Putin, the KGB thug, has patted our President on the head and suggested he watches cartoons while the grown-ups iron things out. That's the visual I've gotten these last few days as Putin takes center stage from America and positions himself as global peacemaker. Of course, that's a sham. Putin is responsible for arming and supporting Assad in the civil war which is resulting in thousands of deaths on both sides. He is an untrustworthy, vile, tinhorn despot (not very unlike Assad), who is mainly concerned for enriching himself and his equally-corrupt cronies.
So, how did this cretin manage to so easily and deftly to steal center stage and moral superiorityfrom President Obama? By doing the sensible thing FIRST. President Obama went from 0 to 60 in about 60 minutes. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged there have been 14 chemical attacks by Syria. What precipitated our leaping so quickly and unilaterally to a threat of war? Wouldn't it have been rational--even moral--especially for a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, to first make a good faith attempt at peaceful resolution. Sending missiles into Syria would almost certainly cause deaths. By his own admission, President Obama told us there was "no urgency" around the timing of his desired attack. It drives one to wonder why our President, who so prides himself on ending the Iraq and Afghanistan engagements (although he actually just complied with the schedule enacted under President Bush), would not make even a cursory show of peaceful resolution. China and Russia blocked any action by the UN Security Council, but we knew that before it happened. So the United States leadership immediately jumped to seeing it as a moral issue--"the children"--which warranted our bombing Syria.
The whole thing has me stumped. I still haven't heard a compelling case for our taking action. The Syrian civil war doesn't have any clear cut good guys and bad guys. Assad is clearly a bad guy and a constant threat to Israel and Middle East stability. The "rebels" fighting against him in this civil war are a mixed bag, but it is indisputable that their forces include al Qaeda terrorists and affiliates. Surely, Assad's murder of children is abominable. Yet, children will be killed and hurt in any civil war. But abuse and killing of children and other innocents happens every day--often on a mass scale--all around the world. What so inflamed President Obama that he was prepared to move against the clear will of the people of America and, even, of Congress. He apparently was prepared to again violate our Constitution and his oath of office to uphold that document.
We have never heard a statement of our national interest or imminent threat. 110,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war. There have been 14 instances in which chemical weapons were used. Over 40,000 civilians have been killed, including an estimated 5,800 children. So, it is a perfectly sensible question to ask--why now?
How did our national security interests take on a new urgency? Was it because the 400 or so children recently killed differed in some way from the other 5,800? Or was it because the method of murder was chemical?
Something is at work here that neither our president, Secretary of State or any other member of the Administration has been able to articulate. It is certain that any military intervention--especially a limited one--will in no way change the civil war in a horribly broken country like Syria.
Surely, the Benghazi debacle would have been readily seen as a threat to national interests--namely, American citizens, an Ambassador and a facility that is deemed American soil. Our law would not only have authorized military action, but simple morality would have demanded it.
I have long believed that this is the most ill-prepared and lackadaisical President ever. I have long had the uncomfortable feeling that his background as a "community organizer", part time law school instructor and ineffectual and nearly invisible legislator would NOT stand up to a complex issue. He simply does not seem capable of juggling difficult issues, assessing those issues in the context of the law and his duty and bringing them to a boil in a cogent and easily articulated strategy.
We are coming out in a better place than the one proposed by our President, no thanks to him. Fortunately, the American people saw through the typical Obama smoke and mirrors, cut through the glibness and saw the flaws in his position. And no one was more shocked than President Obama.
Now, the world has seen that the Emperor has no clothes!
In May 2012, in the town of Houla, Syria, more than 100 people were killed, including 83 women and children. The U.N. concluded that most of the murdered had been “summarily executed”. The Syrian government claimed it was the “rebel forces”, although most objective observers weren’t buying that.
The action taken by the U.S. and 12 other countries was to expel Syrian diplomats and ambassadors. There were no calls by the Obama Administration to “take a shot across the bow”. Apparently, while we’re all appalled by the murder of women and children, we’re far more appalled when chemical weapons are used instead of bullets or knives.
There is another point here, a cautionary tale. At the time, the BBC released a horrible photo—not dissimilar to the images President Obama has been using to enflame outrage. Unfortunately, the photo was taken 10 years earlier in Iraq. It was, quit simply, a plant by “activists” to incite even more stringent retaliation by the world community.
We need to be very careful here. Even the Administration now seems to be relying on what it characterizes as “common sense” to conclude the attack was the work of pro-Assad forces. Personally, I am inclined to believe that a despotic regime with large stock piles of chemical weapons and engaged in a bloody and growing civil war would not hesitate to use those weapons to advance its cause.
So there is always a possibility, as the Russians claim, that it was the rebel forces which used chemical weapons. But, I see this as academic to the issue of whether it justifies war, even if it is documented beyond any reasonable doubt. And, sending cruise missiles into Syria is, by any other name, an act of war. To engage in war it should be to defend America or its people or to advance a serious matter of national interest.
At this point, the only marginally logical national interest in all this is to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. It is indisputable that among the many rebel forces are a good number of jihadists and al Qaeda members. They have flooded into the region with the objective of turning Syria into a terrorist stronghold, close to Israel and ripe for the picking. Of course, they are in that position because the United States refused to provide promised military support in the form of weapons when the rebel forces in Syria were first developing. We sat back and simply watched as the now-entrenched terrorist forces settled in.
The corner President Obama now finds himself in, is a corner into which he has painted himself!