May 15, 2015
Jeb Bush has spent the week debating with himself over whether he would have started the war his brother launched on Iraq.
When he figures it out, hopefully, our would-be president will focus in on the campaign to drag us into yet another Mideast war—this time to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.
While few would mourn the passing of the Assad dynasty, there is a problem: If Assad falls, a slaughter of Christians will follow and the battle for control of Damascus will be between the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, the Nusra Front, and the crazed terrorists of the Islamic State.
Victory for either would be a disaster for America.
Where is the evidence of an unholy alliance to bring this about?
Turkey, which turned a blind eye to ISIS volunteers slipping into Syria, has aided the Nusra Front in setting up its own capital in Idlib, near the Turkish border, to rival the ISIS capital of Raqqa.
In the fall of Idlib, said Bashar Assad, “the main factor was the huge support that came through Turkey; logistic support, and military support, and of course financial support that came through Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”
Why would Turks, Saudis and Qataris collude with Sunni jihadists?
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan detests Assad. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs are terrified of Shiite Iran and see any ally of Tehran, such as Assad, as their mortal enemy.
This also explains the seven weeks of savage Saudi bombing of the Houthi rebels, who dumped over a U.S.-Saudi puppet in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, then seized the second and third cities of Taiz and Aden.
But while the Houthis bear no love for us, they have been fighting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, the Saudi bombing has given AQAP, the most dangerous terrorist foe we face, freedom to create sanctuaries and liberate hundreds of fellow terrorists from prison.
The Israelis seem to be in on the game as well. While they have taken in rebels wounded on the Golan Heights and returned them to their units, there are reports of Israel aiding the Nusra Front with intelligence and even air strikes.
This week, an Israeli official bluntly warned that Hezbollah has amassed 100,000 short-range rockets capable of striking northern Israel, thousands of which could hit Tel Aviv. The rockets are said to be hidden in Shiite villages in southern Lebanon.
Israel is preparing, writes The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner, “for what it sees as an almost inevitable next battle with Hezbollah.”
As Hezbollah has been the most effective fighting ally of Assad, an Israeli war on Hezbollah could help bring Assad down.
But, again, who rises if Assad falls? And who else, besides Christians and Alawites, starts digging their graves?
As one might expect, Sen. Lindsey Graham is all in. Late in April, he declared, “Assad has to go. … We’re going to have to send some of our soldiers back into the Middle East.”
Graham is willing to commit 10,000 U.S. ground troops.