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Your Views: Obamas policy in Syria is like Bushs in Iraq
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It’s been suggested that Russia might help President Barack Obama by corralling chemical weapons in Syria and placing them under guard. We should remember this happened in Iraq before we invaded and toppled Saddam Hussein. After Gulf War I, all known weapons of mass destruction there were gathered and placed in locked storage.

Fast forward a decade. To justify plans for a new invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made repeated claims that Saddam had unsecured WMD that threatened America.

It was all lies. Hindsight shows Saddam had none of these things. In spite of this, Cheney said he would do it again, even knowing Saddam had no WMD. This suggests the invasion was never about weapons and the WMD claim was only a pretext.

Facing threats from Bush that Libya would be invaded next, Moammar Gadhafi released all claims to chemical weapons and WMD. Gadhafi thought if he complied, he would not remain a target of Bush and his neocon backers.

It didn’t help him. After he disarmed himself, we toppled Gadhafi anyway. Obama secretly used the CIA to fund and train militants who overthrew Gadhafi. Obama additionally used U.S. naval air power to bomb Gadhafi’s infrastructure in order to weaken him so the CIA-backed militants could win. Sound familiar?

This resulted in an unintended lesson for other interested states: Disarming won’t protect you. Only a real defense capability and the cold resolve to use it will do that.

Nothing has changed in America. What Bush started, Obama is finishing. You thought we voted for change? Here’s an ugly truth: Obama calls Bush’s regime change policy political transition. The man who said change has come to America is doing the same things his predecessor was doing. Voters who expected change would call this betrayal.

For over a year, Obama has demanded Syria President Bashar Assad must go. To that end, Obama has used the same CIA assistance of militant groups to overthrow Assad. Obama initiated this conflict, and now cynically blames Assad for its casualties. This from a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign promises to stop U.S. involvement in wars. It was all lies.

With Russian and Iranian support, Assad has been winning the war against Obama’s CIA-backed militants. There was no strategic reason for him to cheat by using gas. This suggests Assad was set up just like Saddam with false claims of WMD, and it would appear for the same reasons.

Like Gadhafi and Saddam, sequester of Syrian gas weapons will not protect Assad; it will only make his eventual removal more certain.

As long as Assad remains, there’s a threat of proxy war against Israel if the U.S. attacks Iran. Thus Assad is the linchpin blocking a larger war neocons intend to have with Iran. If Assad goes, nothing will stand in the way of a future war on Iran.

This is insanity, and it continues in spite of a clear American vote in 2008 to stop it. God help us.

Bruce Vandiver

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