Do you ever notice how nothing makes sense about Syria? The reason it doesn’t make sense is because you’re probably approaching it with the presupposition that there’s some kind of strategy in place which is meant to accomplish a reasonable goal. That’s where you’re wrong. Once you wipe that away, you can begin to see as through a glass darkly.
What you’re going to want to do first is read this. It’s a paper written in 1996 by AEI, a neoconservative think tank which is very influential in US foreign policy. This basically lays out the “plan” such as it was. As you may have noticed, this was written several years prior to 9/11. None of this has anything to do with fighting terrorism, and that includes Iraq, by the way.
Here’s the idea. Jordan has a Hashemite king who is very friendly with Israel, so the US should first topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq and install a Hashemite there as well. This will cut off Iran from Syria and weaken Iran’s influence in the region, which will give Israel more free reign to impose its will since Iran is a big counter balance to Israel.
If you’re the average American, you might not know much about this; but that idea is about the dumbest thing imaginable, and it was backed by conservative darling Benjamin Netanyahu*, as mentioned on Wikipedia. In case you forgot, Saddam was the only thing keeping Iran cut off from Syria and Hezbollah. The US backed Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s to keep the Islamic Revolution from spilling across the entire Levant. That’s where Saddam got his WMDs (which never included nukes, and the government knew that). Toppling Saddam in Iraq is what you would do if you were Iran’s best friend, so why did they do it? Well…take a guess who came up with this plan? An Iranian spy who planted it with the Israelis.
The US got had and spent its own blood and treasure to topple Saddam for Iran. When they tried to install the Israel friendly government, the Iraqis said no thanks and then kicked the US out of their country. That’s why we withdrew, by the way. Iraq refused to renew the Status of Forces Agreement. That agreement was signed by George Bush. Don’t let people tell you Iraq would have gone swimmingly had Obama not pulled out prematurely. Obama was bound by law to pull out.
Since Step 1 in the plan was a colossal failure, the government decided to proceed with step 2 because…you know: Freedom, Nine Eleven. They made noises about invading Syria and the American people said, uh…why? See, because they never really told the American people about step 1, so step 2 didn’t make much sense. The UN was kind of like, hmm; but then Russia was all like “Comrade…we have naval base…and pipeline…and nuclear missiles. Many, many nuclear missiles.”
It didn’t really matter much because for a long while, the US had been funding Sunni extremists in Syria, sometimes referred to as “terrorists.” The US aided Al-Qaeda and ISIS to create chaos in the region. They figured once the terrorists took over, they would have justification to invade. Then they’d topple the terrorists and install an Israel friendly dictatorship. Trouble is, Putin just came in and started slaughtering the terrorists a couple months ago, so now we have to go to war with Russia for this all to work. That wasn’t part of the plan. Also, never forget Nine Eleven…unless we need to back the terrorists that did it to kill someone else we don’t like.
Fast forward to today: this is why the P5 + 1 is making the deal with Iran. Iran basically won. They outfoxed the US and Israel, increased their influence in Iraq (The Revolutionary Guard is now operational in Iraq), then brought big brothers China and Russia on board to wipe out the Sunni contingent and finally take over the entire Levant. Because Israel is not going to go to war with Iran, their only rival in the area is Saudi Arabia, which has managed to tank its own economy with an oil price war. Europe wants to back a winner right now and there are billions in energy deals to be had with Russia and Iran.
* Christians have a love affair with Israel, but when a politician does something this dumb, he’s a laughingstock who should lose his job. He’s not someone to revere. Thousands of people died because of this guy’s hubris in believing this plan could actually work. After all, it was only US soldiers risking their lives. Who cares if it doesn’t work, right? You can always just make a speech in Congress and spit in the face of the American soldiers who died for your lunacy.