US May Not Be Sending Military Aid to Syrian Rebels Because of Nuke Negotiations With Iran


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The Associated Press is reporting that the lack of military aid being sent to the Syrian opposition by the Obama administration may be because of negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program.

From The Associated Press

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama's reluctance to give military aid to Syrian rebels may be simply explained in part in three words: Iranian nuclear weapons.

For the first time in years, the United States has seen a glimmer of hope in persuading Iran to curb its nuclear enrichment program so it cannot quickly or easily make an atomic bomb. Negotiations resume this week in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where encouraging talks in February between six world powers and the Islamic Republic ended in what Iranian diplomat Saeed Jalili called a "turning point" after multiple thwarted steps toward a breakthrough.

It is true that Iran would be less willing to negotiate with the U.S. had American military aid been sent to Assad's opposition. However, this was evidently not a major concern over the summer when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus both recommended Obama send arms to Syrian rebels.

A Syrian opposition representative recently said that rebels now view France and the U.K. as more likely than the U.S. to intervene in the conflict. Last month French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that both France and the U.K. would consider arming Syrian rebels even if such a move would be in violation of the European Union's arms embargo on Syria.

It is interesting that the Obama administration, which has hardly expressed a reluctance to intervene in other countries, is prioritizing Iran's nuclear program over the urgent humanitarian disaster unfolding in Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he prepared to act unilaterally if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon. 

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  1. I find it amazing that anyone would even begin to think about advocate arming these people.

    We’ve been down this road many times before and it always backfires, but I guess if you ignore history you’re bound to repeat it.

    1. But 9/11 changed *everything*!

    2. It didn’t backfire in Afghanistan–if that’s what you mean.

      Anybody who says we shouldn’t have done what we did in Afghanistan back in 1980–because some terrorist organization might attack us in New York 21 years later? Should get a better handle on what is and what isn’t predictable.

      You’d think Al Qaeda had attacked us with Stinger missiles or something!

      P.S. Try to keep some sense of proportion, too. Al Qaedad has never and never will present the security threat to the United States that the Soviet Union did circa 1980–despite all fear mongering you may have been subjected to by the Bush and Obama Administrations. If the future were somehow as predictable some people seem to be suggesting, I’d still trade in the security threat the USSR presented for Al Qaeda ANY day.

      1. Anybody who says we shouldn’t have done what we did in Afghanistan back in 1980–because some terrorist organization might attack us in New York 21 years later? Should get a better handle on what is and what isn’t predictable.

        “You are creating Frankenstein”

        –Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto speaking to President George H.W. Bush concerning U.S. assistance to Afghan mujihadeen and the Taliban, circa 1989

        Really Ken, you should stop talking about things you know nothing about.

        1. And she was wrong every day for 21 years. …but on one day–21 years later–she was right?

          That’s ridiculous. Tell me, what else did she predict, Nostradamus? I’m not about to go digging for the context of that quote through 10 pages of text–but was she suggesting that Al Qaeda was gonna come after us here in the U.S., or that fundamentalists were going to be a problem for Pakistan.

          Just for future reference, there are a few assumptions I tend to make–among them, that our foreign policy decisions should be made with the best interests of the United States in mind. …no the best interests of Pakistan.

          Anybody who says we shouldn’t have done what we did–which helped bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union–is being ridiculous.

          Also, is it absolutely certain that Al Qaeda wouldn’t have done what they did on 9/11 with or without our assistance to the Mujahideen?

          Seems to me like all of OBL’s complaints about our relationship with Saudi Arabia, etc. would have been the same regardless.

  2. “However, this was evidently not a major concern over the summer when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus both recommended Obama send arms to Syrian rebels.”

    Sometimes you come across as remarkably naive, Feeney.

    You’re aware the Hillary Clinton and Petraeus both worked for Obama, right? You think they were recommending Obama do something that Obama didn’t want them to recommend?

    1. You think Obama is actually a leader, and not just a narcissistic demagogue who is office because he wins elections?

      1. I think Petraeus and Clinton probably checked with Obama before they said anything about how we should send arms to the Syrian rebels.

        …which would suggest that this is something Obama either a) wanted to do or b) wanted to use as a bargaining chip with Iran–all along.

        Manufactured bargaining chips are some of the best. Take the Star Wars program from the Reagan years–it may have never amounted to much, but it scared the shit out of the Soviets. When they got serious and came to the bargaining table, that’s one of the things they wanted talk about…

        If you can create a bargaining chip out of thin air like that–that’s fantastic. That’s what we want–Iran coming to the bargaining table, and all contentious negotiations are won with leverage. The one with the most leverage wins. If we can create more leverage out of thin air, that’s superb!

        P.S. And the Iranians are all in on Syria. They’re sending money, arms, etc. to Assad like crazy–they see Assad remaining in Syria as crucial to their security. If that’s what the Iranians think of Syrian, then who am I to argue with them? If Assad losing in Syria is a threat to the stability of the vile regime in Iran, then I hope Assad’s head ends up on a pike.

  3. It is interesting that some people seem to finally be coming to the realization that our position on Syria has everything to do with Iran.

    I don’t want us to get directly involved in Syria, at this point, but for goodness sake, the idea that we should do nothing and hope that Iran goes away is almost as bad as the suggestion that Iran’s nuclear and long range missile programs present no real security threat to American interests whatsoever.

  4. The ‘breakthrough’ in nuclear negotiations is the Iranians being scared shitless of Syria falling out of their orbit. No Syria = Hezbollah gets their death-goodies only by boat, and Iran loses direct access to their only means of attacking Israel with ‘plausible deniability.’

    So what to do? Throw President Sucker some bait and keep him on the reel until, the Toweled Ones hope anyways, the whole Syrian civil-war thing blows over. At least until their own elections are fixed and closed in July.

    1. Really. Can anyone possibly take this as anything other than Iran yanking us around, yet again?

      I don’t think President Sucker is actually so stupid – he knows it’s BS, but is going through the Kabuki dance as cover for his lack of action.

      And then, when no agreement is produced, he’ll complain a little about those tricksy Iranians, and move on to the next big lie.

  5. these guys totally know whats going on man.

  6. Is that why you’re withholding the alt-text too?

  7. But the US has sent military aid to Syria. What do you think Benghazi was all about? Why do you think Stevens was meeting with Turkish officials there? Why do you think the CIA was there? Gun running.

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