How did Syria become our responsibility?
What prompted President Obama, always a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, to decide to start an attack on a nation that has shown us no direct affront?
Perhaps if President Obama had thought through his statement about a “red line” and what it would actually mean to enforce it, we would not be looking at this madness.
Over 100,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war. Did President Obama seriously think that by throwing down the gauntlet, he would stop the use of chemical weapons there? Not one country moved an inch to stop the carnage in Syria thus far, so what would prompt our President to think a mere threat would keep the “red line” intact?
Now, our leaders are faced with backing up what they said. Obviously no plan was in place for this eventuality or we would have acted already. Mr. Obama has used drone strikes and other military action already as Commander in Chief, so it isn’t as if he hasn’t planned operations before. All this bluster is really doing is giving Assad time to move things around to his own advantage. By the time we get ready to strike, all the viable targets will probably be surrounded by school children.
Also, with the exception of Israel, no one seems to want to support this action, despite what Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz says. Even France, who previously expressed support for US action, is now rethinking their position. Worse still, parliament in Great Britain voted down a proposal to join U.S. action against Syria, virtually ensuring Prime Minister Cameron will not authorize UK forces to aid in President Obama’s endeavor.
I do not want to discount Israel’s support, by the way, especially considering the backlash that support will most likely bring. Israel has been a good ally for the United States for decades. The problem lies in how much actual material aid Israel can give. They are surrounded on all sides by regimes that want them wiped off the face of the earth. If they were to mobilize in any direction, they weaken their own defense on all other fronts. Not to mention the international outcry by many nations when Israel so much as sneezes in the wrong direction. In short, Israel really cannot afford to do much more than cheer us on as we engage Syria.
Getting back to Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, she claims we have several allies in this proposed action, yet she can’t name any due to classified information. What sort of ally won’t allow itself to be identified in public? My guess is an ally that does not exist. I guess maybe I am skeptical as Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has had credibility issues in the past. Such as the time she blasted Mitt Romney for not mentioning Israel once in a debate, when in fact he DID mention Israel roughly a dozen times. Or the time in a radio conference call the the St. Johns County head of the Democratic Party was identified as a mere “Medicare recipient from Florida”, and then was exposed by the first caller when the line was opened for questions. Or the time she said sequester cuts were so damaging that her aides were being “priced out” of a good meal at House restaurants, even though it was possible to obtain an 8oz bowl of Ham and Bean soup for $2 or a gourmet sandwich or wrap for about $5 in the Cannon Office Building where Wasserman Schultz’s staff is located.
In addition to allies that can’t be verified, President Obama has defectors in his own party. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, has said, “We must learn the lessons of the past. Lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and others. …We must recognize that what happens in Syria does not stay in Syria; the implications for the region are dire.” Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minnesota, stated, “Beyond the potential for escalating the conflict and the killing, we risk danger to our ally Israel, involvement by the Russians and the Iranians, and blowback to the United States by radical groups operating in the region.” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia opined, “After over a decade of war in the Middle East, there needs to be compelling evidence that there is an imminent threat to the security of the American people or our allies before any military action is taken. I do not believe that this situation meets that threshold.” Even Rep. Adam Smith, D-Washington, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is not backing the Syria agenda. He asks, “What are the limitations on U.S. power. … At what point are we going to stop being responsible for all the problems in the world?”
It seems to me that President Obama’s sole impetus for finally doing something about Syria is his personal pride. President Assad called the bluff, so our president feels compelled to save face. I will leave you with John Stewart’s thoughts on this. I am not a fan of John Stewart, but he very adroitly made several strong points in this video.