True to form, the Iran lobby—in this case the National Iranian American Council—dutifully stepped up to the plate to defend the Assad regime’s continued existence by bashing the Trump administration decision to attack a Syrian regime airbase that flew the strikes.
Trita Parsi, the NIAC’s founder and president, offered up some gems of disingenuousness in Huffington Post claiming that the decision to finally cross the red line that President Obama balked at would have serious consequences.
“By now, it is clear that the missile strike has not impeded Assad from using his air force to strike rebel strongholds. In fact, Syrian warplanes reportedly carried out strikes yesterday against rebels near the city of Homs — taking off from the very air base hit by U.S. missiles. Trump even gave Assad advanced notice via Russian President Vladimir Putin, which enabled the Syrian dictator to move his troops and bunker his planes. Moreover, Trump left one of the airstrips at the targeted base untouched, which is why Assad could quickly use the base to launch further attacks,” Parsi said.
To be blunt, that’s a pretty stupid observation, even for someone claiming to be as learned as Parsi.
President Trump’s decision to strike was not a military one, but a strategic political one. In the old parlance of diplomacy, the Syrian chemical attack was a “Casus Belli;” an act so egregious and reprehensible to the sensibilities of international community and American values that the U.S. had no choice but to act.
In the history of U.S. diplomacy, this kind of retaliation is a no-brainer until President Obama decided he wanted to test out his quaint theory of appeasement in modern diplomacy; much to the shame of human rights history as over 500,000 people have lost their lives now and over four million have flooded out as refugees.
Parsi is quick to point out the lack of military effectiveness of the strikes since he skips over the most obvious benefit, which is to put Bashar al-Assad, and his allies on notice that the U.S. is perfectly willing and able to blow the Syrian military back into the Stone Age and outside interference would be grounds to include their forces in the fracas.
In one fell swoop, President Trump has neatly turned the tables on the Syria-Allies axis and forced them to calculate their own response without setting off another violent U.S. response.
Referring to consequent assault on the rebel’s strong hold and the civilians living in those areas, Parsi concludes: “The end result will be a more intensified civil war with more civilian casualties and even greater difficulty for diplomatic efforts to bear fruit,”.
For the people of Syria, no one will claim that the Syria and Iranian bombardments, assaults and revenge killings against Sunni Muslims can “intensify” as Parsi claims. How do you step up from massive aerial bombardments and the pervasive use of sarin and chlorine gas attacks?
About the only thing the Iranians have not tried against Syrian rebels is using biological agents and we don’t put it past Tehran to go that far as the mullahs have already decided to militarize hospitals and health clinics in this fight by targeting them specifically for attack.
The key to solving the Syrian crisis has always been pushing out foreign elements and leaving the Syrian people to resolve their own dilemma and achieve a political solution. If Iran had not intervened in the first few months of the popular revolt against Assad’s rule, we would find ourselves in a very different situation.
But the fact that Iran has poured billions in cash, sent thousands of soldiers and terrorist fighters, along with planeloads of advanced weapons to keep Assad in power has been the principle reason why Syria is such a mess in the first place; a fact that Parsi never admits to.
“Helping ensure that children and civilians aren’t trapped in Syria should be the first and most obvious thing the U.S. can do to help,” Parsi said in what has to be one of his all-time inane comments.
Trying to find a way to export more Syrian refugees while allowing Syria to descend into more chaos is the recipe the mullahs in Tehran have followed and Parsi has preached. It has not been a recipe for success for the Syrian people though.
Of course, no Parsi editorial would be complete without a defense of the idiotic Iran nuclear deal.
With the revelation that the accord on Syrian chemical weapons turned out to be a complete falsehood, the obvious question everyone is asking—and Parsi never answers—is how can you expect the Iran nuclear deal to be working if the same people are guaranteeing it as guaranteed the Syrian chemical weapons deal?
David French in the National Review asks the same important question as he takes up Glenn Kessler’s fact-checking piece in the Washington Post which gave former National Security Advisor a whopping four Pinocchios for her assertion that the chemical weapons deal worked.
“Media accountability is worthwhile, but we don’t need fact-checkers to tell us that the Obama administration’s Syria policy was a miserable failure. We saw the evidence in the bodies of the children slain by sarin gas. However, we do need to remember the sorry recent track record for WMD deals with hostile countries… The Obama administration was supposed to have stripped Syria of chemical weapons. Syria gassed its citizens,” French writes.
“Vicious liars like the North Koreans, Syrians, and Iranians tend to be vicious liars no matter the documents they sign. That’s a truth worth remembering as another WMD deal collapses and further destabilizes and already-dangerous world,” he adds.
French is correct and Parsi is dead wrong—which isn’t a first for him.