The battle at Gettysburg took place 150 years ago: a blink of an eye in the millennia since Sinai. Such uncanny intimacy with the far past is what Jewish culture brings to American history.
These Honored Dead
Thanks to the U.S., Russia Has a Secure Foothold in Syria
The U.S. and Russia recently announced an agreement to coordinate their airstrikes against Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate that now controls a significant amount of territory in Syria. The agreement, writes Tony Badran, is yet another instance of President Obama’s ever-deepening alliance with Russia—and Iran:
In September 2015, Russia intervened directly in Syria, knowing the White House wouldn’t stand in the way. Russia’s Vladimir Putin saw a golden opportunity to set up a military base on NATO’s southern flank, enabling him to project power both in the Middle East and Europe.
But the president only doubled down by deepening military and intelligence cooperation with Russia in Syria, swatting aside objections from the Pentagon, the State Department, and the intelligence community. In so doing, the president is entrenching Russia’s presence on the border of NATO, the institution founded to counter Russian expansion.
What’s more, since the Russian enterprise in Syria is in full partnership with Iran, its success is Iran’s success. Stated differently, just as Russia now has a base bordering NATO member Turkey, Iran will also cement its presence in Syria—on Israel’s borders.
The latest agreement with the Kremlin . . . makes the U.S. a partner in Russia’s war to save the Assad regime—the logical endgame of Obama’s policy.
Critics of the president’s Syria policy have often accused him of being too passive. This is a mistake. The White House has been actively shaping the Syrian theater, both diplomatically and militarily. Only, it has done so in a manner that has undercut and endangered U.S. allies and interests.