Russians pounding Hillary's anti-Assad war effort in Syria

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday August 22nd, 2016

Cruise missiles latest scourge of supposed "hawk" in war-torn nation.

I don't think most people realize just how close U.S. forces are to engaging in direct combat with Russia. Very close. And if you want to know how we got in this predicament in Syria, you might want to ask Hillary Clinton.

Over the weekend, Russian cruise missiles pounded rebel forces backed by the U.S., which is allied with them in their attempts to remove President Bashar Assad from power. The Russians became so aggressive that U.S. commanders found it necessary to publicly announced U.S. forces would take action to protect themselves if it came to that.

And you liberals thought Ronald Reagan would start World War III with nukes. That's not exactly how it's going down:

Russia's three cruise missile launches were its first against targets in Syria from the Mediterranean, with previous ones made from its Caspian Sea fleet. On Tuesday Russian bombers began flying missions in Syria from Hamedan air base in Iran.

Russia's Defense Ministry said the strikes targeted the Islamist militant group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, known as the Nusra Front until it broke formal ties with al Qaeda last month before playing a big role in the sudden rebel advances in Aleppo.

The upsurge in fighting and airstrikes in and around the city, split between government-held west and rebel-held eastern sectors, has prompted growing international concern, galvanized by pictures on Thursday of a dazed, bloodied child.

The plight of civilians in Aleppo has been aggravated in besieged areas by dire shortages of basic goods, leading the World Food Programme to warn of a "nightmarish" situation.

So what does this have to do with Hillary? In 2011, Hillary became the most ardent advocate in the Obama Administration for a policy of ousting Assad from power. Now that in itself is not a bad objective. Assad is a despot aligned with Russia and Iran, and he's helped to make Syria a very terrorist-friendly place. It would be great if he was gone.

But here's the problem with people who take examples like this and try to say Hillary is a "hawk." Anyone can say they're for something. What really counts is what you're willing to do to achieve it. The U.S. effort in Syria has been even more a fiasco than our "leading from behind" nonsense in Iraq, which has given rise to ISIS. Whether it's Obama announcing red lines and then erasing them lest he actually have to take action, or the U.S. Armed Forces being present but not really being allowed to fight, the strategies of this administration are always the same: Get just involved enough to get yourself in the line of fire, but never really commit to doing what victory requires.

The Russians, meanwhile, will do anything to gain the strategic upper hand in the region, especially since they know perfectly well that Obama will do nothing to stand up to them. They're firing cruise missiles at will for the same reason they're marching through Crimea: Who's going to do a damn thing about it? Not Obama? And not NATO without U.S. leadership.

Hillary's foreign policy instincts are exactly the same as Obama's, which is why we're in this mess in Syria. She'll give lip service to a worthy goal, and then she'll half-ass it to where we can't win but we can't get out either.

That's why we're in the middle of this mess in Syria. Expect a lot more of this if Hillary's elected. Don't say no one warned you.

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