By Daniel McAdams
On Wednesday the Russian military became active in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria. Pursuant to a request from the Syrian government, Moscow first began deploying military equipment and trainers as well as humanitarian assistance. Then the Russian parliament approved the use of force, and force was indeed used on Wednesday.
The Obama Administration is not happy about this development.
The US has been bombing Syria for a year without permission from the Syrian government and without a UN Security Council resolution authorizing an attack on a sovereign nation. That means US strikes on Syrian soil are illegal according to international law. However the first US response to the Russian strikes against ISIS in Syria was to condemn the Russian government for not coordinating its strikes with the US.
Unsurprisingly, the US mainstream media once again rushed to carry water for the US administration, with CNN's Christiane Amanpour pondering whether Russia answering the legitimate Syrian government's request for assistance would open itself up to war crimes charges! In Amanpour's world there is no crime in a year of bombing a sovereign state with not even a fig leaf UN resolution to back it up. The only crime is to resist the US empire. No wonder in a world of media austerity, Amanpour is a well-compensated regime propagandist.
Rather than welcoming Russian efforts against ISIS and al-Qaeda, the US claims that unless Russia also focuses on removing the Assad government from power its efforts are "doomed to failure." The US claims to be concerned that the Russians are attacking the "moderate" Syrian rebels trained by the United States -- but even US generals have admitted that group consists of a grand total of four or five individuals. So it's hard to understand the sudden concern. Each new batch of "moderates" the US churns out seems to defect to al-Qaeda or ISIS within minutes of deployment in Syria.
What is interesting is that the US-led coalition dropping bombs on Syria for the past year has yet to even consider the mounting civilian body count from its attacks. Not a word from the US government about large numbers of civilians it has killed in Syria. Yet there is plenty of evidence that the civilian toll taken by American bombs is exceedingly high. The moment the Russians join the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, however, the US suddenly becomes obsessed with civilian deaths -- even as no evidence has arisen aside from suspicious reports from opposition-friendly "human rights" organizations that any civilians have been killed in the first day of Russian strikes.
What "evidence" exists of civilian casualties in the Russian strikes comes from the war machine funded Institute for the Study of War (ISW), headed by Victoria Nuland's sister-in-law Kimberly Kagan. ISW's Genevieve Casagrande -- a former dolphin expert who quite frankly does not look like a seasoned foreign policy expert -- claimed to know that Russia's airstrikes "did not hit ISIS militants and rather resulted in a large number of civilian casualties." Based on what? Only the unquestioning mainstream media could tell us. But of course they do not.
The bottom line is this: the US is opposing Russia's attacks on ISIS and al-Qaeda -- two branches of the same tree that are a proven threat to the US homeland -- because Russia is not also attacking the Assad government, which could never be a threat to the United States.
Who really is protecting us? Obama with his ongoing Assad obsession?
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.