Syria: Their War, Not Ours

By Pat Buchanan

Syria: Their War, Not Ours
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -( The debacle that is U.S. Syria policy is today on naked display.

NATO ally Turkey and U.S.-backed Arab rebels this weekend attacked our most effective allies against ISIS, the Syrian Kurds.

Earlier in August, U.S. planes threatened to shoot down Syrian planes over Hasakeh, and our Iraq-Syria war commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, issued a warning to Syria and Russia against any further air strikes around the city.

Who authorized Gen. Townsend to threaten to shoot down Syrian or Russian planes — in Syria?

When did Congress authorize an American war in Syria? Is the Constitution now inoperative?

That we are sinking into a civil war where we sometimes seem to be fighting both sides is a tribute to the fecklessness of the Barack Obama-John Kerry foreign policy and the abdication of a Congress that refuses to either name our real enemy or authorize our deepening involvement.

Our Congress appears again to have abdicated its war powers.

Consider the forces that have turned Syria into a charnel house with 400,000 dead and millions injured, maimed and uprooted.

On the one side there is the regime of Bashar Assad and its allies — Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. Damascus buys its weapons from Moscow and has granted Russia its sole naval base in the Mediterranean. And Vladimir Putin protects his interests and stands by his friends.

To Iran, the Alawite regime of Assad is a strategic link in the Shia crescent that runs from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to South Beirut and Lebanon's border with Israel.

If Syria falls to Sunni rebels, Islamist or democratic, that would mean a strategic loss for Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, which is why all have invested so much time, blood and treasure in this war.

If they are going to lose Syria, Assad, Iran, Hezbollah and the Russians are probably going to go down fighting. And should we decide to fight a war to take them down, we would find ourselves with such de facto allies as ISIS and the al-Nusra Front, an affiliate of al-Qaida.

Have the hawks who want us to target Assad considered this?

The American people would never sustain such a war in the company of such allies, with its risks of escalation, to remove Assad, who, whatever we think of him, never terrorized Americans or threatened U.S. vital interests.

Years ago, Assad dismissed Obama's demand that he surrender power, then defied Obama's “red line” against the use of chemical weapons. He is not going to depart because some U.S. president tells him he must go.

As for the Syrian Kurds, the YPG, they have sealed much of the border with Turkey and fought their way ever closer to Raqqa, the capital of the ISIS caliphate. But what has elated the Americans has alarmed the Turks.

For the YPG not only drove ISIS out of the border towns all the way to the Euphrates; this summer, with U.S. backing, they crossed the river and seized Manbij.

Turkey's fear is that the Syrian Kurds will link their cantons east of the Euphrates with their canton west of the river and create a statelet that could give Turkey's Kurds a privileged sanctuary from which to pursue their 30-year struggle for independence.

If, when the war ends in Syria, the YPG is occupying all the borderlands, Ankara faces a long-term existential threat of dismemberment.

After recent terrorist attacks on his country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recognizes that ISIS is a monster with which he cannot live. Thus, this weekend, he sent tanks and Arab troops to drive ISIS out of the Syrian border town of Jarablus.

Now Turkish troops and their Arab allies are moving further south into Syria to expel the Kurds from Manbij. Joe Biden, visiting Turkey, told the Kurds to get out of Manbij and back across the river.

How does the U.S. protect its interests while avoiding a deeper involvement in this war?

  • First, recognize that ISIS and the al-Nusra Front are our primary enemies in Syria, not Assad or Russia. Geostrategists may be appalled, but the Donald may have gotten it right. If the Russians are willing to fight to crush ISIS, to save Assad, be our guest.
  • Second, oppose any removal of Assad unless and until we are certain he will not be replaced by an Islamist regime.
  • Third, we should assure the Turks we will keep the Kurds east of the Euphrates and not support any Kurdish nation-state that involves any secession from Turkey.

America's best and wisest course is to stop this slaughter that is killing a thousand Syrians a week, use our forces in concert with any and all allies to annihilate the Nusra Front and ISIS, keep the Kurds and Turks apart, effect a truce if we can, and then get out. It's not our war.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 8 thoughts on “Syria: Their War, Not Ours

    1. “Our Congress appears again to have abdicated its’ war power” (P.J. Buchanan) Tragically that quote is only half true.
      They have abdicated all of the their Congressional power to Mr. Obama, and as long as Congress maintains that course, America will remain in a quagmire of loss.
      Mr. Obama takes great pleasure in plotting the downfall of our country and her people. He has announced his intent to personally sign the Climate Treaty without Senate Ratification. He will accomplish this on his pending trip to China. This is totally against the law, but Congress appears unwilling to do anything about it: up to and including notifying all participants in this treaty that the Treaty is automatically null and void without Senate Ratification. I have written both of my Senators re: this.
      I personally don’t think Trump or Hillary will take up residence in the White House. I believe there will be martial law,canceled elections, and Obama as dictator. He is all ready more than half way there.
      It is my fervent prayer that I am totally wrong, and that Trump will be our next President. Then, maybe our beautiful country and we the people can start the road back to recovery. If not, all of our Rights will disappear in the blink of an eye,and the mess in Syria will be a picnic in view of what could be ahead.
      Take care and God bless
      Be safe
      Never forget Extortion 17

    2. Why don’t we sell all those middle easterners all the small arms and ammunition that they can pay for; get out of their way; and let them kill each other! They have been killing each other for fourteen centuries. That is what has kept the rest of the world safe from Islam, and the Sunnies and Shiite won’t stop killing each other. Only recently have we gotten in the way.

    3. Tell you what…why don’t we do the complete opposite of what we’re now doing where we shouldn’t be doing anything at all?? Come back to this country where we can identify all these neocon warmongers. Arrest them all. Declare them as financial terrorists and with crimes against humanity and starting illegal wars of aggression charges, put them in front of a jury of the peers and see what happens?? We can start with Bush and all his henchmen and then work through Barry and his merry band of madmen while prosecuting crooked Hillary for her many indiscretions as well. This country would then be on the moral and financial high ground on the way to it’s best days instead of the disaster these criminals have created everywhere under the failed leadership of Obama which to my eye looks like George Bush’s 3rd and 4th term… These traitorous people are despicable and belong in a cage where they can’t hurt anyone else…

    4. I heard Slick Willie say yesterday, in his profound and knowledgeable voice, we could use the Syrian refuges to rebuild the city of Detroit. What kind of lame thinking is that. If there are able bodied people coming here from Syria we are the dumbest bunch of idiots that ever walked on the face of the earth. Why do we send our men and women into harms way and allow the scum to come here and live free. If they are able bodied they should be defending their own country with the knowledge that if they don’t they may loose their head.
      We have elected pure idiots to lead us into the land of oblivion. Where did common sense go? It isn’t our problem man. Quit killing our people over something Obumer and hiLIARy screwed completely up. Lets send both of them to the happy crazy house and work quickly on the rest of the idiots like them.

    5. Between the hush hush deals that have been made in the way,
      of arms and supplies to groups in that region , (some fighting each other)
      The US. backs even ones that will do harm to us in a second.
      Look at who we gave money and weapons to ! where are those things,
      now. POINTED AT US. H.R.C. & B.H.O. have a can of worms open that,
      MUST be closed from the inside out. Protect ourselves, Protect our country,
      Protect our way of life . U.S.A. FIRST !!!

    6. We have transcended from Constitutional Control for the last seven years.We are slipping into a world without borders. Soon the concept of the sovereign country will be lost and we will live as third world tribes. That, Mr. Buchanan, is why Congress did no authorize these actions…B

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