When President Obama bragged earlier that "The United States is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world..." adding that "no other nation can do what we do," we should have guessed some more war-mongering was coming... and sure enough. As AP reports, it appears Syrian airstrikes are on their way, but there's a mind-blowing twist in US foreign policy: "In an effort to avoid unintentionally strengthening the Syrian government, the White House could seek to balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets." In the words of the Guinness commercial, Brilliant.
The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a "terrorist army."
"Air power needs to be applied like a thunderstorm, not a drizzle," Deptula said, entailing "24-7 overwatch with force application on every move of ISIL personnel."
Further complicating the plans, any military action against Islamic State militants in Syria would also have the effect of putting the U.S. on the same side as Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose ouster the Obama administration has sought for years.
So first Iran and now Syria are best buddies with America? Well we can't have that...
The U.S. is not cooperating or sharing intelligence with the Assad government, Pentagon and State Department spokesmen said. But the U.S. flights are occurring in eastern Syria, away from most of Syria's air defenses. And experts expressed doubt that Syria would attempt to shoot down American aircraft that are paving the way for a possible bombing campaign against Assad's enemies.
In an effort to avoid unintentionally strengthening the Syrian government, the White House could seek to balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets. However, that option is largely unappealing to the president given that it could open the U.S. to the kind of long-term commitment to Syria's stability that Obama has sought to avoid.
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So to summarize:
...the limited airstrikes in Iraq (which the Iraqi government did not ask for) now appear to be expanding into '24/7 carpet-bombing' of ISIS targets in Syria (which the US are not asking permission or forgiveness for) and in the interests of "fairness doctrine" America will bomb al-Assad's military installations to maintain some 'balance' between the moderate terrorists, extreme terrorists (and national armies), and scary-as-shit terrorists...
Is there something we missed?
White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday tried to tamp down the notion that action against the Islamic State group could bolster Assad, saying, "We're not interested in trying to help the Assad regime." However, he acknowledged that "there are a lot of cross pressures here."
"Cross-pressures" indeed. And all humanitarian.