while attending school in London and marrying Asma al-Assad British national, Assad seemed for some to be a responsible leader who was emerging as a potential star in the war-ravaged region of the Middle East.
However, over the years Assad would begin to increase his ties and allegiance to Russia. It was at this point that the Syrian leader and his country quickly began to be viewed by western powers as a potential stumbling block to the western alliance interests in the Middle East. Shortly after the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, protest began breaking out across the Middle East and the Syrian state found itself at the epicenter of an emerging revolution. Now, many people will say that the Arab Spring was a spontaneous movement lead and inspired by the people of the Middle East to overthrow dictatorial regimes in the region, but many feel this movement was encouraged by the west to topple leaders and transform the Middle East.
During this time in Syria opposition forces began sprouting up across the country and the U.S. was forced to make a call as to who we would support – Assad or the people of Syria vis-à-vis opposition forces. Republicans in Congress at the time pressed President Obama to move quickly and decisively on removing Assad from power. However, President Obama was not prepared to enter another war after only months earlier winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The President was also concerned about ISIS fighters who had been entering Syria in large numbers. No one in the intelligence community could definitively say which opposition forces were supportive of ISIS and which were not. This was one of those crazy situations where ISIS and the U.S. found themselves in opposition to the same regime. The U.S. was against Assad for his brutal treatment of his people, but most of all, for his alliance with Russia. And ISIS was against Assad because they viewed him as a western educated leader of the Alawite sect who aligned with Shiite fighters against other Sunnis in the region. So…part of this conflict is a confusing religious war between two different Islamic sects (see image below) and the other part of this conflict is what we refer to as a “proxy war” mainly between Russia and the U.S.
What many don’t understand – like Trump supporters who say we should have better relations with Russia – is that we have in fact been engaged in “cold war 2.0” with Russia over the past few years. So let me explain…. A cold war is essentially when two countries battle each other except not with weapons. Instead they battle each other by supporting other groups or governments. This is what is referred to as a proxy war – meaning someone else is doing the fighting for you. Example: during the Vietnam most people think we were fighting the Viet Cong. Well we were physically, but we were also fighting the Russians who were supplying the Viet Cong with weapons and support.
This is what people need to understand. We have been engaged in a proxy war against Russia and Iran for several years now in Syria. These unwitting victims (the Syrian people) just happen to be the collateral damage of two super powers battling each other in unconventional ways. And it’s not just in Syria. This Russian vs. U.S. chess playing has been happening everywhere i.e. Obama’s Asian pivot (checking China and Russian in Southeast Asia) and Russia’s Crimea annexation (checking western power in the Black Sea). Yes, while many of us have been entertaining ourselves with reality TV, in the reality of the real word a cold war has been ensuing under our noises.
With all that said, this is why the Trump Russian connection infuriates me!! For those in the know, the Russian meddling in our election was nothing short of an act of war. It was Russia checkmating our asses in this continuing cold war 2.0 saga. Unfortunately, they (Russians) were able to find a doofus to use and take advantage of (Donald Trump) and Trump was able to find uneducated people to manipulate and mislead in order to achieve his own narcissistic power grab of the Presidency.
But in the end what do we really have here? We have a compromised President who, it’s clear by what’s been investigated up to this point, has secured the Presidency by receiving aid from a country we have been at war with for several years. We have a President who I believe is afraid to act against Russia or Syria for fear of what information the Russians could release about him and his Administration’s connections to the manipulation of our last Presidential election.
It was this conundrum which lead Secretary of State Tillerson to reverse America’s position as it relates to Syria and make a public statement essentially showing support for the Assad regime. Remember, this statement came on the heels of numerous statements made by President Trump announcing his support for Russia and his lack of interest with Assad regime. However, all that was forced to change this week. After Tillerson made his comments in support of Assad, days later the Assad regime, emboldened by the change in U.S. policy, gassed hundreds of its people killing dozens of innocent children. Clearly Assad felt secure enough to take such an action. This sickens me and it should sicken you as well. These poor little children unfortunately were the first casualties of this misguided administration and their pandering to Russia and Assad. If not for Trump’s new policy of appeasing Russia, these babies would probably still be alive today. Before Trump took office, many people tried to warn him that words have consequences. Sadly, he didn’t listen and was forced to learn the hard way. Unfortunately, it just happened to be at the expense of innocent children.
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A quick update:
Let’s be clear as to what is really happening here…
The strike against Syria is nothing more than the Trump administration cleaning up after themselves and the media doesn’t seem to want to tell this story. Since most people seem to have a short attention span, let’s go back and “truly” look at what led to the U.S. air strikes in Syria.
1) For several years Donald Trump made public statements supporting the Assad regime in Syria. From 2013-2014 Trump sent numerous tweets advocating for a “hands-off” approach to Syria. This, without a doubt, was interpreted by Assad as Trump’s plan to change U.S policy on Syria. Read More Here
2) Trump spent years speaking highly of Vladimir Putin who has been a staunch supporter and ally of the Syrian regime. When asked about intervention in Syria, Trump said we should leave the Syrian situation in the hands of Russia. This essentially was signaling a disregard for the Assad regimes use of chemical weapons in 2013. Read More Here
3) At the beginning of the week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a public comment maintaining that Assad will remain in power in Syria. This basically sent the message to the Assad regime that the U.S. was not concerned about intervening in Syria. Shortly after those comments were made, Assad yet again, used chemical weapons on his people gassing innocent men, women, and children. Republican Senator Marco Rubio the very next day made a statement that he didn’t feel that it was a coincidence that Assad gassed his people right after Tillerson made his statement about Assad – basically saying that the statement is what caused the gas attack. Read More Here
4) In order to clean up the mess that they started, Trump knew he had to respond and subsequently ordered a strike in Syria.
Sadly, what is not being effectively reported is the fact that none of this would be happening if not for the confusing and unstable stance that the Trump administration has taken on Syria. This is a prime example of how inexperience and the reluctance to have a sound foreign policy has led to an international incident which caused the deaths of dozens of people and once again placed America in the middle of a completely complicated and messy civil war. Trump shouldn’t be praised for his actions, he should be chastised for causing an international incident.