Skip to comments.What Syria Means for Future U.S. Influence
Posted on 09/07/2013 7:12:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
It is increasingly likely that President Obama's punt on Syria will doom effective action. Since announcing a week ago that he would seek congressional support for a U.S. military response to the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons against its own people, he's actually lost votes from those who appeared willing to back a strike. By Friday, "no" or "leaning-no" senators slightly outnumbered those favoring action, while nearly half of House members were either firmly against or leaning against U.S. intervention, with only 24 clearly in favor. And Democrats are generously represented among those opposed.
Of course, the president could choose to ignore the vote and order military action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime even if he loses. But if he does so, the vote will make our allies even more wary of joining us and truncate U.S. options.
And perhaps that is exactly what the president wanted. He drew a red line in the sand -- no chemical weapons -- and the Assad regime flouted it, repeatedly. When pictures of Syrian bodies appeared on television worldwide showing obvious signs of chemically induced asphyxiation, the president couldn't keep doing nothing. But he doesn't want to do much -- and certainly not topple Assad. So he encourages Congress to support him, and when it doesn't, he launches a merely symbolic strike.
Sound cynical? Not judging from the president's feckless behavior on similar fronts. He did nothing to help Iranian dissidents who took to the streets to oppose the mullahs in Iran in 2009. In 2011, the president cautiously supported intervention in Libya to topple Moammar Gadhafi, but quickly handed off U.S. control of the mission to NATO and did little to nothing to ensure that the aftermath of the civil war would be better for Libyans or U.S. interests. The country now has fallen into chaos, which we tactfully ignore, despite the terrorist attack on our mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, which left the American ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Only in Egypt in 2011 did the administration act quickly to help push Hosni Mubarak out of power. But again the administration fumbled. The Obama administration's ambassador to Egypt is widely viewed as a disaster. Ambassador Anne Patterson was quick to urge pulling the rug out from under Mubarak, who, though a dictator, was an ally of the U.S. in the region. She was also seen as an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, whose election as Egypt's president brought neither democracy nor improved conditions to the Egyptian people. His ouster by military coup has put the U.S. in the untenable position of giving nearly $2 billion in military and economic aid to a government over which we have no influence.
It is no wonder that members of Congress are skeptical of possible U.S. intervention in Syria given this abysmal record.
On the merits, it seems clear that the U.S. cannot sit idly by while a regime repeatedly uses weapons of mass destruction against its own people, especially a regime that is a major exporter of terrorism against Americans and our allies. But it also seems clear that it would be a disaster to do less than is needed to topple the regime and, most importantly, assure that the government that replaces it is not an even greater risk to American interests.
The American people reelected Barack Obama despite his miserable economic and domestic record. But foreign policy barely figured as a factor in the election at all. As incompetent as Obama has proved domestically, what he will be remembered for by history is the way in which he diminished American power and influence in the world. The American economy is resilient enough to withstand even eight years of failed presidential leadership. It is far less clear that the world will recover from the debacle of this American president without further expansion of Islamist influence and possible conflagration in the Middle East.
As soon as I read that line, I know that the author was shilling for the Obama regime.
A year after Benghazi, and they still don't know nuttin' about nuttin. And in the weeks after Benghazi, our so-called intel service products were twisted like silly putty pretzels to suit the political aims of the White House.
But we are supposed to take on faith that they "really do know" that Assad launched the chemical attacks. Prove it, Obama. Prove it.
The regime's credibility is ZERO at this point.
Why can’t we sit idly by IF Assad uses chem weapons against Al Qaeda? If he kills 50,000 of those bastards, that’s fine with me.
If it looks like the senate vote is going to be 50-50, McCain will be a “no” vote knowing Biden can break the tie. If it’s overwhelmingly “yes”, McCain will vote “no”. If it’s overwhelmingly “no” he’ll vote “yes”. Got that?
Odumbo painted himself (and the U.S.) into a corner which he cannot escape. He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Should he loose the vote in congress, that’s a definite “slap him down” defeat and the rest of the world will celebrate. If he chooses to go it alone and attack anyway, he will open himself to the wrath of the American people for going agains’t their wishes as shown by our sometimes representatives”. He’s still a looser no matter how you cut it, including the Syrian incident.
Why is it that all protester’s signs in these foreign countries, are IN ENGLISH ?
I think the disastrous results of the so-called “Arab Spring” sealed our fate.
Muslims and Arabs simply are not ready for our form of government. Best just to support dictators who can somewhat keep the animals in line...Mubarak was a perfect example of such a leader.
Next time read the entire article, that is not what she does. Just the opposite
You don’t think there are people there who can speak English?
Post of the day. What if Western values are not “universal”?
Like Sarah Palin said
>>The regime’s credibility is ZERO at this point.
I would maintain it is less than zero. By which I mean, they would have to tell the truth for a considerable time before anyone would believe that even the truth wasn’t yet another lie.
“Next time read the entire article, that is not what she does.”
Sure sounds like shilling to me:
“...it seems clear that the U.S. cannot sit idly by while a regime repeatedly uses weapons of mass destruction against its own people...But it also seems clear that it would be a disaster to do less than is needed to topple the regime...”
Her concern is that we’re not doing more to overthrow Assad.
Somebody flouted it Ms. Chavez, 'who' is still to be determined.
I did read it all.
No matter what else she writes after stating AS A FACT that the Assad regime is guilty of the chemical attacks doesn’t matter.
The big “shill” is in accepting that possibly 180* false hypothesis as a fact. That “big fact/big lie” is the only thing Obama is trying to cement in our minds between now and his big TV appearance.
If “conservatives” accept this basic premise/lie, then they are fools (she’s not) or they are shilling on THE MAIN POINT that Obama is attempting to establish in our minds.
Exactly. After Fast and Furious, Benghazi etc, I would check if they said the sun was shining.
Of course there are. What I am referring to is how come they all have NICE UNIFORM MASS PRINTED signs in ENGLISH.
Much like the 'grass roots' protesters here in the US who have nice identical and costly signs.
What language do most of the citizens of Syria speak ?
One thing this mess has done is shine a light on who the war wanting cockroaches are. That Wall Street Washington DC cabal must have a lot to gain from all this.
What irritates me most is that no matter what they promise like no boots on the ground, they just do not know what will happen. I doubt other countries are just going to sit on their war ships and watch the fireworks. I would wager they do plan some boots on the ground that we will not know about.
I could also guess that there are very few of those cockroaches that have sons and daughters that will have their boots on the ground in a single danger position. They get the big bucks, we get coffins and body bags. The average American gains nothing from these wars. Our lives have not improved one bit. In fact these cockroaches are living large as we are losing our liberty.
I despise each one of these awful people. But they are going to do this anyway. Why? Because Obama has already said that us little folks are too lowly to grasp such things.