Escalation in Syria: Obama to Airstrike Assad?


President Obama announced that the US would use military force to protect rebels it has trained to operate in Syria. This means US airstrikes against both ISIS and the Syrian government. But does anyone know who’s fighting who over there?

Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams. Daniel, good to see you today.

Daniel McAdams: Good to see you Dr. Paul.

Ron Paul: Daniel, I’d like to revisit an issue that we’ve talked about last week. It has to do with Syria and the plan with Turkey and the United States starting to making plans for bombing and having a no-fly zone and we expressed our concerns and worries about it, but right now it looks like our worries were justified, but it might even be worse than we were considering, because things seem to be moving right along. Just as a refresher on how this thing is Syria has evolved. It’s now four years ago that Obama said ‘Assad must go, Assad must go.’ We’ve been pestering them for a long time and a lot of people wanted Assad to go. We know the factions who want to get rid of Assad, but Assad didn’t leave, so a year later, it was two years later, there was a false flag announcement, he’s killing his people with gas. Reminds us of Iraq. The Russians got involved and Obama says I’ve got to star bombing and Congress didn’t want to do it, the American people didn’t want to do it. We were excited, we won, he’s backing off, we didn’t get this war started. Then, what happened a year ago? The bombing started anyway, acting outside of the Congress, there was no authority for it, they didn’t have to worry about money, just like they started the war in Iraq, they used the money that was for Afghanistan and they just shifted it around. This is expanding. Update us now on what is happening now and how chaotic it is in Syria and that whole no-fly zone that they are working on.

Daniel McAdams: You remember we talked last time I think, about the fact that after all this money that was appropriated, they’ve only been able to train 60 people to go in and to infiltrate into Syria and start fighting against, they say ISIS, but we are against ISIS and Assad both. Last week they tried to infiltrate some of the 60 that they trained. As soon as they crossed the border into Syria, they were all captured by Al-Nusra, which is an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. The funniest thing, Dr. Paul, is the New York Times pointed out that Washington was shocked, because they said ‘We thought they would be treated as allies by Al-Qaeda.’ Why do we train allies of Al-Qaeda 14 years after 9/11. What happened is some these were captured, some of them called the U.S. Airstrikes to try to be saved and subsequent to this activity last week, Obama announced that he authorized the military to conduct airstrikes anywhere in Syria in support of these U.S. backed rebels. As Wallstreet Journal, who broke the story, pointed out this also means that for the first time there’s an implicit authorization for the U.S. to attack Syrian government forces as well.

Ron Paul: As you tell the story you had to laugh a little bit and it’s so sad, because it’s so serious and so dangerous, yet it’s hilarious on how this program works and how stupid it seems to be. I have one and it might even compete with your example of how silly this whole thing is. You shouldn’t worry too much, because our government covered themselves, when they found their 60 people to train to take over ISIS in Syria, we had them sign a contract. Anybody to join to get our check I guess had agreed that they would only fight ISIS, but they would not fight Assad. They would do this and, of course, I thought we were in there to get rid of Assad. That’s the silliness of it, but I’m sure the neocons have a pretty good answer for this and I remember clearly what was going on in the 60s when Nixon escalated and we had our 500.000 troops in there and it was escalating and kept getting worse, but the neocons even about that example and this one and their answer is it was stupid. They’d agreed with us, sending 60 troops like that, but they would put all the blame on pure military tactics by Obama and what we need is a strong man, a strong force, send in the troops and send in the bombs and we know that several running for President right now are for sending huge amounts of troops into this area.

Daniel McAdams: This is exactly like we talked about last time, Max Boot, the big neocon who wrote in Commentary did criticize this new plan, he was criticizing the no-fly zone plan, because it just simply wasn’t enough, it’s never enough for them and then when things go badly then it’s his fault for not escalating. As you point out they’ve been at this for four years now. They’ve been trying to train different factions of people to go and fight Assad and now ISIS, because as in Iraq, there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq before the U.S. got into it. There was no ISIS in Syria before the U.S. decided to overthrow Assad. Create these problems and then try to solve these problems.

Ron Paul: You almost have to have a score card to find who’s on first, who’s on which side and sometimes we are on Iran’s side on one occasion, but not on another occasion. There are so many factions, I can see why people’s eyes would glaze over and that, of course, is why the attractiveness of the non-intervention policy makes a lot of sense.
We have Assad who represents Syria, he’s under siege and he’s not getting a whole lot of support, although he’s getting token support from Iran and, of course, the Soviets, the Russians sympathize with him. Then we have this faction, NATO ally and a friend of the United States and now we work with this extra thing and Turkey saying ‘Our borders are being invaded,’ so therefore they want to take it to NATO and then we have an agreement to expand the war into more and more bombing. Then you say who are you going to bomb? We are going to bomb ISIS and the Kurds, but it turns out so far it looks like most of the bombings have been hitting the Kurds which would be what Turkey would want to do. As far as I’m concerned this is a difficult problem for Syria, Iran and Turkey, because the Kurds want their homeland. It is so messy and so complex and we have messed up that place so badly I don’t know why people shouldn’t say that ‘Maybe we are making things worse over there.’ Any chance of that being the case?

Daniel McAdams: As we did in Syria and Iraq, or at Libya and Iraq and elsewhere, but you’re right the Kurds sort of gave the U.S. a little gift, they said ‘You can use Incirlik base to start bombing Syria and that sort of the U.S. backed off and that’s when we thought they’ve agreed to a no-fly zone of some sort, but then Turkey said we are going to start helping more, but when they were helping as you point out they were killing what we consider the boots on the ground, which are the Kurds on the ground fighting ISIS.

Ron Paul: They are the ones we are training and they are doing a pretty good job on the anti-ISIS and yet what do we do? That is not a clean argument either, because there are a couple groups with the Kurds, it’s not just one monolithic group. That’s why the complexity is such that it is not going to work easily and everything we do seems to make it complex.

Daniel McAdams: You’d never know it from media coverage, but this really is a lot like the Iraq war. This was all based on a false pretext from the beginning.

Ron Paul: On the gas.

Daniel McAdams: People have short memories, because the bombing started, the latest round of U.S. bombing started when there was a small group of Yazidis on a mountain top that we had to save these poor people that are being slaughtered. We went in there and we bombed them, a lot of them actually wanted to stay, they didn’t want to be rescued, but then after that the U.S. discovered the Khorasan Group which if you remember was portrayed in the U.S. media as way more frightening than Al-Qaeda, they were ready to attack, so we had to go to Syria, because that’s where they were. It was a completely fictitious made up thing by the U.S. to allow them to go into Syria, so the same thing is happening, the media once again is not doing its job, not questioning these things and we are stumbling into another big war.

Ron Paul: There was one journalist from that area explain that all these factions despite of them fighting among themselves, have one thing in common and that is they don’t want an outsider and they don’t want the United States involved. That maybe explains the reason why we had 60 fighters who last about an hour and why a larger force throws down their weapons and gives them over to ISIS. It also is a threat to us, because it’s when we get involved it’s our presence in the Middle East and the bombing of civilians which is still ongoing, that was one of the motivation of Al-Qaeda to come here and teach us a lesson and still in the last year, I think, I am not sure how that it can separate supporters and the militants versus the civilians, but they even admit that innocent civilians over 400 have been killed. This past week in this episode here, there are 40 more killed and every individual killed has an extended family and I think it all builds for an anti-U.S. sentiment and we have to deal with that. Overall, since more troops I don’t think could solve it even Iran, but I think that this method that we’re doing here is doing nothing more than draining us and building up the fears in this country that the greatest fear right now is the war against the American people, because ISIS is everywhere, they are coming and it’s terrorism, so therefore the American people are supposed to give up their liberties. This is war and it’s not like World War II, in World War II we knew it was going to end and it did and even in some ways Korea and Vietnam. We have been told incessantly this one doesn’t end. If the war over there doesn’t end against terrorism and they are replaced, the war against American liberties can continue. The big question thought that I haven’t answered in my own mind, because I try to give people a pass and say they are just stupid and there is unintended consequences, but others who are more conspiratorial say ‘No, they are deliberately wanting to do this, because it serves their international interest,’ but I don’t think we can settle that argument right now.
What about Congress, do you think Congress should be exerting a little bit more authority here? I complained, along with your help when I was in Congress why aren’t we do more, why don’t we stand up and do something, but I think you used to where they were AWOL.

Daniel McAdams: Yeah, it’s true and this authorization for U.S. airstrikes to back the troops and the infiltrates that’s Syria why that in a sense is an authorization for the use of force and as you say it was made by the President along Congress hasn’t even mentioned it, probably hasn’t even recognized what’s happened.

Ron Paul: Two years ago, they looked like we were going to have a vote and when Obama knew we didn’t have the votes, he backed off and here we ended up doing it anyway.

Daniel McAdams: Just ignore them.

Ron Paul: Even the thought of a declaration of war, because this is war, I mean when you start bombing and deciding Assad has to go. Good or bad, it has nothing to do with Assad going to attack America, so to me it’s tragic and I think this is one of the things that has been a total failure of our Constitution and have totally ignored the intent of the Founders to try and reign in the Executive branch, reign in the king, because they did not want, the Executive branch, to be able to go to war without Congress having an explicit authorization, an explicit vote to go to war, which was to reflect the people. Now, it is so callous and I’ve written this in my recent book that this is one of the most serious things that we have, because everybody ignores it and go around it and even the finances, I point out also in the book that if they need to, they can extend credit from the Federal Reserve and give it to these factions and bail out banks. It’s so out of control and yet too often I find the American people are rather complacent, but they are not hearing it, they are not hearing it enough from the members of Congress and they are not certainly hearing it from the media, I mean they are not giving it a straight scoop and if they did I hope they would come to their senses, because a couple of years ago it seemed like we got information out and people rejected it and that is my intention that people, most people have a natural instinct not to go and look for violence and war, because it ends so badly. They have to be driven by war propaganda.

I think this is just another example of runaway interventionism overseas, runaway spending, it’s out of control. It doesn’t serve our interest. The sooner we get out of here, the better. Over the periods that I was campaigning for President I said we just marched in these areas we should just march out and we’d all be better off. America would be safer and richer, we could set an example and maybe they would pay attention to us, but we do not have the moral authority, we do not have the wisdom and we do not have the Constitutional authority to believe that we are so smart and that we are so exceptional that we can impose our will on the people of the Middle East. The sooner we realize that, the better.

I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.

This video was published by the Ron Paul Institute.