Skip to comments.Theater of the Absurd: Obama and the Debate over Syria
Posted on 09/08/2013 6:33:38 PM PDT by JSDude1
As we wait for Godot I mean President Obamas address to the American people on Tuesday night it looks at present as if both the House and Senate will not grant him the yes vote that he is seeking on a Syria strike.
I have read virtually every op-ed and argument on all sides of the question that have appeared, from people on both sides whose views I respect, and one of the problems is that there are good arguments to make on both sides. Today I watched Fox News Sunday, the impressive panel on Fareed Zakarias GPS, which included General Wesley Clark and Paul Wolfowitz, and a separate interview with Bernard Henri-Levy. And of course, as readers know, I have exchanged arguments on this site with Bryan Preston.
On the interventionist side, I have considered the views of Bill Kristol, Stephen F. Hayes, Eliot Cohen, Clifford D. May, and many others. Read them for yourself. If we have a stake in the outcome, and we do, we cannot ignore their arguments. This is particularly true if you believe that we must stay out of Syria.
On the non-interventionist side, I have read Kathleen Parker, Andy McCarthy, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles R. Kesler, Fareed Zakaria and others who hold a similar perspective. If you are on the side of those who favor a strike, you have the obligation to think and listen to their arguments against it.
One side makes the case; the other side rebuts it. That is what a serious debate should be. But let me single out one essay in particular and take up the problems with the interventionist perspective. The argument comes from none other than Rep. Eric Cantor, the majority leader in the House of Representatives.
(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...
Next comes the least convincing part of Cantors argument. He raises the point of those who question whether by intervening we would be actually helping al-Qaida and thus end up replacing one evil with an even greater evil. Here is what he then argues:
But extremist groups represent only a minority of those opposing Assad. Moderate opposition groups leading the fight against Assad are under attack by al-Qaida as well, and if this conflict draws on, more foreign jihadists will join the extremists and threaten moderate elements.
Continued American inaction will undermine these moderate forces and empower the extremist terrorists who seek to displace them. Right now, the extremists are exploiting the argument that the moderates cannot rely on the U.S. to come to their aid or even enforce our own red lines. It is in our interests that neither Assad a primary sponsor of terrorism nor al-Qaida comes out on top.
The problem is that intelligence reports, as Reuters let its readers learn, contradict Secretary of State John Kerrys public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence [and] appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements.
i’m assuming members will be “summoned” to the wh, ala obamacare vote, and then the poliboro, I mean congress can then vote.
There is only one rational side to this argument. Those who favor this intervention are either total fools or favor it for their own enrichment at the cost of precious American lives.
There is no reason at all to go into Syria. Both sides are our enemies.
Yes, but one side (Al Qaeda) is worse than the other - for Obama that's reason enough to topple the Assad regime. It's the Obama trend.
this is extremely important to consider.
NOT ONE person(cantor included) on the side of attacking Syria makes the point of having conclusive evidence beyond any doubt that Assad ordered a chemical attack.
the evidence that does exist tends to point guilt at the so-called rebels.
this is hardly a reasoned approach to possibly igniting WW3, not to mention that since this is aiding radical muzzies who are the enemies of America, this is treasonous.
OK, let me see if I understand Obama’s position on this.
We have to kill some Syrians to scare Iran and North Korea because Assad might have used chemical weapons on Syrians.
I’ve got it! Let’s kill some North Koreans to scare Assad! There’s the ticket. Maybe we could kill some Iranians to frighten the Chinese!
We sat for decades and listened to the Democrats make fun of “The Domino Theory”, and now they have come up with “The Chinese Checker Theory”.
Hey! Democrats! Pour some maple syrup on the dog turd that is Syria and maybe it will taste better to you.
We have little to win and a lot to lose by getting involved in this civil war. Our enemies are doing a pretty good job of killing each other off. We should let them continue.
pure gold that was. Chinese Checkers. I hope that gets to Rush for tomorrows show.
Obamas interest in invading non-enemy Syria has nothing to do with Syria, poison gas, or children.
Obamas interest in bombing non-enemy Syria has everything to do with creating a long-lasting, controversial, DISTRACTION for Congress in order to keep Congress from defunding Obamacare/Boehnerkare.
Obamas Red Herring for the 9-11 Benghazi Massacre Coverup was Susan Rices fake Video story.
Obamas Red Herring for distracting Congress until Obamacare/ Boehnerkare kicks in October 1 is Obamas Crossing HIS personal Red Line distraction speech.
Obama speaks only for Obama, not the US Federal Government or America.
My Congressman sent me an email with a link to express my views and I did so. That and praying to the Lord above is all I can do.
Thanks for doing so!
Send him another email that alerts him to the fact that Obama has never told us the truth in any of his speeches.
All Obama has left to do is to get Obama”care”/Boehnerkare fully implemented, and his pledge of “Fundamentally changing the United States of America” will be complete.
So, if the advanced arms that Russia has in this arena include anti ship missiles, that are actually state of the art, and we commit an act of aggression (war). Will the Russians allow Syria the opportunity to destroy our aggressive assets? We started it. We did not have clear and convincing UN ready evidence (imagine I am taking the devil’s advocate position here). Do we take on Russia when Putin made his position clear? When the rest of the world is behind us...way, way, way far behind us!
Putin is betting that Obama will fold. Maybe killing a ship is enough of a lesson. Maybe not. The rest of the world is on which side of that bet? Where is Bibi? For the last two years the president has been clearly seen as a totally incompetent CinC, much less leader of any sort. He did not have a record of any leadership prior to the presidency either. But he got elected.
And here we are, WW3 in the middle east has started a bit ago, with the nonsense about theocratic democracy, without minority rights, or human rights for that matter.
The bet is almost in, Putin or Obama. Place your bets...
By the way, someone mentioned Weasley Clark as an informed opinion. He almost started WW3 in Kosovo, per British Nato General Michael Jackson, over Russian troops at an airport, so I doubt his opinion is worth the NY Times it is written in.
So far, the Israeli’s destroyed the shipment of Russian advanced anti-ship missiles, but in reality, Russia would not let Syria attack a US ship with one of those missiles, just because the US might think it came from a Russian ship. Besides, and Aegis ship is not an easy target for any missile. There are converted boomers (ICBM subs) over there that have upwards of 192 cruise missiles in the tubes. The Syrians aren’t likely to be able to strike a boomer, especially with the likely attack subs with them. Vlad isn’t about to get into a nuclear confrontation over Syria. Most of the initial strikes will be with drones, to take out anti air and anti ship radars. The advanced missiles need shore based, or ship based radar for the initial phase of their flight. Iran is watching closely, and this WMD test, is just that, a test to determine if they can cross the nuclear finish line without any major consequences.
Exactly! What is with this author trying to be “fair”? It just makes him sound like an idiot.
Too bad all this effort wasn’t pointing directly at Iran....but then the political theatre wouldn’t be playing out as we see now concerning Syria.
But there’s more coming...
Putins meeting Monday with Syrian Leaders and Iranian leaders to finalize a diplomatic solution...which would not include Assad remaining as President. Could be why Obama is moving til Wednesday for his big speech.
I tend to doubt Obama’s NOT going to let Putin take the front end of this and walk away as the Hero......but Putin may let Obama take the credit ...
I have often described myself as a "rabid conservative", but the very thought of this particular war nauseates me. Ever thought of joining the Klingon Empire?
Your scenario implicitly assumes a few of things:
1. That we have the leadership with the wisdom, skill, morals and decency to competently prosecute the war effort.
2. That we would be able to suddenly finance both our accumulated national debt and said war effort if Russia and/or China decide to use economic action in retaliation. A very predictable response of theirs would be to simply dump the US debt that they hold on the market all at once.
3. That starting a hot WWIII would not end up on our shores in short order.
Nuts to that nonsense.
No doubt our military could succeed at what you propose, but Obama is president. It wont happen. He’s a coward, and behind the scenes Putin told him that if he bombs Syria he will intercede and attack our ships. Obama promptly backed off, and has put this to Congress and he’s back peddling with the notion that he never had a red line to begin with.
The time to do this would have been a year ago maybe before. It’s too late now.
“We do possess such leadership within the armed forces, but I agree, Obama is unlikely to be able to pull off anything more than a SEAL raid here, or there.”
We agree on dear leader, but I think the problem is far deeper than you indicate. Would you trust say, joe biden to do the right thing? john boehner? I certainly would not. And the military is not in political control.
“Russia is of very little threat to us, however, China is the one that could pull off what you describe. I have seen Bond traders discussing “What if” scenarios if China should ever do something like this, and the consensus is that China would be hurt just as bad, economically as the US. Any country that thinks they can lurch the US into a depression, doesn’t realize that they would drag themselves there as well. Moreover, though China is against US action, they are not as vehemently opposed as is Russia.”
I respectfully disagree. Russia alone holds about $142 billion. Drop that on the market on some sunny Monday morning and you’ll see what is meant by the word “pucker.” And it wouldn’t even be necessary to dump it all; just dump a lot at once. China doesn’t need to lift a finger. Also, WRT China, in case you’re not aware they’re using dollars to buy gold like mad. They’re also buying US assets like crazy. They’re preparing for the day when the USD is no longer the reserve currency. While an economic meltdown here would certainly hurt, they’re in it for the long haul. Their politicians don’t have those pesky elections to worry about. If they think they’re already going to take a hit, they’re likely choose to take it when it would do us the most damage.
“If you don’t think war is coming to our shores, once Iran gets a number of nukes, you are deluded. The only question is whether we want to avoid having Iran to be armed with nukes or not.”
I agree with your premise that Iran is extremely dangerous, I simply disagree on the tense. You’re speaking in the future tense of Iran having nukes, I suspect it’s already past tense.
Indeed we are where we are with a kakistocratic political class, plenty of countries that hate us, in the midst of a mild depression, and with a populace that rarely agrees on anything but agrees that they are not interested in further foreign adventures. Under the circumstances you do what you can do with what you’ve got. We don’t have the economic resources, political leadership, or will to prosecute an extended war in the mideast. And our enemies know it.