September 5, 2013
In a recent post on my favorite blog, Paul Mirengoff concludes:
The combination of Republicans who don’t understand the importance of America possessing credible military power in the Middle East and Democrats who believe that America should not exercise military power anywhere (at least if there’s the slightest risk involved) seems poised to carry the day in the House. And a growing number [of] Republicans have come to share the Democrats’ view of exercising U.S. power.
Paul appears to see such Republicans as short-sighted spoilers, or worse, dog-in-the-manger hypocrites who believe that if they can't be allowed to claim the victory, then nobody should; better American defeat and diminishment than allow Obama to soar!
But I, by contrast, see a growing number of Republicans who sincerely believe it's too dangerous to allow the current occupier of 1600 Penn. Ave. to exercise military power anywhere; I doubt they would feel the same about a President Cruz, a President Romney, or a President Christie.
Perhaps some of those GOPpers are simply meanspirited enough not to want Barack "Leading from behind" Obama to get the glory and credit, even if such wishes damage the United States. But I strongly suspect the vast majority of anti-intervention Republicans believe -- and not without good reason -- that the Obama administration is so venal, feckless, and incompetent that any military intervention at this juncture would likely have a perverse effect, leaving us worse off than had we done nothing.
For example, given Obama's open praise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and his condemnation of the military coup that overthrew the radical-Islamist tyrant Mohamed Morsi -- an absurdly perverse misunderstanding of the religio-political dynamics of that country -- is it not reasonable to fear that Obama might also have sugar-plum-fairy fantasies that the rebels against Bashar Assad are all budding Rooseveltian (or Wilsonian) democrats, waiting only for the fall of the dictator to implement a glorious socialist revolution that will be Obama's crowning achievement?
I see Obama as having the revalatory gravitas of Michael Jackson in the videos "Thriller," "Beat It," and the Disneyland attraction "Captain EO": He sees himself as Barack the magic man who need merely Imagine great triumphs, then declare, "Make it so!" But if his political bumbling and misunderstanding allows Assad's chemical weapons to fall into the hands of the al-Qaeda rebels in Syria -- democrats pining only for freedom! -- would that not be worse than the current status quo, even including Assad's massacre?
I'm not entirely onboard that particular bandwagon; I'm not certain that an Obamic intervention in Syria would necessarily produce perverse results. But I do sympathize with those Republicans who see the situation as more perilous than I; and I possess no secret evidence (or fully functioning Magic 8-Ball) that Obama will turn out to be a better wartime leader anent Syria than he has been to date anent Libya, Egypt, the Palestinians -- or any of our traditional allies.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 5, 2013, at the time of 12:12 PM
The following hissed in response by: Davod
Does the evidence support the claim that the Syrian government used WMD. The evidence suggests that some type of chemical/gas was used.
Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs in his August 26 World Tribune article 'Mounting evidence raises questions about Syrian chemical weapon attack' makes the case that the US/Saudi/Qatari supported rebels were advised on August 14 to prepare to take advantage of a major event which will lead to the intervention of the US.
Additionally, "Meanwhile, additional data from Damascus about the actual chemical attack increases the doubts about Washington’s version of events. Immediately after the attack, three hospitals of Doctors Without Borders (MSF: médecins sans frontières) in the greater Damascus area treated more than 3,600 Syrians affected by the chemical attack, and 355 of them died. MSF performed tests on the vast majority of those treated.
MSF director of operations Bart Janssens summed up the findings: “MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack. However, the reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events — characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers — strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.” Simply put, even after testing some 3,600 patients, MSF failed to confirm that sarin was the cause of the injuries. According to MSF, the cause could have been nerve agents like sarin, concentrated riot control gas, or even high-concentration pesticides. Moreover, opposition reports that there was distinct stench during the attack suggest that it could have come from the “kitchen sarin” used by jihadist groups (as distinct from the odorless military-type sarin) or improvised agents like pesticides."
Bodansky goes on to highlight that the administration was touting the positive test results from a Beirut hospital of an alleged victim who was paid to go to Beirut for testing. Unfortunately, the victim left the hospital (with his money) before being tested.
The following hissed in response by: Geoman
My answer to Obama - Libya. He did exactly the same thing there as he wants to do in Syria, and it turned into a cocked up idiotic mess that got our ambassador killed. He lied, defied congress, and generally made an jackass of yourself. Now he is proposing to do the same thing in Syria, but he wants the Republicans to sign on.
I say thanks, but no thanks.
The following hissed in response by: Eris Guy
Is Mirengoff the former Trotskyite? If so, some habits like mindless leader worship are hard to break. A problem of PJM’s contributors as well.
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