In the game of "Good Cop, Bad Cop" you are confronted by two cops. One is mean, roughs you up, and is clearly intent on sending you to Hell. The other speaks out in your favor, claims to see your side, befriends you, complains about the "Bad Cop" and brings you the occasional candy bar. In the case of some "favored" Syrian rebel brigades, that might be as little as 16 bullets per man. Just enough for the shills to call them "the US-backed rebels." The "Good Cop" always claims that he would do more but for the constraints put on him by the police organization, in this case the United Nations, and his partner, in this case Vladimir Putin. The "Good Cop" works hard to convince the target that he is in the mark's corner just so that he will be in a position to pull the rug out from underneath the victim of the con at the critical moment, known as The Sting.
Getting the mark to believe something that is not true is pivotal to every con job and that's why every grift requires a shill. The Long Con says of this role "The Shill: An accomplice to the grifter, who has no apparent connection to the con. Shills are put in place to encourage the mark to act in the desired way." The book also says "Long cons play on one or both basic human frailties: greed and desperation." In the case of Syria, it has been the desperation of a people facing daily slaughter that has led the mark to seek the aid of the grifter in the first place.
Given the lack of much of a material reality behind Obama's "support for the Syrian rebels", he badly needed a shill to pull his con off. He needed a seemingly independent, or better still, seemingly oppositional voice, also loudly claiming that Obama really was for overthrowing Assad. The Left obliged him, even staging years of "Hands off Syria" demonstrations, as if! As if Obama was ever going to get militarily involved in a serious way except on Assad's side.
said he was giving a green light to Assad's slaughter by every other means. Here we had the "Good Cop" saying, I may not be able to stop the "Bad Cops", Assad and Putin, from shelling hospitals and barrel bombing schools, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let them kill you with chemical weapons too. It was a con from the minute he said it. Who uses language like "a whole bunch of chemical weapons" in an ultimatum he wants taken seriously? Just what constitutes "a whole bunch of chemical weapons" anyway? How do we know when that red-line has been crossed?
Assad saw that angle immediately and as early as December we had reports of him using poison gas in small quantities in Homs. He made chemical weapons attacks again in April and March, they were taking place at a rate of about two a month till the August 5 attacks in Douma and Adra that sent hundreds of people to the hospital. Assad played at the edges of Obama's "whole bunch of chemical weapons" prohibition with maybe a dozen smaller attacks before he dropped the bombs that undeniably crossed the "whole bunch" threshold by killing more than 1400 people in one night in a Damascus suburb one year, to the day, after Obama's infamous red-line promise.
Some on the Left were already muddying the waters over who carried out this particular attack, with a variety of conspiracy theories that blamed someone else, usually the rebels. No matter, they often contradicted each other, Russia Today and other pro-Putin mouthpieces were giving them all coverage. Then in an unprecedented move, not followed with regards to his drone strikes before or since, Obama threw the question of keeping his word to strike Assad open to a vote in Congress.
The Left immediately cheered him for that alone as a "move to democracy" and swung into action in a campaign to vigorously oppose any US military reprisals against Assad for the chemical murders. Everyone knew that Obama was going to lose that vote, not the least of all Obama. The Brits had already modeled this maneuver. The French were going to strike Assad anyway, on their own, but Obama nipped that in the bud. As a face-saving measure, "Bad Cop" Putin rushed in with a plan by which Assad agreed to give up his sarin and other "banned" chemical weapons but would be allowed to continue to kill with chlorine, which he has done more than a dozen times since. This whole sorry episode was followed by a lot of chortling on the Left about how "We Stopped a War!" Idiots. The shill that doesn't know he's playing a role is a fool besides.
The effect in Syria was quite different. It gave an immediate boast of a regime whose fortunes seemed to be flagging to that point. Assad had been trying the bomb the opposition out of East Ghouta for a year before he assaulted it with sarin. Two weeks before that, he'd lost Menagh, a major air force base, near Aleppo. With all his Russian and Iranian backing, he hadn't gained much ground since Qusayr. He was still bogged down around Homs and his Aleppo offensive was fizzling. Now with the CW deal, he was being rehabilitated as a player in international affairs. The threat of NATO military action had been removed, and most importantly, his military fortunes were improving on the ground in Syria, at least partially because of Obama's inaction after the Ghouta sarin attack.
When America reneged on the solemn promise of its Commander and Chief, even after "a whole bunch of chemical weapons" had been used, it had a devastating effect on Assad's opposition. In June, I wrote:
My friends in the Syrian American Council tell me that it is hard to over-estimate the negative effect on the morale of the opposition of Obama's failure to take military action ... If an army travels on its stomach, a revolution lives or dies on the morale of the masses and it seems entirely too many Syrians had too much faith in Obama and the US, so when he reneged on his promise, they took it as a shot to the gut, or rather a knife in the back. I'm told that no battlefield defeat, no new outrage from Assad, had the destructive effect on the fighting spirit of the people against Assad as this one betrayal.Two years after the "red-line" threat and one year after the broken promise, I wrote:
Obama is being forced to order air strikes against ISIS in Iraq this August because he failed to order air strikes against Assad in Syria last September. His failure to make good on his "red-line" threat after Bashar al-Assad's Syrian army killed more than 1,400 Syrians with sarin last August was a great bonus to jihadist Islamists like ISIS and their ranks grew as a direct result. All those who looked westward as they battled against Assad felt stabbed in the back when Obama reneged on his promise. Some left the fight entirely. Some joined the anti-western jihadists.Since then we've seen the result of this shift on the battlefield in Syria where ISIS and al Nusra have been gaining manpower and territory from the Free Syrian Army and more democratic forces. Last week Jamie Dettmer of the Daily Beast echoed the same view as he reported on one of the final acts of The Sting in Exclusive: Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ Cash:
For the Syrian rebels, uncertainties over funding changes by the CIA add doubt to already high skepticism over American policy toward the war in Syria. That skyrocketed when the Obama administration failed to enforce in 2013 its “red line” against Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, and the skepticism has merely grown since.Obama refused to use US air power in Syria - then, to the benefit of both Assad and ISIS. Only the people suffered. Now he attacks the body of a snake, which is ISIS, but not its head, which is Assad.
Without Assad, there would be no ISIS
Assad is also running a con and needs a shill. In this case the shill's job is to convince everybody that they are better off leaving Syria in Assad's hands. That is why from the first days of the revolution, he has cultivated the very jihadist groups he has claimed to be fighting.
He'd cultivated them before, given them safe haven in Syria while they were fighting the US in Iraq. As that wound down, he had them all locked up. When the revolution began, he let them out again. His claim was that he was fighting terrorists not democrats. It was a risky gamble but he needed a terrorist opposition to sell his story, so he helped them get set up. He even sent Syrian intelligence officers to lead them and gave them money. Most importantly, he refused to attack them while they focused their attacks on the other rebel groups, not Assad. They ran all the opposition groups out of liberated Raqqa, and made it the ISIS headquarters. Assad refused to bomb them in Raqqa. He again gave the jhadists a critical base camp and safe rear area in which to grow.
These advantages really started to have an effect after Obama's betrayal provoked the first large scale defections from the more moderate groups to ISIS. After Obama's failure to act, ISIS made steady gains in Syria. By January 2014, an invigorated ISIS, flush with new money and fighters, was ready to emerge from its sanctuary and seize control of Fallujah and Ramadi in Iraq. Mosul fell in June and ISIS seized a large stockpile of US weapons, far more than Obama ever thought about giving to the FSA. They then retreated with those arms to Syria, where they used them to conquer even more territory from Assad's opposition. Since then ISIS has been on something of a roll, gaining ground in both Syria and Iraq, despite the continuing resistance of what is left of Assad's opposition, fierce resistance by the Kurds, hundreds of US air strikes and even grudging attacks by Assad's air force.
Now that this con has entered The Sting phrase, and Obama is coming out of the closet with his support for Assad, some on the Left are talking about a "pivot" to Syria, as if Obama ever put much money where his mouth was when it came to support for Syrian democracy in the first place. They talk like its similar to his pivot to Asia, but in that case he is moving US Marines and real military assets from one theater to another. In the case of this so-called "pivot" to Syria, its not like Obama "pivoted" from enforcing a no-fly zone to bombing Assad's enemies. You can't speak of a pivot between phony "support" for the revolution and real support for the counter revolution. What the naive refer to as "The Pivot" after its been sprung, the con artists call "The Sting" because they knew that was the end game all along. Only people who don't understand how "Good Cop, Bad Cop" works talk about a "pivot." They sit up nights in their jail cell wondering why their "Good Cop" pivoted.
This whole affair is a testament to the power of the "Good Cop" tactic. It is well known in police circles that the target usually caves-in to the "Good Cop." Remember the words of that old general that was one of Smiley's People in the John Le Carre novel by the same name, "Enemies I do not fear, Villem. But friends I fear greatly" The truth is air strikes against Assad for using "a whole bunch of chemical weapons" was never in the offing. It was only put out there, together with the 16 bullets, so that Obama could be in the position of pulling the rug out from under at the critical moment. All that was necessary was for Obama to throw the decision to Congress so that the Left could give him cover and, in fact, take credit for, this Sting, [which 95% of the Left counted a great victory they had won!!??]
Get the Net: Revolutions cannot be defeated by military might but they can be defeated by betrayal and back stabbing.