Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Assad and the Nature of a Tyrant

UPDATE: Syria is ignoring the WMD deadlines.

CNN is reporting that the US-IC believes Assad is hiding his WMDs.

No one should be surprised.

The Syria disarmament plan has always stretched the fibers of rationality to a breaking point. Still, in the context of last week's reporting by Foreign Policy (which outlined the Assad regime's determination to retain their WMD production capabilities), this latest news is hardly surprising.

From my perspective, Assad was always going to deceive the inspectors. After all, if the United States evidently lacks the resolve to compel his compliance, why would he submit?

Of course, this inspections effort has never been rooted in the pursuit of serious policy. Instead, this is about one thing - allowing the Obama Administration to break their 'red line' word, whilst also maintaining a pretense of domestic political legitimacy (IE - 'We disarmed Assad without resorting to the use of force'). Obama isn't stupid. From his intelligence briefings he knows that the Syrian regime worships deception. He knows that Assad cannot be trusted. This is a regime that uses weapons of mass destruction against innocent civilians. Only in the Obama Administration could such a record be considered a trait of honesty.

Ultimately, as is always the case with the Syrian Civil War, the truth of the story is much deeper than first appears. As I see it, what we're witnessing in Syria is the Obama Administration's disinterest in a moral-strategic American foreign policy. Consider the facts. In 2008, as he ran for President, Senator Obama railed against the neo-conservatives who had allowed their egos to jeopardize American policy in the Middle East. To a significant (but misunderstood) degree, Obama was right. Now however, Obama has injected a new arrogance at the heart of American foreign policy. Instead of pursuing the interests of the United States, the American President has relinquished American power to a mafia don. Instead of facing down committed adversaries, Obama has turned the evasion of responsibility into an art form.

You could choke on the hypocrisy. 

The Syrians certainly do.

Related writings.

Photo: AP/Narciso Contreras

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