Sunday, September 01, 2013

Mismanaging Syria

All war is ugly.

Chemical weapons are a crime against humanity.

However, President Obama has mismanaged this situation and is on the way to making it worse.

I just watched CNN's State of the Union - as well as Kerry on "Meet The Press".  Later, I will catch a repeat of FoxNewsSunday.

But so far several things really bother me.

First is SecState Kerry and others such as Rep Eliot Engel, D-NY trying to drive support by talking about Syrian children who have been gassed.  Do not try to manipulate me this way.  I care about those children, but no more or less than the children Assad has killed with bullets and bombs.  I also care about those who have been orphaned and displaced.  How about the children killed by rebel forces?  Don't tell me the answer is to bomb and kill more Syrian children.

Oh and when Kerry makes his passionate statements in front of this picture
Just know it's a lie.  This isn't a depiction of the aftermath of a Syrian chemical weapon attack.  It's not the result of anything Assad has ever done.  It's Marco Di Lauro's "The Aftermath of Saddam" in 2003.

Then there is the "we must back Obama now that he has committed" argument.  I find this best exemplified by former diplomat and current JFK School professor R. Nicholas Burns (a guy who I have agreed with on some things in the past).

"The congress has to vote in favor of this resolution or else the credibility of the United States as a global power in the Middle East is going to be vastly reduced."

Yeah, no.  Saying Congress must blindly follow whatever nonsense and poor foreign policy POTUS comes up with is bullshit.

And when some talking head tells you that it's a crime against humanity - and it is - so the US must handle it.  Remind them that's what the UN and other world bodies are for.  If this was sooooo important, where was Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations when it was brought up?  Oh, yeah, Samantha Power was vacationing in Ireland.

Well then, they'll say it's a US national interest.  Really?  Please define it.  Syria can gas every last Syrian and it will not effect the US as a nation.  So absent a vital national security interest, the answer is in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the US Constitution.  One would think someone who has referred to himself as a "constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School" would understand that.

Meet The Press had a segment on the horrors of refugee camps.  I've never seen a nice one and the UN says this is a huge crisis.  OK, I'm with you there.  I want to help there.  No one is going to argue that.  Send aid.  We're good at that.  But don't blow smoke and tell me that bombing strategic targets in Syria is going to make any difference in refugee camps.  These camps were there before the chemical attacks.  Syrians are fleeing the fighting overall.

Finally, people will tell you President Obama "wants to send a message".  Ok, I understand "gunboat diplomacy". Currently we have USS Gravely DDG107, USS Barry DDG52, USS Mahan DDG72, USS Ramage DDG61, and USS San Antonio LPD-17 in the Med.  USS Stout DDG55 is heading over to relieve the Barry.  So tell me, if DDGs deliver Tomahawks and LPD deliver US Marines.......what is your message?


Stella Jonsson said...

I disagree with Obama and I disagree with Dubya. I disagree with every administration, no matter what the party affiliation, that chose to get involved in the Middle East.

America was lost as soon as we got involved in the Middle East, an area which has been in conflict for over 3,000 years.

It's a bipartisan mess. Obama, Bush/Cheney, Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, LBJ... Further involvement in the Middle East is a suicide mission.

If I'm not mistaken, America played at least some small role in supporting Hussein. Cheney and Rumsfeld were culpable.

CIA and FBI declassified documents proves Cheney lied about Iraq. We now know he used the tragedy of 09.11 to justify invading Iraq.

In fact, this mess can be laid at the feet of Nixon and even LBJ who escalated our involvement in Viet Nam. Let's not forget the Cold War when most people thought WWIII would be caused by the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

The New Republic cites The World According to Cheney documentary as "a solo performance," the key word here being "performance." And, we both know this publication is not a bastion of liberalism.

"You watch The World According To Dick Cheney to appreciate Cheney’s virtuosity, not to learn shocking new revelations about his vice-presidency." But I did learn a couple of things just the same. I’d somehow missed when it was published in 2010 that Bush’s book "Decision Points" says of the Ashcroft-surveillance affair—which, before Bush agreed to modify the surveillance program (very much against Cheney’s recommendation) nearly led to several politically damaging high-profile resignations—“I never wanted to be blindsided like that again.” That comes tantalizingly close to Bush saying “That son-of-a-bitch Cheney lied to me.” The former president follows this up with the disavowal (unmentioned in Cutler’s film) that “I did not suspect bad intentions on anyone’s part.” But the obvious reference here to Cheney is unpersuasive, perhaps deliberately so (“And Brutus is an honorable man”). If Bush didn’t suspect bad intentions, why raise the possibility? Cheney bites back in the documentary by saying, “If you’re a man of principle, compromise is a bit of a dirty word.” That sounds self-effacing as he’s saying it. But in fact what Cheney is saying is I am a man of principle and George W. Bush is not. Yikes. No wonder they’re barely speaking to one another, even now.

I disagree with the president not based on partisanship or bigotry, but on common sense. Every time a civilization has fought wars on several fronts, the society has collapsed.

I pray America is not next.

BostonMaggie said...

Cheney didn't lie about Iraq. I read the links and it is the interpretation of the authors of those pieces that Cheney admits to these alleged lies.

America did have a role in supporting Hussein. And you can find a million pics of Obama and Kerry feting Assad. That's the way it works.

As Charles Duelfer says "No Books Were Cooked"

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, BM. You have a knowledge base that is factual and not emotional. Tired of people using emotions to make a case. The (P)resident In chief is wrong, wrong, wrong. And Kerry saying that the Arabs are funding it should make me feel better simply frosts me. He is prostituting our troops at this point and I am not down with that.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

The message is that our President talked himself into a corner, and needs his manhood restored. You can't restore what was never there.