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Sec. Kerry is not trying to negotiate a ceasefire with ISIS.  He’s trying to negotiate one with the Assad regime, who is fighting against ISIS. Why are America’s leaders fighting ISIS’s Enemies?

Sadly, there is no new ceasefire agreement in Syria.  Yesterday, Sec. of State John Kerry met with diplomats from Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia, in Lausanne, Switzerland in the hopes of revitalizing a ceasefire agreement, after the last one fell apart.

What most Americans don’t know about Syria and Russia

Americans here of a bloody civil war in Syria.  They hear of ISIS in Syria.  They hear lots of people are dying “over there”.  Then people start dying “over here”.  We all remember the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.  Most Americans would rather not get involved in the problems of other countries.  But when those problems come over here, then we must fight.  It’s a perfectly sensible instinct, but it has one fatal flaw – ignorance.

Please do not be offended my fellow Americans.  You all have your lives to live and I don’t expect you to spend every waking moment following every conflict in every part of the world. Theoretically, the media should be doing that for you, and keeping you informed.  But there is so much they are not telling you about Syria.

Russia, and the Assad regime don’t have to be our enemies.  They did not attack the Pulse Nightclub.  In fact, they are fighting against ISIS, just like we need to be.  Unfortunately, you, America, have been deliberately mislead by half truths.

Sec. Kerry is not trying to negotiate a ceasefire with ISIS.  He’s trying to negotiate one with the Assad regime, who is fighting against ISIS.  The problem is, that when Assad fights ISIS, he’s also fighting every other rebel group in Syria, and showing no regard for civilian casualties.

Our leaders maintain the conflict in Syria not to defeat ISIS, but in the futile hope that they can somehow overthrow Assad, and defeat ISIS all at the same time.

Why are America’s leaders fighting ISIS’s Enemies?

As I explained a few weeks ago,  Clinton and her neocon allies in the Republican Party (who are mostly anti-Trump) have this zany scheme to defeat Assad, even though Assad is fighting against ISIS and has never attacked the US, in the hope that the Syrian people will be so grateful that instead of giving in to ISIS (the most powerful rebel group in Syria), they will rise against ISIS and create some kind of democratic oasis in the middle of the Arabian desert.

Aside from that, many of our leaders are still in a “Cold War” mentality. To them, Putin IS a KGB agent, and Russia is Soviet in all but name.  They see Russia’s advancement into Crimea, and worry for the sake of our European allies, who fight so poorly, fund NATO so feebly, and continue to hope America will protect them.

Somewhere between their far-fetched scheme in Syria, and left over grudges from the Cold War, America’s political establishment is willing to risk Syria falling entirely into the hands of ISIS.

Why is Russia so hostile?

One might think that Russia should be friendlier towards the US.  Russia should try to put Europeans at ease and convince the US to take part, or lead, a joint effort to defeat ISIS and whatever is left of Al Qaeda.  Russia may very well have done that.  However, our political leaders, with little regard to the wishes of the American people or Middle Eastern stability, have been antagonizing Russia since 1999.  Russia was very close to joining Clinton in his misguided nation building effort in Kosovo, which only empowered a terrorist group called the KLA, which has links to Al Qaeda. However, then President Boris Yeltsin, after weighing the consequences of attacking the, then sovereign Yugoslav federation, and had Russia’s air force turn around, leaving the US and western allies to carry out the attack.  US-Russian relations have been stormy since that time.

While America’s political class can afford to take big risks that often empower dangerous, Islamic terrorist groups, Russia cannot.  Russia is right there on the border of the Islamic world, and instability in the Middle East inevitably spills at least into Russia’s Chechnya province, if not other parts of Russia’s remaining territory.   When the US sends weapons to “the rebels” and ISIS gets a hold of those weapons, it hurts Russia and the people of Syria far more than it hurts the Washington beltway.  Why shouldn’t Russia be hostile?

Unlike America’s political class, Russia must be prudent.  They must back often unsavory regimes in the Middle East simply because those regimes at least keep the terrorists at bay.  Russia usually does this by supporting established Shi’a Islam regimes, including Iran and Syria.

As America has far less to lose, America’s political leaders take big risks, at Russia’s peril.  Our leaders can afford to be wrong in Iraq, wrong in Libya, wrong in Syria, Yemen, and anywhere else on the other side of the second biggest ocean in the world.  But Russia cannot.

Why do our leaders not focus on ISIS?

Over 250,000 people have died over these last six years in the.  This war could have ended in half the time at least, but opportunistic politicians like Lindsey Graham deliberately deceived the American people by warning about terrorists and the death toll simultaneously in Syria, without bothering to explain that by attacking the Syrian regime, we’d be helping those very terrorists Lindsey Graham wants us to fear.  Hillary Clinton has taken part in this deception as well.  

They hope that if they keep the American people only half informed for long enough, they can carry out their scheme and succeed.  If not, ah well! There’s other war torn countries in the Middle East upon which they can attempt their nation-building experiments.

ISIS is a greater threat to the American people than it is to Washington. While Al Qaeda spent years calculating a attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House; ISIS inspires random shootings of everyday Americans.  Our political class therefore has little incentive to defeat ISIS quickly.

Richard Wagner is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He conducts independent study on the American conservative movement and foreign policy. When he is...

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