The Weiner Component Vol.#2 – President Trump, the Mighty Warrior

On Friday, April 8, 2017, President Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian military airport from where he believed planes, on April 4th  originated, that dropped poison sarin gas upon onto a Damascus suburb killing up to 1,423 people, mostly civilian adults and a large number of children.

 

Trump commented at a news conference about watching television and seeing the results of the raid upon young children.  “I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact.  That was a horrible, horrible thing.  And I’ve been watching it, and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that.”  He spoke about the “beautiful little babies” that had been killed with poison gas.  “It crossed a lot of lines for me.  When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal.  That crosses many, many lines.  Beyond a red line, many, many lines.”

 

On Friday when he met with the Chinese President at his resort in Florida he had ordered as Commander and Chief of the U.S. Military fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles to be sent to the Shayrat Air Base, where the Syrian planes carrying the poison gas had presumably originated.  In doing this Trump changed his “America First” policy.

******************************

To understand both Syria and the Middle East it is necessary to look at this region historically.  The Ottoman or Turkish Empire began toward the end of the 13th Century, when it conquered most of what is today the Middle East.  After 1354 it crossed into Europe conquering the Balkans.  During the 16th and 17th Centuries it became a multinational, multilingual Empire, consisting of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.  For various reasons the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and 19th Centuries.  In the early 20th Century they allied with the Central Powers during World War I.  Its defeat in that war led to the occupation of parts of its territories by some of the Allied Powers.  This resulted in the loss of itsremaining empire.  The Middle East territories were divided between England and France.  A successful revolt against the occupying allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey, which is today modern Turkey.

 

The Middle East was split-up by the two Allied Nations in such a way as to accommodate their new possessions as colonies and protectorates.  The indigenous needs, religions, and otherwise of the people were ignored.  The divisions were decided totally upon requirements or whims of the victorious European nations that took them over as possessions that would be used for essentially economic purposes.

 

After World War II these colonies began revolting in order to gain their independence.  When it was realized that it would be cheaper to grant them independence and trade with them rather than continue to hold them in line militarily the Middle East nations gained their freedom and the Age of Imperialism ended.

 

The boundary lines that were set at the end of the First World War are the same boundary lines that exist today.  The Middle East nations are essentially conglomerates of different groups of peoples.  In a few cases there is a majority but in most instances the countries are made up of many minorities, usually with one of them ruling the country.  Such is the case in Syria.

 

In 2011 the Arab Spring occurred.  It was a movement of a number of Middle East nations attempted to move in the direction of democracy.  In most cases these countries ended up with a new minority ruling and the rest of the population being more or less repressed as they were before 2011.

 

In Syria the Arab Spring generated a conflict between Bashar al-Assad’s regime that represents a minority of its citizens and a majority of different groups that wanted it gone.  Assad is supported by about one third of the population and the army.  Over the last six years the situation has spiraled into an immensely complicated international war.  On the one side there is the government of the country headed by President al-Assad, who is supported by Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia and on the other side innumerable groups, supported by Saudi Arabia and to some extent by the U.S., fighting Assad’s government and each other at times.  Some of the groups are extremely reactionary or radical and some are more moderate but the political positions the groups adhere to changes at times, putting the U.S. in an impossible position as to whom to support militarily.

 

In addition ISIS or ISIL has set up what it calls a Worldwide Caliphate (world state) which it claims has religious, political, and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.  ISIS has controlled a large section in western Iraq and eastern Syria containing an estimated 2.8 to 8 million people.  In addition to warfare they have conducted televised mass beheadings of prisoners and civilians, which have included two American newsmen.

 

In the constant six years of civil war over 4 ½ million people in Syria have been displaced.  This has led to a constant stream of refugees leaving or trying to leave the country.  The mass of refugees have caused strains in other Middle East countries, in Europe, and even in the United States, where   President Donald Trump has unsuccessfully attempted to keep, among others, all Syrian refugees from entering the country, calling them potential terrorists.

 

While earlier the United States under President Barack Obama wanted Assad gone they had largely participated in arming the Kurds, a group situated in a region in both Iraq and Syria, whose agenda is mainly to set up their own Kurd state.  The U.S. is mainly bombing ISIS in both countries while the Kurds are fighting them on the ground.  Largely but not completely the United States had, has avoided specifically supporting anyone in the Syrian Civil War.  But they are continuing to fight ISIS, mainly from the air.

***************************

In 2013, after a chemical poison gas attack by President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Russia had supposedly removed all poison gas chemicals from Syria after it they were initially used by them.  President Obama, at that time had drawn a red line, the United States would not allow the use of chemical warfare.  Presumably he was stopped from taking any actions by the Republican Congress.  But Assad did agree to give up all his chemical weapons, which were removed by Russia and presumably destroyed.  But it would seem that Assad held back some of the poison gas and this was used in the early April 2017 bombing in the rebel held area of Khan Sheikhoun.

 

The raiders dropped barrel bombs, which in this case were canisters of sarin poison gas. In addition to be breathed in the gas can enter the body through the pores in the skin.  There were some very dramatic television pictures of people trying to wash the poison off the bodies and clothing of young children by hosing them with water.  There were also pictures of children and adults undergoing great torment painfully trying to breathe.  This apparently is what caused Trump’s reaction.

 

Assad claims that he is not responsible, that he gave up his supply of poison gas in 2013.  Putin and Russia support his claim.  The United States and President Trump blame the Assad regime.  Not too long ago Chlorine gas was used against one of the rebelling groups in Syria by Assad.  Apparently chlorine, which is used to etch glass, in not a poison gas!  The situation in Syria is complicated, particularly with issuing blame.

*************************************

My last point concerns President Donald J. Trump.  How sincere is he?  He has stated that he doesn’t like to read, that he gets his information by watching television.  His reaction to the chemical poison gas attack in Syria has been shock, watching young children suffering from poison gas.  His reaction to the sight was to punish the perpetrators of the bombing.

 

There was no investigation of who had dropped the gas bombs.  It was broadly assumed that only al-Assad was capable of doing it.  Assad, backed by Russia, claimed that he did not order it or even that he had any poison gas.  He claimed that his government had turned over their supply of poison gas to Russia in 2013, who had destroyed the supply.

 

Would Assad order the dropping of the poison gas?  I suspect the answer is, yes, if he had a reason to do so.

 

Trump seems to change his attitudes as quickly as a chameleon changes its color.  He has claimed that he wasn’t interested in what was happening overseas, that his basic policy is America first.  Yet, after watching some television newsreel about children suffering and dying from being gassed in Syria he ordered the bombing of the Syrian airfield where the planes are supposed to have come from.  He was emotionally moved and reacted to the sight of the atrocity.

*******************************

It should also be noted that President Trump likes to change the topic at times that the media is using when it is negative.  This is particularly true in terms of him and his staff being associated with Russia during the Presidential Campaign and earlier.

 

In doing this he’s come up with real nonsense, such as President Obama illegally bugging his facilities during the Presidential campaign.  There is no proof of this and it has been emphatically disclaimed by all the government agencies like the FBI, but still Trump persists in this bit of alternate reality.  I get the impression that Trump’s version of a fact is whether, if he were in the other President’s position then it is something he would do.  Apparently, to him, everyone else has the same low code of honor Trump has!

 

One of Trump’s former aids is registering retrogressively as a foreign agent.  Another was fired after lying to the Vice President.  Numerous others have associations with foreign countries.  Trump has stated in different speeches that he both personally knows and that he has never met Vladimir Putin, the Russian premier.

 

It has been suggested that the American bombing of the Syrian air force base was arranged by Trump with Putin’s support and that Assad’s government knew about it in advance.  From what I understand only six Syrians died from the exploding 59 million dollars’ worth of Tomahawk missiles, that is 59 separate tomahawk missiles each costing one million dollars.  Is this true?  I have no idea.  Could it be true?  There were no Russians anywhere in or near the airbase.

 

Will Trump do it again?  President Putin has stated that there will be serious consequences if he does.

 

Looking at what’s happening in Syria from President Trump’s prospective, it’s alright to kill people and children as long as poison gas is not used.  There seems to be something wrong with that attitude.

 

If this is the only effort made against Assad and his government then what was the real point of the 59 million dollars’ worth of Tomahawk missiles dropped on the Syrian air base?  Or was this a message being sent to North Korea, telling them to back down on their atomic bombs and missile development tests?

 

Somehow a lot of what has happen here makes no sense unless it is an outpouring of Trump’s ever-changing emotional states.

The Weiner Component Vol.2 #13 – President Trump, the Mighty Warrior

 

On Friday, April 8, 2017, President Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian military airport from where he believed planes, on April 4th  originated, that dropped poison sarin gas upon onto a Damascus suburb killing up to 1,423 people, mostly civilian adults and a large number of children.

 

Trump commented at a news conference about watching television and seeing the results of the raid upon young children.  “I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact.  That was a horrible, horrible thing.  And I’ve been watching it, and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that.”  He spoke about the “beautiful little babies” that had been killed with poison gas.  “It crossed a lot of lines for me.  When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal.  That crosses many, many lines.  Beyond a red line, many, many lines.”

 

On Friday when he met with the Chinese President at his resort in Florida he had ordered as Commander and Chief of the U.S. Military fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles to be sent to the Shayrat Air Base, where the Syrian planes carrying the poison gas had presumably originated.  In doing this Trump changed his “America First” policy.

******************************

To understand both Syria and the Middle East it is necessary to look at this region historically.  The Ottoman or Turkish Empire began toward the end of the 13th Century, when it conquered most of what is today the Middle East.  After 1354 it crossed into Europe conquering the Balkans.  During the 16th and 17th Centuries it became a multinational, multilingual Empire, consisting of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.  For various reasons the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and 19th Centuries.  In the early 20th Century they allied with the Central Powers during World War I.  Its defeat in that war led to the occupation of parts of its territories by some of the Allied Powers.  This resulted in the loss of itsremaining empire.  The Middle East territories were divided between England and France.  A successful revolt against the occupying allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey, which is today modern Turkey.

 

The Middle East was split-up by the two Allied Nations in such a way as to accommodate their new possessions as colonies and protectorates.  The indigenous needs, religions, and otherwise of the people were ignored.  The divisions were decided totally upon requirements or whims of the victorious European nations that took them over as possessions that would be used for essentially economic purposes.

 

After World War II these colonies began revolting in order to gain their independence.  When it was realized that it would be cheaper to grant them independence and trade with them rather than continue to hold them in line militarily the Middle East nations gained their freedom and the Age of Imperialism ended.

 

The boundary lines that were set at the end of the First World War are the same boundary lines that exist today.  The Middle East nations are essentially conglomerates of different groups of peoples.  In a few cases there is a majority but in most instances the countries are made up of many minorities, usually with one of them ruling the country.  Such is the case in Syria.

 

In 2011 the Arab Spring occurred.  It was a movement of a number of Middle East nations attempted to move in the direction of democracy.  In most cases these countries ended up with a new minority ruling and the rest of the population being more or less repressed as they were before 2011.

 

In Syria the Arab Spring generated a conflict between Bashar al-Assad’s regime that represents a minority of its citizens and a majority of different groups that wanted it gone.  Assad is supported by about one third of the population and the army.  Over the last six years the situation has spiraled into an immensely complicated international war.  On the one side there is the government of the country headed by President al-Assad, who is supported by Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia and on the other side innumerable groups, supported by Saudi Arabia and to some extent by the U.S., fighting Assad’s government and each other at times.  Some of the groups are extremely reactionary or radical and some are more moderate but the political positions the groups adhere to changes at times, putting the U.S. in an impossible position as to whom to support militarily.

 

In addition ISIS or ISIL has set up what it calls a Worldwide Caliphate (world state) which it claims has religious, political, and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.  ISIS has controlled a large section in western Iraq and eastern Syria containing an estimated 2.8 to 8 million people.  In addition to warfare they have conducted televised mass beheadings of prisoners and civilians, which have included two American newsmen.

 

In the constant six years of civil war over 4 ½ million people in Syria have been displaced.  This has led to a constant stream of refugees leaving or trying to leave the country.  The mass of refugees have caused strains in other Middle East countries, in Europe, and even in the United States, where   President Donald Trump has unsuccessfully attempted to keep, among others, all Syrian refugees from entering the country, calling them potential terrorists.

 

While earlier the United States under President Barack Obama wanted Assad gone they had largely participated in arming the Kurds, a group situated in a region in both Iraq and Syria, whose agenda is mainly to set up their own Kurd state.  The U.S. is mainly bombing ISIS in both countries while the Kurds are fighting them on the ground.  Largely but not completely the United States had, has avoided specifically supporting anyone in the Syrian Civil War.  But they are continuing to fight ISIS, mainly from the air.

***************************

In 2013, after a chemical poison gas attack by President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Russia had supposedly removed all poison gas chemicals from Syria after it they were initially used by them.  President Obama, at that time had drawn a red line, the United States would not allow the use of chemical warfare.  Presumably he was stopped from taking any actions by the Republican Congress.  But Assad did agree to give up all his chemical weapons, which were removed by Russia and presumably destroyed.  But it would seem that Assad held back some of the poison gas and this was used in the early April 2017 bombing in the rebel held area of Khan Sheikhoun.

 

The raiders dropped barrel bombs, which in this case were canisters of sarin poison gas. In addition to be breathed in the gas can enter the body through the pores in the skin.  There were some very dramatic television pictures of people trying to wash the poison off the bodies and clothing of young children by hosing them with water.  There were also pictures of children and adults undergoing great torment painfully trying to breathe.  This apparently is what caused Trump’s reaction.

 

Assad claims that he is not responsible, that he gave up his supply of poison gas in 2013.  Putin and Russia support his claim.  The United States and President Trump blame the Assad regime.  Not too long ago Chlorine gas was used against one of the rebelling groups in Syria by Assad.  Apparently chlorine, which is used to etch glass, in not a poison gas!  The situation in Syria is complicated, particularly with issuing blame.

*************************************

My last point concerns President Donald J. Trump.  How sincere is he?  He has stated that he doesn’t like to read, that he gets his information by watching television.  His reaction to the chemical poison gas attack in Syria has been shock, watching young children suffering from poison gas.  His reaction to the sight was to punish the perpetrators of the bombing.

 

There was no investigation of who had dropped the gas bombs.  It was broadly assumed that only al-Assad was capable of doing it.  Assad, backed by Russia, claimed that he did not order it or even that he had any poison gas.  He claimed that his government had turned over their supply of poison gas to Russia in 2013, who had destroyed the supply.

 

Would Assad order the dropping of the poison gas?  I suspect the answer is, yes, if he had a reason to do so.

 

Trump seems to change his attitudes as quickly as a chameleon changes its color.  He has claimed that he wasn’t interested in what was happening overseas, that his basic policy is America first.  Yet, after watching some television newsreel about children suffering and dying from being gassed in Syria he ordered the bombing of the Syrian airfield where the planes are supposed to have come from.  He was emotionally moved and reacted to the sight of the atrocity.

*******************************

It should also be noted that President Trump likes to change the topic at times that the media is using when it is negative.  This is particularly true in terms of him and his staff being associated with Russia during the Presidential Campaign and earlier.

 

In doing this he’s come up with real nonsense, such as President Obama illegally bugging his facilities during the Presidential campaign.  There is no proof of this and it has been emphatically disclaimed by all the government agencies like the FBI, but still Trump persists in this bit of alternate reality.  I get the impression that Trump’s version of a fact is whether, if he were in the other President’s position then it is something he would do.  Apparently, to him, everyone else has the same low code of honor Trump has!

 

One of Trump’s former aids is registering retrogressively as a foreign agent.  Another was fired after lying to the Vice President.  Numerous others have associations with foreign countries.  Trump has stated in different speeches that he both personally knows and that he has never met Vladimir Putin, the Russian premier.

 

It has been suggested that the American bombing of the Syrian air force base was arranged by Trump with Putin’s support and that Assad’s government knew about it in advance.  From what I understand only six Syrians died from the exploding 59 million dollars’ worth of Tomahawk missiles, that is 59 separate tomahawk missiles each costing one million dollars.  Is this true?  I have no idea.  Could it be true?  There were no Russians anywhere in or near the airbase.

 

Will Trump do it again?  President Putin has stated that there will be serious consequences if he does.

 

Looking at what’s happening in Syria from President Trump’s prospective, it’s alright to kill people and children as long as poison gas is not used.  There seems to be something wrong with that attitude.

 

If this is the only effort made against Assad and his government then what was the real point of the 59 million dollars’ worth of Tomahawk missiles dropped on the Syrian air base?  Or was this a message being sent to North Korea, telling them to back down on their atomic bombs and missile development tests?

 

Somehow a lot of what has happen here makes no sense unless it is an outpouring of Trump’s ever-changing emotional states.

The Weiner Component #96 – Obama’s Dilemma or the Dilemma of the Middle East

Official photographic portrait of US President...

English: Major ethno-religious groups in Iraq ...

English: Major ethno-religious groups in Iraq Shiite Arabs Sunni Arabs Kurds Assyrians Yazidis Turkmen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Islamic Caliphate State or ISIS or ISIL, which seized large sections of Syria and Iraq, is currently advertising on the internet for female recruits. They need people to cook and have babies, apparently to supply future generations of militants.

ISIS is a group that was expelled from al-Qaida, an organization that makes full use of suicide bombers, for being too extreme. They have publically beheaded captured reporters from the United States and England, as well as a large number of captured Shiite Muslims. ISIS, the Sunnite group, functions by terror and mayhem in the regions they have conquered. Their goal seems to be turning the entire Middle East into a Sunnite Caliphate.

The major question that emerges at this time is whose problem are they? Is it a Free World issue, requiring the Free World under the leadership of the United States, to come in and get rid of them? Of course there is also the question of oil in this fuel rich area. Are they a threat to the Shiite nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran? What about the more liberal Sunni countries in the Middle East? Is it also their problem?

ISIS is an ultra-conservative Sunni group that believes in their way or no way. The people in the areas they conquer have to follow their interpretation of the Sunni Muslim religion or die as non-believers. Arabia in the time of Mohamed was not as extreme as they currently are.

The current situation in the Middle East is a no win situation for the President of the United States. With the beheading of two U.S. reporters it would seem that the country feels a need to get even. Apparently President Barak Obama and a good percentage of the American people have taken the beheadings of the two American reporters as a personal challenge. But what is the reality of this situation?

Beheading seems to be a standard method of execution in the Middle East. The fact that it was advertised on the internet was a direct challenge to the United States. It was the equivalent of holding up a symbolic middle finger to the U.S.

Currently the U.S. is bombing ISIS military positions in Iran and, as of Monday, September 22 has, with a coalition of Arab and European states, begun to bomb similar positions in Syria. France has also begun dropping bombs on ISIS in Iran and Great Britain will be following shortly. The comment has been made by most people interviewed on TV that bombing itself will not wipe the group out, that this will require boots on the ground, a physical invasion by one or all of these nations. This is what President Obama has sworn countless times not to do. Under no conditions, he has stated, will we send troops into Iraq or Syria. What we will do is to train and arm moderate Muslim forces to successfully take over.   We will prepare Syrian and Iraqi forces to successfully fight ISIS in their country.

The problem here is that the United States is so far removed from the Middle East, that our thinking in no way parallels theirs. We would like to set up democratic nations similar to ours in both Iraq and Syria. This was tried three years ago in Iraq and Prime Minister Maliki, a Shiite, took control of the country. Iraq is mostly a Shiite country with a fair percentage of Sunni Muslims in some of its sections. There is also a Kurd population in one area of the country. All were initially represented in the new government but gradually the Sunnis and the Kurds found themselves out of the government with many in jail.

Under U.S. urging Prime Minister Maliki reluctantly gave up his position and a new Prime Minister was elected who is in the process of setting up, once again, a more democratic government. This was the United States requirement in order to help. Will it continue in the same fashion or will it, once foreign help is no longer needed, return to where it was in early 2014. I find this question fascinating, particularly since the United States, one of the world’s great democracies, still has all sorts of problems with its minorities, particularly its Black minority. Legally slavery ended 150 years ago in 1865; but Blacks constitute the greatest majority in U.S. prisons and police seemingly can arbitrarily shoot Blacks as in Ferguson, Missouri. If the U.S. cannot maintain ethnic fairness in its own country how can it ask other nations to do so in their nations? An interesting question!

Will Iraq eventually become more democratic that the United States or will the same issues that made it vulnerable to ISIS come back eventually again?

—————————————–

In terms of Syria, what can happen there? Syria is currently and has been for the last three years engaged in a civil war. There is the old government headed by President Assad and the protagonists fighting his dictatorship. His protagonists in this war are not just one or two groups; they are innumerable rebelling individual groups that are generally fighting Assad and numerous other rebelling groups. ISIS has evolved from this morass and is probably one of the strongest groups of rebels. From Assad and other rebel groups they have gained control of a large section of southern Syria. They have also moved into Iraq and gained control of a large area of land there. These they have claimed as their Sunni Islamic state; and are attempting to enlarge their holdings in both countries as a Sunni Muslim Caliphate claiming that they will ultimately unify the entire Middle East.

While bombing ISIS in Syria presumably weakens them it also makes the land they are holding vulnerable to attack. Since the bombing is not being followed up by military attacks it leaves those area vulnerable to being taken over by President Assad’s military, the original ruler of the area against whom the civil war is being fought.

When the Civil War began three years ago President Obama publically issued a declaration asking Assad to step down and allow the people of Syria to choose new leaders and a new government. This request was ignored and a multi-civil war continues there.

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages in bombing ISIS in Syria, but it would seem to be a no-win situation for the U.S. and the Western powers. We have very successfully and expensively begun the bombing but to what is this leading? There is no eventual exit plan for the U.S. and the Western Powers. Presumably the bombing will continue until ISIS is destroyed but then what? Presumably, then the Syrians, who are mostly Sunnis, will, with encouragement from their Arab neighbors, form a modern democratic state under the auspices of the United Nations?

In fact, if the Middle Eastern nations do not get involved in destroying ISIS on the ground are we going to send our troops in to do the job? At this point there seems to have been no real planning outside of the bombing and building the coalition against ISIS. In what direction are we going in the Middle East? How long do we intend to stay there? At present we have more questions than possible answers.

 

The Weiner Component #44 – Obama & Three Demensional Chess

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Chess is an interesting game.  In it one not only moves one of his pieces, which are all moved in different ways, but he also has to anticipate his opponents countermoves and by his move he can sometimes affect those countermoves.  He has to have one or more objectives that can be obtained in one to one hundred moves. 

I remember over a half century ago watching a chess game between two men who both played the game blind.  They had their backs turned to the chessboard and neither ever turned to face it.  The game took a long time before it was finished.  I don’t remember who won but watching I saw that neither one of the two men ever lost sight of the board in his mind.  The concentration level was virtually unbelievable; the game was dramatic.

In life there are people who play chess in normal or abnormal situations.  They have one or a series of objectives and every move they make against any other person is a step toward, at least, one of their objectives.  To me this is playing Three Dimensional Chess in real life situations.  It takes a really superior person to be able to do this.

President Obama is playing a series of these games, all at the same time, and generally, all important to the welfare of this nation.    Each of these is similar to the two men who played their blind chess game.

One such game is going on in Syria.  Here President Barak Obama has a series of objectives.  He would like to stop the use of chemical weapons, especially against unarmed civilians, that includes helpless and unarmed women and children.  He would like to end the Civil War and bring peace to the region without direct American military intervention or bombing, or for that matter, any additional military intervention by the U.N. or any other nation, and quite possibly help end the civil war and bring peace to the area.  He would also like to normalize conditions with Iran and bring her back into the family of nations.  And he would like to do all this without resorting to any further violence.

Is it possible or probable that all or any of this can be done?

Initially President Barak Obama drew a line across the fighting in the Syrian Civil War: in accordance with international treaties no chemical or biological weapons were to be used in the fighting.  This had been part of an international agreement made much earlier with the majority of the nations on the planet.  They were used, presumably by the Syrian army against civilians in pro-rebel areas, killing and maiming over fifteen hundred unarmed non-combatants, many of whom were women and children.

The people in the United States were and are tired of police actions (wars); they have lived through Iraq and are still living through Afghanistan.  They do not want another war, particularly one that would again be interminable.

President Obama could get no help from the United Nations.  Both Russia and China were allies of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.  They are on the Security Council and would veto any motion against Assad and Syria.  The British Parliament went against its Prime Minister and opposed any direct military action against Syria.  At the G4 Conference Obama could not work up any support for his position even though 180 some nations had signed a treaty against the use of Chemical and Biological Weapons.  The indication was that in any action against Assad the United States would have to go it alone.

President Obama then threw the issue up before Congress, asking them to issue a Declaration of War against Syria.  He promised that no American soldiers would be landed there, that the response for crossing the line by Assad would be a bombing raid against his forces or the forbidden weapons. 

Even though members of Congress largely seemed to be opposed to this action they did not have time to vote on this issue because Secretary of State John Kerry at a press conference in answer to a question stated that the Assad led forces could avoid the bomb strike by surrendering their weapons of mass destruction.  Was this a natural occurrence or had it been set up?

Shortly thereafter the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, offered to broker a deal whereby the Syrian government would give up its weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations, which, in turn, would destroy them.  A short time later the U.N. passed a resolution to this effect.  Even before the resolution this process was beginning.  Seemingly it will be gradually carried out with all the chemical and biological weapons being destroyed well before the end of 2014.

For the United States, Russia, Syria, and the United Nations this is a win, win, win situation.  Russia enters the world arena as an international peace-making nation; Syria avoids a confrontation with the United States; and the United Nations emerges as the international force that limits warfare.  In addition President Obama solves his problem without any military action. 

Of course, the civil war in Syria continues with regular weapons, still killing countless numbers of people.  But conditions have now changed.  The United Nations, all its members, and Syria’s two former allies, Russia and China, are now involved in Syria’s Civil War.  They want to end it.

In addition Syria’s other major ally in the Middle East, Iran, has also undergone a major change.  She has elected a new moderate president who wished Israel a Happy New Year (Rosh Hashanah) on the internet and in assorted TV broadcasts in China, the United States and elsewhere has stated, among a number of other things, that the war in Syria must stop.

Will Assad be able to freely continue his Civil War after the weapons of mass destruction controversy is resolved or will the United Nations be able to broker some sort of settlement?  The probability is that an election will be arranged with the people of Syria voting on the leadership they want for their country.  It is even possible that Iran could broker this deal, which would bring an end of civil war to that country.  It would also allow Iran international respect and bring her quickly into the family of nations with all the current sanctions against her removed.

Assad could even win the election and then he could become the leader of a democratic country or, for that matter, it could be someone else.  In any event the conditions within the country will have changed and the U.N. could bring about some sort of resolution allowing Syria to once again become a functioning successful nation.

Will any of this happen?  Would any of it have been possible without the initial act of drawing a line by President Obama or any of the other adroit moves made by the President?  Some of it has already happened.  It seems to me that he has played a game of chess both horizontally and vertically.  What will he have accomplished?  The world could find an end to the Syrian conflagration, a rise in Russian prestige as a peacemaker even to the point of getting a Nobel Peace Award for its president, Vladimir Putin, and a healthy strengthening of the anti weapons of mass destruction treaty.  The United States also having friendly relations with Iran once again, something that ended in 1979 with the American hostage crisis.  And the process can even allow Iran once again to function on an equal basis with all other nations.  This is indeed a very positive use of three-dimensional chess in real life.  Not one life having been lost or maimed during this entire process!

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