Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Paul Craig Roberts -- To call American politicians stupid is to use an euphemism.

To call American politicians stupid is to use an euphemism.




To call American politicians stupid is to use an euphemism.

As the Russian aircraft are so superior to the American ones, how would the dumbshits in Washington enforce a no-fly zone? Look at the utter stupidity of the US presidential candidates.

Clearly, America is desolate of leadership.




G.O.P. Candidates Leading Charge in Call for Syrian No-Fly Zone
OCT. 19, 2015


With Russian warplanes making regular forays over Syria to carry out airstrikes against insurgents, several presidential candidates are calling on the United States to respond militarily by setting up a no-fly zone in the country.

Republicans have led the charge, with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey even saying he would shoot down Russian jets.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has split with President Obama, advocating a no-fly zone in an attempt to stop the bloodshed, reduce the flow of refugees and give the United States leverage against Russia.


Long talked about, the idea of imposing one or more no-fly zones in parts of the country has been rejected by the White House as impractical, a view echoed by some military analysts, particularly given Russia’s recent involvement in the conflict.

But the idea has been popular among candidates seeking to show that they would take a more muscular approach than Mr. Obama, who has faced increasing criticism from many Republicans who say his inaction has let the situation in Syria spiral out of control.



Supporters of a no-fly zone have offered a variety of goals: stemming the exodus of Syrian refugees, stopping the government of President Bashar al-Assad from dropping barrel bombs on civilians, and protecting moderate Syrian rebels.

For Republican candidates, advocating a tougher Syria policy is an opportunity to appeal to voters who are not only frustrated with Mr. Obama’s reluctance to use military force but also believe the United States should be taking a more aggressive role in forcing out Mr. Assad and bringing about an end to the civil war, which began more than four years ago and has killed more than 250,000 while displacing millions.

“If you want to be a politician and give the appearance of doing something, and, quote, demonstrating resolve, nothing looks more impressive and is more responsive than U.S. military power,” said Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

But the campaign talk has also been met with skepticism from some experts who have followed the Syrian conflict, who suggest a number of flaws, including that many of the civilian killings have come in ground attacks, and that it is hard to discern how a no-fly zone would work given Russia’s recent involvement and military might.

Mr. Zenko said that calling for a no-fly zone “allows you to appear tough, and to appear different” from Mr. Obama, but that the idea as a policy matter was “unserious on so many levels.”

Luke Coffey, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said: “It makes for a nice tweet, it sounds good, it sounds like a policy idea. But when you get down into the details, you see why it’s not really going to work.”

Karl P. Mueller, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, said that the Russian air campaign “changes things significantly,” and that “initiating armed combat with the Russian Air Force is a very big thing.”

“In the past, when there’s been talk about no-fly zones, usually what people have meant is we’re going to force the Syrian Air Force to stay on the ground,” he said. “With the Russians in the country, that gets significantly more complicated, because now you’re talking about grounding or shooting down Russian aircraft, or intimidating them into not flying, or not attacking certain targets in certain areas.”

Republicans have been particularly eager to show strength against President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, a favorite target of the party, particularly given Moscow’s support of Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine.

“Anybody who rides around on a horse without their shirt, I can handle that guy,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has long advocated a no-fly zone, said in an interview broadcast Sunday on the radio show of the billionaire John A. Catsimatidis. Mr. Graham added that Mr. Putin was “walking over Obama like a small child.”

In a Fox News poll conducted this month, 75 percent of Republican voters said they believed that Mr. Putin had the upper hand over Mr. Obama when it came to Syria, compared with only 4 percent who said Mr. Obama did.

“The argument is, ‘Well, we’ll get into conflict with Russia,’” former Gov.Jeb Bush of Florida said on CBS last week, referring to what critics say about the no-fly zone idea. “Well, maybe Russia shouldn’t want to be in conflict with us. I mean, this is a place where American leadership is desperately needed.”

In calling for a no-fly zone, the tough-talking Mr. Christie, who has struggled to gain traction in his bid for the Republican nomination, has offered himself as someone who could stand up to Mr. Putin.
“My first phone call would be to Vladimir, and I’d say to him, ‘Listen, we’re enforcing this no-fly zone,’” he said on MSNBC last week. “‘And I mean we’re enforcing it against anyone, including you. So don’t try me. Don’t try me. ‘Cause I’ll do it.’”

And when Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio outlined his proposal for no-fly zones at an event in New Hampshire, he sounded an ominous note: “You enter that no-fly zone, you enter at your own peril.”

Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, said the calls from Republicans stemmed from a “general unhappiness with the perception of American power in the world” under the Obama administration.


“They see their enemies as emboldened and the president as having deliberately placed American power in decline, rather than it having happened to America,” he said. “Syria is where they think we should make a stand against the Russians and Iranians.”

On the Democratic side, the issue has revealed a division between Mrs. Clinton and her two leading rivals, underlining broader differences about how they view America’s role in the world.

Mrs. Clinton said she had advocated that a no-fly zone, undertaken as part of a coalition, be considered “because I’m trying to figure out what leverage we have to get Russia to the table.”

“Diplomacy is not about getting to the perfect solution,” she said. “It’s about how you balance the risk.”

Known for her hawkish views on foreign policy, Mrs. Clinton has long been at odds with Mr. Obama over Syria. As secretary of state, she pushed for taking a more aggressive approach, arguing for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels.

At the first Democratic debate last week, former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland said a no-fly zone “would be a mistake” because of the threat of a military confrontation with Russia.

Mrs. Clinton’s top rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, has said he opposes a unilateral American no-fly zone, warning that such a move could “lead to a never-ending U.S. entanglement in that region.”

Facing criticism, Mr. Obama showed his frustration this month with the various calls for action in Syria, complaining about “people offering up half-baked ideas” that amounted to “a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.”

He did, however, exempt Mrs. Clinton from the “half-baked” category.

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