Dear President Obama, Your comments to republicans about their lack of discipline in demanding a halt to the welcoming of Syrian refugees into our country is right on message, but short on delivery. While you are in the Philippines with other world leaders keeping track of current news, I am sure this highly publicized attitude by our elected officials was embarrassing. Still, it is at times like these that we need our leaders to take the highroad.
This republican led, fear mongering of denying Syrian refugees entry into our US borders, is easy to resolve by having our intelligence professionals inform our US congress about what our vetting process entails to reassure them of its thoroughness. Because there are only 10,000 Syrian refugees being invited to be part of our country, it is feasible to consider a monitoring system after their arrival.
The benefit to the US is that these new American residents can be a treasure trove of intelligence as to what is really going on in Syria. Some Syrians already speak English, are highly intelligent and well educated. Many have risked their lives to escape ISIS rule.We would be fortunate to have their input.
In addition, it is disheartening to listen to these same officials who keep squawking about what we should be doing or not doing in the middle east when too many of them, are clueless about this part of the world.
Yes, your strategy to avoid to placing our exhausted US military men and women in harm’s way again is well placed. Too much information, advice and promises provided to you by our Pentagon, military officials, intelligence experts, diplomatic professionals and middle east leaders have been faulty, misleading, and ineffective in producing promised results. Too often, there have been those delivering counsel based on their own hidden agendas. Your exasperation over the US being pulled back into this middle east chaos, to be mired in a never ending US role in this region has to be worrisome.
Most Americans feel as you do. Yet, this is the time when we need for you to work with us. PersonalIy, I am looking for concrete objectives which are realistic, reasonable and achievable in this part of the world without placing any more of our US military unnecessarily in harm’s way.
Examples of some objectives are as follows:
1.) So, that the American peoples become supportive of your tactics designed to defeat ISIS, talk to them as to why the US military is targeting ISIL / ISIS. Explain how ISIS/ ISIL are Islamic zealots who are certain that they are acting under the direction of Allah. As they attain more land, recruit more like minded followers and as they have terrorist successes around the world, they become emboldened.
Their goal is to provoke western powers to respond to their brutality conducted in the west, by placing our non Muslim (infidels) soldiers on their soil.
They want nothing more than to instill western fear and hatred towards all Muslims as a result of their cruelties. This is why our President Barack Obama is pushing back on republicans wanting to equate their terrorist actions to the entire Islamic population. Also, this is why he is angry at republican leaders who are stoking peoples fears as they maneuver to deny 10,000 Syrian refugees entry into our country, because this is counter to our national interests. This rhetoric is assisting ISIS to achieve their objective of inflaming the west’s antipathy towards all Muslims.
ISIS is looking forward to Apocalyptic end times. To attain this feat, they want the Western powers’ non- Muslims to enter into battle with Muslims within their territories, which is another reason, why our president has been firm in his intransigence about sending in more US soldiers.
2.) The second objective is to puncture their ideology by humiliating them publicly. When folks who are being recruited, observe that the ideology of ISIS has no substance, then their power will be diminished. There is no way to contain the growth of ISIS without exposing their belief system as a fraud. This is why we have to conduct a counter propaganda campaign.
3.) Accept President Holland’s invitation for the US and Russia to join forces with his French military air power to impair the ISIS permanently. Do not listen to the naysayers who will question your alliance with an enemy, Russia and Putin. This is a time to lead and mend fences.
Do not focus on pushing Syria’s President Bashar al Assad out of power at this inopportune time because this would lead to another power vacuum. Work on a plan to transition out President Assad from power with an interim governing body in place, that would be acceptable to Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Upon defeating ISIS, you can insist on a political solution to end the chaos in Syria and Iraq.
4.) Empower our middle east friends, who have proven their competence and dependability like the Kurds in Syria and Iraq; and the Jordanian military, with the supplies and equipment that they have been requesting instead of all the delays. Do not resort to previous losing tactics like waiting for the decade old, US trained Iraqi military to act after their having lost two major battles even though they far outnumbered ISIS combatants (leaving their equipment, Humvees and weaponry behind for ISIS to collect); and then supporting a Syrian rebel army which we tried to establish in 2015 to the tune of millions of dollars, which resulted in a troop of 5 soldiers.
5.) Petition the UN to use all possible tools, to develop political solutions which are in the best interests of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other middle east parties to create a path way towards stability and peace. This is a when our allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s input should be heeded and respected but without the power to impede any reasonable resolutions because of Turkey’s long history of hatred towards the Kurds and / or because of Saudia Arabia’s (Sunnis) fear of Iran (Shia); with their wish to curtail the power of Shia Muslims in the region.
The 2003 US military action against Iraq and the toppling of President Saddam Hussein, his cohorts and his elite military, who were all Sunnis in a Shia majority country with a large Kurdish minority, has taken off the band aid placed in this region after WWI. This was when the drawing of countries and boundaries were arbitrarily done with no consideration as to the needs of the various tribes with their different traditions, histories, cultures, and religious beliefs, going back thousands of years. It is now time to attempt the division of Iraq and Syria to accommodate the Kurds, the Shia, the Sunnis and any other minority groups in their own governing entities. This is a multi year process, so it is imperative for the UN Security Council and unbiased experts to start planning for this by early 2016.
Today, Iraq which is now Shia led with a Shia majority, has not been inclusive in governing with the Sunnis or the Kurds which is the reason for this never ending conflict, as all of the Islamic insurgency groups in this region are Sunnis (the one exception is Hezbollah of Lebanon) wanting to reclaim some power. Until this situation is addressed, there is nothing that can be done to end this tragedy from continuing forever.