For 35 years the United States has had a horrible relationship with Iran. We may have started it – by putting a man into power that the Iranian people hated and then working hard to keep him there. Then came the Iranian revolution that pitted our government (and our nation) directly against the Iranian people. Then they kidnapped 66 Americans and held them hostage in the American embassy in Iran. They held those poor, innocent civilians hostage for well over a year in an effort to put pressure on the American government.
In the end Ronald Reagan was elected President and then the Iranian kidnappers released their hostages.
Since then our relationship with Iran has been… rocky, to say the least.
Things with Syria haven’t been much better in recent years. In fact, less than a year ago President Obama, through his Secretary of State, John Kerry was trying to make the case that we go to war in Syria – against the ruling regime. Thankfully, our representatives stood against the Obama administration and did not send us to war.
At this point, that decision is turning out to be a good thing for President Obama as well.
It seems that less than a year after threatening war with the Assad regime in Syria, President Obama may need Syria to help stop the ISIS threat in Iraq.
There’s a battle raging inside the Obama administration about whether the United States ought to push away from its goal of toppling Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and into a de facto alliance with the Damascus regime to fight ISIS and other Sunni extremists in the region.
As President Obama slowly but surely increases the U.S. military presence on the ground in Iraq, his administration is grappling with the immediate need to stop the ISIS advance and push for a political solution in Baghdad. The 3 1/2-year grinding civil war is Syria has been put on a back burner for now. Some officials inside the administration are proposing that the drive to remove Assad from power, which Obama announced as U.S. policy in 2012, be set aside, too. The focus, these officials argue, should instead be on the region’s security and stability. Governments fighting for survival against extremists should be shored up, not undermined.
“Anyone calling for regime change in Syria is frankly blind to the past decade; and the collapse of eastern Syria, and growth of Jihadistan, leading to 30 to 50 suicide attacks a month in Iraq,” one senior Obama administration official who works on Iraq policy told The Daily Beast.
But not everyone who understands what is happening in Syria and Iraq agrees with the Obama administration’s assessment on partnering with ISIS.
But the view that Assad can somehow be a partner of any kind is vigorously disputed by other senior U.S. officials, especially those who work or have worked on Syria policy. They say the problem of extremism in the region can only be solved by removing Assad from power. Not only is the Assad regime a magnet for terrorism, they argue, but Assad and the extremists inside Syria are working together.
“The people who think Bashar al Assad’s regime is the answer to containing and eventually eliminating the Islamic-based threat do not understand the historic relationship between the regime and ISIS. [They] don’t understand the current relationship between Assad and ISIS and how they are working on the ground together directly and indirectly inside Syria,” Robert Ford, the recently departed U.S. ambassador to Syria, told The Daily Beast. “The people who think Assad’s regime survival is essential have not explained how his survival would solve the problem of extremism in Syria.”
Not only does the Obama administration seem schizophrenic when it comes to Syria, they also seem at a loss for what to do with Iran. After years of living as antagonists with the Iranians, with Secretary of State Kerry even delivered a scathing message to Iran just a couple of days ago.
How can our nation oppose Iran, Syria and Russia (Russia who is Syria and Iran’s technological and military backbone), but then ally ourselves with them against Sunni Islamic terrorism? (Especially when we believe them to be supporters of terrorism themselves!)
Well, I don’t know how we do it… but we’re doing it.
The U.S. and Iran are now fighting alongside one another in a bid to counter the growing threat ISIS poses in the Middle East.
Military expert Joseph Dempsey believes the latest set of aircraft to be delivered to Iraq is Iranian, despite steps being taken to mask its origin.
The U.S. has just announced it’s sending an additional 300 troops to Iraq, raising its total presence in the war-ravaged country to 750.
Those troops will now be working alongside the newly delivered Iranian fighter jets to form an unlikely international military aid package.
Is this where the Obama doctrine on foreign policy has brought us – allying ourselves with violent and antagonistic enemies?
Especially, when they may be as bad as our mutual enemy?
This is not a pretty place for us to be. Not a pretty place at all…