Borders, shmorders! Jeff Koopersmith's preview of the twilight days of the Cheney Regime: expect last-minute military escapades as the most damaging bust-out artists in American history take one last shot at trashing the place before they leave.
October 28, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Could this be a mini-October surprise for the GOP?
Yesterday, Dick Cheney and his idiot sidekick George W. Bush decided that is was time to develop Syria into another vicious enemy by crossing its borders and killing an Iraqi who was running guns, money, and foreign fighters into Iraq. They might have informed the Syrian government.
Cheney and Bush and their moronic Secretary of State, Dr. Condolleeza Rice, have already launched similar forays into Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and have succeeded in making the Pakistani people detest American government with ever more zeal.
Meanwhile, the dimwit Rice has announced this week that she will open what is a State Department exploratory "office" in Tehran, Iran – an “Obama Doctrine” move that is widely viewed as a first step toward normalizing relations with the Iranian government and re-opening our embassy.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this not one more nightmare of senselessness stage-managed buffoonery by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
Things seemed to going at least a little better between Syria and the United States over the past several months, and Pakistan continued to allow our troops to cross their borders in "hot pursuit" of terrorists even though American forces seems constantly to be killing innocents in their wake.
Now we have high level Syrian officials threatening to shoot down American helicopters should they cross the Syrian border again. I saw an interview this morning on the BBC with a high level Syrian official threatening this as “a called-for defense.”
The raid into Syria, like the previous ones in Pakistan, featured American commandos in helicopters – this while America was praising Syria for trying as hard as she could to stop cross-border traffic of weapons and fighters.
Dick Cheney, who must be either suffering from Alzheimer’s or indulging his evident insatiable bloodlust one more time, justifies this attack under his new and "expanded" definition of "self-defense," one that appears to allow our armed forces to fly missile-bearing choppers into the middle of London or Paris in pursuit of Al Qaeda or Taliban terrorists. The New York Times called this "a rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countries’ consent.”
I might go further and say it is reflection of lawlessness both inside America and out. A hallmark of the Cheney-Bush Administration.
As the duo who destroyed the entire Republican Party in less than 7 years leave office it appears that Bush and Cheney are eager to expand their attacks no matter where.
I might remind them that we are not at war with Syria and Pakistan – at least not yet.
One can only posit that Cheney has promised his war-machine board-room buddies to make certain that the conflagration in the Middle East expands and gets hotter so this group of WMD exporters can earn bigger profits even under a Democrat president.
While Condi Rice is setting up shop in Tehran – most likely a ruse to fool the Iranians into believing there might be a thaw in American-Iran relations, it seems clear that Mr. Cheney may have plans to violate Iranian borders as well – this time to strike at camps inside Iran that train Shiites to fight Iraqis and Americans in Iraq.
While there is little argument from me that terrorists must be hunted down, it seems that seeking permission from other national leaders before we cross their borders might be in order. Of course, Cheney's people will answer that any contact with the target state could cause "leaks" which would obviate their planned secret attacks.
The assault in Syria was presented to the media as one planned by the CIA quickly over last weekend after it found the location of a twenty-something year old well watched insurgent called Abu Ghadiya.
A Blackhawk helicopter and 24 Special Forces attacked the village of Sukkariyah (no laughing, please) seven miles inside the Syrian border late in the afternoon. Ghadiya was killed along with others in his "cell". He was reportedly a well known smuggler of foreign fighters into Iraq and named by the U.S. Treasury as a major figure living in Syria.
Spokesmen for the Defense Department and the C.I.A. declined to comment on the attack. On Sunday, an American military official had already denied that American military helicopters had played a part in the raid. The usual.
The Times reports "administration officials said Monday that the strikes in Pakistan and Syria were carried out on the basis of a legal argument that has been "refined" in recent months to justify strikes by troops and by rockets on militants in countries with which the United States is not at war.” Shades of former and disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
You may remember that pre-emptive (offensive) attacks justify attacks against governments and their armies.
This latest "refinement" that stinks of Cheney seems to say that "self-defense" justifies attacks on insurgents operating anywhere on foreign soil that threaten the military, the allies, or "the interests" of the United States.
That's an exceedingly broad “refinement.” Would such elegance justify an attack on Germany or France because a French or German bank resold sub-prime mortgage-backed securities to the Bank of America? That would certainly "threaten the interests" of the United States.
What interests me is that the United States has not attacked terrorist cells in Mexico for instance, or in Central and South America where they abound and who would like nothing more that to attack the United States.
There are also such "cells" in many western and eastern European nations, as well as in almost all Arab and Muslim lead nations including our allies in the Gulf.
It appears that the closing Bush doctrine allows for attacks on and inside any nation, we please as long as we can rationalize them in any way.
Mr. Cheney is also hoping that the next Administration will carry on with this doctrine.
Can you say McCain's October Surprise? Perhaps this is step one in a week-long run up to an attack on another nation so voters flood the polls anxious to elect “the proven leader” John McCain. Americans actually believe this even though there is no evidence that Mr. McCain led anything in wartime. While he might have been “poised and ready” so were all our military men and women – and all throughout our history. A madman “Maverick” is about the least trustworthy person we could put in the Oval Office at any time.
The Syrians claim that eight Syrian civilians were killed in the raid on Sukkariyah. “We” say, not for attribution, that all those killed were militants and that women and children living among them were spared.
Of course, the United States has not been alone in this pursuit.
Turkey, Israel, and Columbia's military have crossed borders to save captives or to attack insurgents in the past. The U.N. is at least entertaining the idea of making such incursions, based on self-defense, legal internationally.
However, U.S. General David Petraeus told us that foreign fighters in Iraq have been less than 20 as compared to last year's 120.
Naturally, this attack has created a kind of havoc between Syria and Iraq as well in any nation worried that it too might be a U.S. target for “harboring” terrorist whether it is or not.
Syria has tried to stop the flow of insurgents crossing its border into Iraq according to U.S. authorities, but not well enough. Iraq wishes to remain on friendly terms with Syria of course, yet now the Iraqi leadership finds itself between a rock and hard place, as she must also defend America's military operations within Syria.
The conclusions here are difficult – mostly because we get so little truth from the White House. If we believe General Petraeus, then moving Special Forces into Syria to kill eight might be overstepping. If we worry that one of these radical losers will kill an American girl or boy, then it seems obvious to go after terrorists wherever they hide.
Thus, the issue, at least for me, is not sovereign borders alone. The situation is far more complex. However, we must be prepared to pay a very dear price for invading an otherwise friendly nation without warning – for whatever reason. The spread of this – the newest version of the Bush doctrine will backfire. I can guarantee that one day the United States will suffer a similar fate.
Well, perhaps we have before now.
Jeff Koopersmith is an internationally renowned political consultant, opinion research authority and policy analyst. He has lobbied for causes including the alternative fuel sector and women's health, and is an expert on the international real estate market. He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.