Syria and the Ukraine offer insight into how a delusional person, place or thing is can come to be. Both countries reflect truly delusional thinking from political parties, the press, and the average citizen. The crisis in both these countries reflect failed US foreign policy coupled with dysfunctional behavior by others.

US foreign policy is built upon a false premise that capitalism and democracy can flower almost any place in the world.

In many places, “covert” US policy has tried to give this presumed thirst for democratic ways a boost (in fact, actually many boosts). In the 50’s and 60’s, dictators were preferred over popular governments because the US feared subsequent movement to communism.  In the 80’s the cold war ended.


  • When the Soviet Union imploded, US policy thought the timing was perfect for NATO and the European Community to expand, right up to Russia’s door steps. This view was “policy”. What drove policy, however, was the business and banking communities’ belief that billions in profits lay ahead, especially if Russian communism could give way to a democratic Russia.
  • With Syria, a similar foreign policy view was held. The Arab Spring had turned many into the streets to demand more from their governments. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and then Syria all hosted demonstrations and government attempts to suppress.
  • The US Syrian policy was particularly confusing. Just as with Saddam Hussein, Bashar al Assad was a brute of a leader. The Assad Government was broadly viewed as repressive and unrepresentative of the Syrian people.  But with the exception of Lebanon, Syria kept within its borders.
  • American policy, following the Arab Spring called for Assad’s resignation and nothing more. Assad had already seen what happened to strong minority leaders once they were out of office or overthrown. Assad wanted no part of that. Hence, a civil war.
  • The overthrow of the Russian friendly Ukrainian President Yanukovych was the last straw. Shortly there after, the reality of Eastern Ukraine and its Russian speaking majority became clear. Crimea voted with their feet.
  • Now, the eastern part of Ukraine is doing its best (with much Russian help) to pull more geography into the Russian sphere. These Russian loving Ukrainians are expressing the policy of mother land and free expression. The driving forces, again are economic with Russia wanting more geography (customers) and the separatists leaders expecting personal gains in a Soviet win. Syria, on the other hand, is a bit more complex.
  • The well armed Islamic extremists (ISIS) are simply crazy people by 21st century standards. They represent a continuation of al Qaeda and the Taliban. One can speculate that ISIS, aside from its advertised religious motivation, is driven by trying to build another Saudi-like State where this group of leaders become very rich men.

The ISIS foreign policy of converting everyone in their paths to strict Islam is totally delusional. Money and power drive this activity.

This week when ISIS released two videos showing the beheading of American journalists, most civilized people were appalled and disgusted. American politicians, member of the press, and everyday citizens have cried out for action. “These barbarians must be eliminated”. Hmmm.

There is no time like the present to reflect for a moment.

  • Who facilitated the current situation with a well intended (?) but naive invasion and occupation of Iraq… while that country could have been concentrating its efforts on “hot pursuit” of al Qaeda and the Taliban?
  • Which country spoke openly of Middle Eastern countries adopting “one person, one vote” when these people have never know democratic rule?
  • What country supported the overthrow of the Ukrainian freely elected President?
  • And what country openly encouraged regime change in Middle Eastern Countries during the Arab Spring?

Looking forward, the issue should not be “what would be ideal”, rather the issue is “what is possible” given the actual conditions.

The 2003 Iraq invasion has been intertwined with allegations that oil or Israeli foreign policy objectives greatly influenced American Middle East policy. Both seem plausible and may have been contributory. What cannot, however, be denied that American domestic politics and the simplistic “good and bad” labels were applied to the Middle East players.

More apropos would be to perceive all the players as bad and our job, if we insist upon interfering, is to pick those players who might create the least damage.

President Obama has learned that the entire American apparatus, CIA, State Department, Defense Department, and the business community see the world through very shaded glasses. Libya, like large parts of norther Africa will soon be a lawless failed State. Syria, without Assad will follow. It is not clear about Iraq but very recents events suggest a soft Federation (Sunni, Shiites, and Kurds) maybe the most practical outcome.

So what does that mean about ISIS?

The press needs to surrender the ISIS headlines and go dark. US and appropriate allies should put together clandestine operations which eliminate this extremist element or at least remove ISIS ability to create havoc. The world and surely Americans do not need hour by hour chants about what is the US going to do about these beheadings? I wonder whether the press or political figures have thought that our drone strikes almost assuredly decapitate both their targets and many unintended. Hmmm.

So what about Russia (versus the Ukraine)?

A wise move would be for the US to consolidate its post cold war gains and stop trying to move up to Russia’s border.  The American mentality does not understand “mother Russia” as it does not understand the Caliphate.  A soft surrender of the eastern parts of the Ukraine is probably the best option of rather poor (and delusional) choices.  Hmmm.


Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democratic Party, George Bush, Iraq War, Israel, Middle East, Politics, Republican Party, Russia, Syria

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