Thursday, March 15, 2012

Romney clueless; Phares equivocating…

No wonder Romney is confused about Islam.  I have seldom read such equivocating hogwash from an advisor as Walid Phares is providing to Romney.  As a former City Planning Director, if I received this sort of gibberish from an analyst (if the articles below are any indication), I would be concerned for his future.

Here is a sample of recent comments by Phares, courtesy of

Phares to BBC 5 Radio: "Assad wants to crush the revolt before the US Presidential election"
In an interview on BBC 5 London Radio,Professor Walid Phares, a US congressional advisor said "the Assad strategy is to try to crush the Syrian uprising before the US Presidential election in November."
Mar 12, 2012, 00:42

Phares to BBC TV Arabic: "The US must factor Iran in its strategies towards the Assad regime"
Middle East expert Professor Walid Phares told BBC TV Arabic that "the US Administration must factor the Iranian support to Bashar and Hezbollah's reaction, when it devises strategies towards the Assad regime."
Mar 11, 2012, 18:31

This is the kind of reporting (or “stream of consciousness” blather, I’m not sure which) Phares is offering up: 

Phares said "UN envoy Kofi Anan may be optimistic or pessimistic, but without a connection to reality, his mission cannot find a solution to the complicated crisis.

Insightful, don’t you think?  And here’s more “new” news:

You need Assad to accept to make a concession and the opposition to do the same. Presently Assad has no intention to let go of his power and the opposition will not accept a solution short of Assad resignation."
Phares underlined that without a decision by Washington to gather an alliance of Arab and European countries and Turkey to take real steps to remove Assad, all other measures won't change the reality on the ground, unless a major rebellion explodes inside Syria's army, a matter not happening yet."

And so what is the significance of any of this to the US?  What are US interests in any of this?

Being Romney’s Middle East advisor and his expert on Islam, Phares is likely the source of Romney’s asinine statement that “Jihadism is no part of Islam.”  Is Romney making this stuff up on his own?  I certainly didn’t see any backtracking by Romney on that statement.  I didn’t see any correction published by Phares.  In fact, a Phares staffer affirmed that “sophisticated” position that Romney has staked out as documented HERE.

Or is Phares’ “advice” to Romney so obfuscated that whatever message he has buried deep in his academic brain isn’t getting out.  Hard to know.

Is this the type of confusing “advice” that leads to useless wars?

I dread the waste of resources awaiting another uninformed US foray into yet another mission of “nation-building”, this time in Syria.

I am not a pacifist by any means.  I cherish a good fight to achieve a decisive win when our collective asses are on the line.  In that scenario I am a hawk.

In the scenarios since Korea,  where we were present for some sort of foggy “police action” or nation-building, where the “enemy” is not identified, their doctrine is denied, where “winning” is undefined, and when there are more cost-effective ways to protect our national security, I am a dove.   Look at these “wars” and “skirmishes”:

Korea:  What did that prove?  Would the result without US intervention be similar to Vietnam?  Did the world come to an end with our departure from Vietnam?

Vietnam:  Vietnam seems to be a decent ally and trading partner even despite our unsuccessful foray.

Iraq #1:  The first Iraq war was to defend Kuwait.  We were in and out.  End of story.  Short duration and few casualties.

Iraq #2:  Bad intelligence re: weapons of mass destruction?  We may never know.  But it was our excuse to kill the regime.  Once the regime was dead, so should our presence have been.

Afghanistan:  This is a real puzzler.  Most 9-11 terrorists were Saudi.  There were several highly portable training camps in Afghanistan were the Saudi’s and other Muslims honed their skills.  It would seem a simple matter to eradicate training camps if that is our concern.  Why was that a pretext to invasion and “nation building.”  And for over ten years?  That is a puzzle to me.

Next is Syria?  Why?  What is the threat to us?  None.  Zero!

So why is this Romney advisor all abuzz about building coalitions to eliminate a dictator in another Islamic nation?

It almost appears that experts like Walid Phares are being “used” to legitimize otherwise illegitimate policies by throwing academic BS at an alleged problem without really addressing the problem.  There is no legitimate problem that should have anything to do with priority US interests or national defense.

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