While y’all are watching the Olympics, Putin just made his move…

by LTC ALLEN WEST (US ARMY RET) August 9, 2016

There's a completely false narrative going around regarding success against ISIS and things going well in the Middle East Syria-Iraq combat theater of operations.

As a matter of fact, we heard very little from President Obama as he blathered along last week at the Pentagon. After all, an unmarked cargo plane landing in the middle of the night in Iran with pallets of laundered money at the same time four American illegally detained individuals are released - well, of course that's not a ransom payment. And so the storytelling spun by the impeccable literary genius Ben Rhodes continues...

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, "The Russian government is working to pick off Syrian rebels armed and trained by the U.S. to fight against the Islamic State who have often been dissatisfied with Washington's assistance.

The political leader of a prominent U.S.-backed brigade in Aleppo said he met with a Russian official nearly two weeks ago, who offered him "unlimited amounts of weaponry and close air support" to wage war with ISIS and Jabhat al Nusra, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria, the Daily Beast reported [last] Friday.

Mustafa Sejry said members of his Liwa al-Mu'tasim Brigade were concerned about shifting their loyalties to Russia given Moscow's close alliance with their enemy-the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"Honestly, I would have never ever even thought about working with the Russians after their horrific atrocities against us and their slaughtering thousands of my own people," Sejry said. "But this change of mindset I blame on the Americans."

Sejry said the Russians told him they wanted to "go back to 2012 when there was a government and an opposition," which would divert resources from the fights against ISIS and other militant groups in the region. Sejry said he hoped to use Moscow's offer to leverage improved support from the U.S., but expressed doubt as he described a year and a half of weak American backing and "broken promises," the Daily Beast reported.

He said he told two U.S. military officials about the Russian offer, but has yet to receive a response. Sejry's claims of Russians attempting to poach U.S.-backed Syrian rebels come roughly three weeks after the Obama administration reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin that instructs the two military forces to coordinate joint bombing operations against al Nusra. The provisional deal mandates the U.S. military to share information with Russia about specific targets in Syria, in exchange for Moscow halting its bombing campaign against U.S.-supported rebels."

It appears the grand strategy of that brilliant foreign policy mind, Barack Hussein Obama, has failed. If you recall, the strategy to defeat ISIS was to arm Syrian rebels, and remember nearly $45 million was spent to train about a dozen rebels, of whom only about five survived an assault by al-Qaida-affiliated Islamists.

Instead, we see Vladimir Putin's grand plan in Syria has succeeded. He's come off as the strongman by ensuring his proxy, Bashar al-Assad, remains in power. And now, it's about stabilizing the situation in Syria for Assad, meaning turning the Syrian-backed rebels away from fighting Assad towards fighting the Islamists, the al-Qaida-affiliated Al Nusra Front and ISIS. Here is the evidence and proof that Obama's strategy is failing, while he's relaxing on his "final" summer vacay in Martha's Vineyard.

Here is yet another policy point a certain presidential candidate should be elaborating upon. The United States is not a trusted entity, our word has no meaning. How many times did Barack Obama state that Bashar al-Assad must go? Remember Obama's infamous "red line?" This is a foreign policy of false narratives and bluster, which in the end is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

As well, this disaster falls at the feet of one who was once Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. Here's the proof of Russia's response to the little yellow toy box with the red button referred to by Hillary as the "Russian reset" button.

So, as the media reports how rebel fighters are seeking a breakthrough at Aleppo comes this story - that their loyalty may switch because of the Obama administration's failure and deceit. All of this could have been avoided if one simple decision had been made: to leave a residual force in Iraq to provide an external security cordon in order to prevent any resurgence of Islamic terror groups. The aim of ISIS and Al Nusra Front is more about the destabilization of secular Muslim regimes - Egypt and Libya - and this has been enabled by the unfit capacity and ability of Barack Obama.

So, the question becomes a very simple one: shall we, America, trust the one person who was the implementer of Obama's foreign policy and failures? The Syrian rebels are making their choice...what shall be ours?

Lt. Col (Retired) Allen West served 22 years in the US Army and represented Florida's 22nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives from 2011-2013. To hear more from Col. West, visit www.allenbwest.com.

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