Obama's Response to the Refugee Crisis: Regime
Change in Syria
By Shamus Cooke
September 14, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" -
One drowned toddler has shifted global politics. The picture
demanded action in response to the largest migration crisis since
World War II, itself caused by the longest series of wars since
WWII. These wars have dragged on and new ones started-- Libya and
Syria -- under the Nobel Prize winning U.S. President.
Obama could end the refugee crisis by brokering
peace in Syria, but instead he's pushing hard and fast for war. Few
U.S. media outlets are reporting about the critical war resolution
that the Obama Administration is trying to push through Congress.
"President Barack Obama has called on Congress
to authorize US military action in Syria. The move has provoked
sharp, multifaceted debate in the US Capitol as a resolution moves
through the legislative process."
What's in the Senate resolution demanded by Obama?
"...Barack Obama for the first time portrayed
his plans for US military action [in Syria] as part of a broader
strategy to topple [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad, as the White
House's campaign to win over skeptics in Congress gained momentum."
The resolution would allow a a 90 day window for
U.S. military attack in Syria, where both ISIS and the Syrian
government would be targeted; with regime change in Syria being the
The U.S. public has virtually no knowledge of
these new developments. A field of candidates campaigning for
President haven't mentioned the subject. The U.S. media's silence on
the issue is deafening.
War produces war refugees. The once-modern
societies of Iraq, Libya and Syria were obliterated while the
western world watched, seemingly emotionless. But the drowned
toddler, named Aylan, unearthed these buried emotions.
The public demanded that something must be done
about the refugee crisis. And now this feeling is being exploited by
the Obama Administration, funneling the energy back into the war
canal that birthed the problem.
The war march is happening fast, and in silence.
U.S. ally Australia already announced it would begin bombing in
Syria, while the U.K media has also re-started the debate to join
While not mentioning Obama's new Syrian war
resolution, the U.S. media is re-playing the 2013 Syria war debates,
when public pressure overcame Obama's commitment to bomb the Syrian
government. History is now dangerously repeating itself. We're back
on the war track, with bombing targets imagined with each new press
For example, Roger Cohen of the New York Times is
just one of several pundits making the absurd argument that Obama's
lack of action in Syria has helped lead to the catastrophe.
Cohen's argument has been uttered in various forms in countless
U.S. media outlets, pushing the public to accept an expanded U.S.
war in Syria:
"American interventionism can have terrible
consequences, as the Iraq war has demonstrated. But American
non-interventionism can be equally devastating, as Syria
illustrates. Not doing something is no less of a decision than doing
Cohen doesn't mention Obama's war resolution. But
his well-timed war propaganda hides behind the old arguments of
humanitarian intervention, a term meant to put a smiley face on the
carnage of war. Obama used humanitarian intervention arguments to
justify the destruction of Libya, whose war refugees continue to
drown en masse in the Mediterranean.
The many hack journalists of Cohen's ilk are
repeating -- in unison-- the big lie that Obama's inaction in Syria
produced the war and refugee catastrophe. The exact opposite is the
case. These pundits know very well that Obama has intervened heavily
in Syria from the beginning, and remains the driving force of the
war-driven refugee crisis.
Cohen's own paper, the New York Times,
reported in March 2013 that the Obama Administration was
overseeing a weapons pipeline to Syria, funneling tons of weapons
via U.S. allies to help attack the Syrian government where Obama
desired --and still desires -- regime change.
This story should have laid the foundation for our
understanding of the Syrian conflict, since it changed the course of
the war and pushed jihadist groups into positions of power, while
leaving others powerless. But this narrative was ignored. The story
was dropped even while the dynamic continued, intensifying the
bloodbath that spilled into neighboring countries.
Who received Obama's trafficked guns? The New York
reported in October 2012 -- before Obama's role in the weapons
pipeline was discovered-- that the regional flow of weapons was
going to jihadist groups in Syria.
And a recent U.S.
Department of Defense report shows that the Obama Administration
was fully aware that weapons were being shipped to Syrian groups
such as al-Qaeda linked rebels and those that later joined ISIS.
As a result, these groups are the the only real
players among the rebels attacking the Syrian government today. And
these are the groups that will take power if the Syrian government
falls, as Obama intends to achieve.
We also know that Obama's weapon pipeline was
assisted by a flow of billions of dollars and foreign fighters from
the U.S. allies that surround Syria, most notably
Turkey. This perfect storm of Syrian destruction just didn't
happen by coincidence, as the puzzled media would have you believe.
Close U.S. allies don't intervene in regional politics without
having U.S. permission and support.
In 2013 the Telegraph reported the existence of a
U.S. rebel training camp in Jordan to arm and train fighters
attacking the Syrian government. This story was all but ignored in
the U.S. media. These training camps have since been expanded to
Saudi Arabia and Turkey, while the U.S. media buried the story.
The bloody fingerprints of the U.S. government are
all over this conflict, while the U.S. media has the audacity to
claim that inaction was Obama's cardinal sin. These same journalists
never asked hard questions about Obama's weapons pipeline, or his
rebel training camps, or the actions of his close allies directly
fueling the bloodshed. Obama was invited to Jon Stewart and Stephen
Colbert's shows where he received celebrity treatment. Real
discussion on Syria was always off the table .
Baby Aylan's death was an opportunity for peace,
but Obama is intent to stay on his war track. We are at a critical
Russia has once again proposed renewed peace talks in Syria
Similar deals have been offered by Russia and
Syria for several years. But Obama's peace-killing response has
remained Assad must go . Obama continues to demand regime change: in
practice this mean the war continues, and his new war resolution
would expand it.
Meanwhile, Russia has made moves to bolster the
Syrian government against ISIS and al-Qaeda linked rebels. In
response, the Obama Administration issued a
serious warning to Russia and pressured neighboring governments,
like Bulgaria, to
block Russia's transportation of weapons to aid the Syrian
By attempting to block Russians weapons to the
Syrian government Obama is empowering the groups attacking the
government-- al-Qaeda and ISIS. If Obama follows through with his
new war resolution and topples the Syrian President, these groups
are the ones who will fill the power vacuum.
Thus, millions more refugees will sweep into
neighboring countries and Europe, if they survive the onslaught.
To this day Obama has pushed zero peace
initiatives in Syria. Diplomacy has been off the table. Regime
change remains the official position of the Obama Administration,
which his new resolution finally makes official. The war on ISIS was
always a distraction to pursue regime change in Syria, and most
media pundits took the bait.
The world demands peace in Syria. Obama must
accept Russia's peace offering, and sit down with Iran, Hezbollah,
and the Syrian government to hammer out a peace initiative, while
demanding that U.S. allies in the region stand down and pursue a
policy of strangling the flow of guns, money, and fighters that
The U.S. must also open its borders to hundreds of
thousands of refugees that are the direct victims of U.S. foreign
policy. Immediately agreeing to take 500,000 refugees would be a
Drastic action is needed immediately to address
the destruction of Syria, it's true. But not the action demanded by
the war-hungry U.S. President. Real humanitarian intervention cannot
include missiles and tanks. The world demands peace.
Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade
unionist, and writer for
Action. He can be reached at