Monday, September 02, 2013
I wonder if Obama backed off a unilateral strike against Syria at least partly because the usual gang of idiots jumped out of the blocks to support it?
So now he's taking the problem to Congress, and the right-wing is in a tizzy -- they don't want to support Obama but they don't want to say no to John McCain and Bill Kristol, either.
Oh well, they just found a photo of Kerry having dinner with Assad four years ago, so they can chatter about that for a while.
Juan Cole sums it up:
...by Friday, Obama had painted himself into a box with repeated statements that he had to attack Syria because of the gas attack. But as he looked behind him, the troops he was leading had thinned out faster than Custer’s at the Little Bighorn....I'm not sure whether you could call such a result "win-win", but perhaps its not "lose-lose" either.
Obama made a clever political calculation. The Tea Party and the GOP in general had been demanding that he submit the Syria file to them. So he obliged them. If they say ‘no,’ as the British parliament did, then Obama is off the hook. If they say ‘yes,’ then they are full partners in any failures that result. Either way, the issue is taken off the agenda of the 2016 election and Democrats are held harmless....
It is remarkable how important the Iraq experience has been in the debates on Syria, and how decisive. Even if the US goes ahead with the strike, it is likely to attempt to keep the action narrow and symbolic, and to avoid troops on the ground, and indeed, generally to stay out of the conflict thereafter as long as no more chemical attacks are launched. Whether it is possible to bomb Syria and then walk away like that isn’t clear; but it is the maximal Obama plan. The minimal one is to be able to blame the Tea Party for isolationism and cold disregard of the regime’s violation of international law.
Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers | 3 comments
It's certainly a potentially "lose-lose" scenario for the Syrian people who will die under American bombs. Despite your sneaking regard for Obama, he remains desperate to launch a strike in contravention of the UN Charter; his cozying up to the most bellicose and reactionary elements in Congress and American society in order to do it is neither endearing nor admirable.
Maybe Canada should launch a humanitarian military strike against Syria even if the U.S. doesn't It would save a lot of people's lives over there!
Oh, that's right. I forgot. The Canadian military is a bunch of pussies. I guess you can't save anyone after all. Weaklings are so useless.
By 11:18 pm, at
Well, it looks as if your first commentator has egg all over his/her face. The desperate-for-war Obama seems quite willing to settle for neutralization of the Syrian chemical warfare stockpiles. Considering that a President of the United States is one of the very few people in the world who can have a war any time he damn well pleases, that doesn't make him seem very desperate.
I suspect this is the outcome Obama was playing for all along. It was just the cherry on top that he also got to make his critics on the left and the right look like fools. Face it, guys. He's not by any means perfect. But he's a hell of a lot smarter than you are.
By 5:10 pm, at