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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jackson Diehl, "Obama cannot keep ignoring Bashar al-Assad": Khamenei Has Obama Over a Barrel

Observing in an important Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obama cannot keep ignoring Bashar al-Assad" that "If the Islamic State is a cancer, Assad is the source tumor," Jackson Diehl explains why Obama refuses to strike the forces supporting Syria's monstrous president:

"Taking on Assad is hard: He’s proven he’s immune to diplomatic pressure, and military attacks would require a major escalation of the air campaign. Action against Assad would place the United States at odds not only with Iran and Russia, which so far are not obstructing the war against the Islamic State, but also with the Iraqi government, which continues to support the Damascus regime."

Diehl fails to note that the US is facing a November 24 deadline with Iran to reach an agreement curtailing Iran's nuclear weapons development program. If Obama were to attack those supporting Assad on the ground, including Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighters and Hezbollah forces sent by Khamenei from Lebanon, Obama's desperate effort to reach an agreement with Iran - currently going nowhere - would go down in flames.

Diehl explains the consequence of ignoring Assad:

"The problem is that ignoring Assad is likely to lead to even worse consequences. Already, the regime and its spokesmen are exulting in the U.S. bombing raids and doing their best to portray the United States as a de facto ally, while Syrians in rebel-held areas are demonstrating against the U.S. strikes because they are seen to be weakening the resistance to Assad."

Again, Obama cannot touch Assad without forfeiting an agreement on the nuclear issue with Iran. You will recall that Obama declared two years ago at the United Nations:

"Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

Remarkably, during his speech at the United Nations last week, Obama dropped all the threatening language when referring to Iran:

"America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue, as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them. And this can only take place if Iran seizes this historic opportunity. My message to Iran’s leaders and people has been simple and consistent: Do not let this opportunity pass. We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful."

Yup, Khamenei has Obama over a barrel.

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