Oh, what a difference a few years make.
In 2009, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize despite barely getting his seat warmed up in the Oval Office. In 2009 current Secretary of State John Kerry called Assad’s Syria “an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.” In 2011, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad as a “reformer.” In 2007, then-candidate Obama attacked President George W. Bush for considering military strikes against Iran’s nuclear capability without the approval of Congress, declaring it a violation of the Constitution.
A few years later Obama attacked Libya without congressional approval, and now seeks that approval to attack Syria, even while maintaining that he does not need it in order to act.
Obama, the anti-war candidate, called Iraq a “rash war” waged for political reasons, even while he acknowledged the brutality of Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq who’d killed tens of thousands of his own people using sarin, mustard, and VX gas, primarily targeted at the Kurds of the northern provinces.
There is no debating that Saddam had launched dozens of such attacks, as well as used WMD against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War. He continually shot missiles at U.S. and Allied warplanes which were enforcing a No-Fly Zone, agreed to under the terms of surrender that allowed him to retain power.
In addition, there are volumes and volumes of evidence of rape and torture facilities used by Saddam and his henchmen to terrorize the civilian population. George Bush spent two years making the case against Saddam before the U.N., which yielded two dozen or so resolutions demanding Saddam disarm and discontinue his attacks on civilians, and he sought and obtained from a large, bipartisan majority of Congress the approval for use of force against Saddam. Yet none of this warranted a U.S. response in Obama’s eyes.
Fast forward a few years and witness the hypocritical double-standard. Obama now demands approval to attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons. Whereas the claim that Saddam had, and had used, WMD was the consensus conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies, as well as the intelligence estimates of our allies, Obama still to this day claims that Iraq was a bad war fought on faulty intelligence, and the desire of Bush administration officials who lusted for war.
Yet, Secretary of State John Kerry now says we have to just trust this administration when they promise it was Assad who used the chemical weapons against civilians, yet can’t produce any proof. They demand war despite compelling evidence that indicates that the chemical weapons were used by the rebels in order to provoke a U.S. retaliatory strike on Assad, thereby allowing us to do their dirty work for them.
With so many similarities between the actions of Saddam’s Iraq and Assad’s Syria, why did Obama condemn war in Iraq, but now demand we attack Syria?
Because Obama has been embarrassed. He is mocked by world leaders, a laughingstock no one takes seriously. Obama, so enamored with his own supposed charisma and ability to persuade, learned the hard way that imposing your will on world leaders is not quite as easy as suckering the young and uninformed into making you president.
Obama said use of chemical weapons was a “red line” Syria could not cross without triggering harsh retaliation. He must have been shocked when Assad (allegedly) proceeded to use those weapons. After all, who would dare defy the glorified Community-Organizer-in-Chief!? So now the bluff is called and Obama must respond, and do so in a way that retains his credibility.
The problem is, there are no good choices here. Obama promises “limited” cruise missile strikes to take out Assad’s chemical weapons cache, but no U.S. “boots on the ground.” However, Obama has dithered so long that Assad has now had time to move and protect those weapons caches, and it is highly unlikely we can significantly diminish, much less destroy, these weapons without ground troops.
Compounding that dilemma is that fact that no matter which side we favor in the conflict, America loses. On one side you have Assad, who has already killed 100,000+ innocents in the ongoing civil war, and who is truly an evil man. On the other side you have the rebels, a large percentage of which are Islamic jihadists. BOTH sides hate America, there is NO compelling American interest at stake in the war, and therefore no matter who succeeds, the victor will be hostile to America. Why should we send our sons and daughters to die in that sand trap for no reason?
For years I have rolled my eyes at moronic liberals who have claimed Bush went to war in Iraq to “avenge his daddy,” referring to the fact that Saddam Hussein made an assassination attempt on former President George H.W. Bush. Yet this rush to war in Syria, for no other reason than to assuage Obama’s bruised ego at having his bluff called, who is a weak president with a disastrous misunderstanding of foreign policy and no understanding of war doctrine, seems even more insane.
Not that it was even a primary reason, but to go to war against a nation that tried to assassinate your president is a lot more compelling reason than going to war because President Erkel got his feelings hurt for being exposed as a wuss. He says it is not his credibility on the line, but that of Congress and the world community, but the whole world realizes that no one’s credibility is more in question than Obama’s.
The bottom line is this: Obama has no rational plan for the executing a war against Syria; much less any idea of how to control the absolute chaos and devastation that will surely occur in the aftermath. Both sides are hostile to American interests, and none of America’s allies are willing to join us in an attack on Syria (unlike the coalition of dozens of countries assembled by Bush for the Iraq War). Compounding the danger even further is that any attack on Syria will surely invite the wrath of Russia, Iran, and China, each of which are allies of Syria and the Assad regime. The rebels, on the other hand, are supported by Saudi Arabia (which gave us the 9/11 attackers), Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Qaeda. Nice choices.
We are still not positive it was Assad that used the weapons, and considering we still can’t get a straight answer on what led to the deaths of Americans in Benghazi, are we really willing to take the word of this feckless, hopelessly naïve administration as they lead us into yet another war in the Middle East? So far Obama’s track record is atrocious. He pushed out Mubarak in Egypt, and now we have a country on the verge of civil war and run by Islamists. We helped destabilize Libya by getting rid of Kaddafi, and now that nation is in chaos. He praised the rise of the so-called “Arab Spring,” yet the Arab Spring has instead become the Arab Nightmare, with thousands of innocents dying at the hands of competing factions of radical Islamists.
On a side note, it should be noted that, while Obama demands war with Syria after the deaths of 1,500 or so innocent Syrians, he has been utterly silent on the plight of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, which have been driven from their homes, their churches burned, businesses looted, with thousands beaten, tortured, beheaded, and shot in cold blood. Are their lives less worthy of our concern, and our intervention?
As we say in the South, the United States has “no dog in this fight.” Obama has already weakened our standing in the world by misreading world players and momentous events in the Middle East and elsewhere; he has made us weaker by being indecisive, which makes us more vulnerable to attacks by emboldened enemies. This situation is already a nightmare, exacerbated by Obama’s incompetence. Under no circumstances should Republicans bail him out and share in the blame of the horror to follow by authorizing military action of any form in Syria.