David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain, had originally decided to support us in an air strike against Syria. His parliament pitched a fit and Cameron relented, reconsidered and withdrew his support.
President Obama, who had previously decided to launch an air strike, appears to have listened to some of his advisors who told him he absolutely must consult with Congress before getting involved with Syria. As of this writing those debates are now going on in Congress and it is not looking very good for any Congressional support for this assault. Obama has let it be known that he may strike regardless of what the People’s Representatives say. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, would be a mistake of catastrophic proportion.
Like Great Britain, we are not governed by either an emperor or a dictator. Like our cousins in England, we freely elect our Representatives and our Presidents. Constitutionally, President Obama cannot take this country to war without Congressional approval. In fact if Obama attacked Syria, that would be a violation of international law. He could be arrested and charged with war crimes. If Obama wants to challenge Syria, he should arm himself and take the next flight to Damascus and have at it, and he can take John Kerry with him. Let’s see if Kerry can do any better in Syria than he did in Vietnam.
No rational, sane person can be okay with the use of chemical weapons. No normal person can look the other way when children are gassed. But, it is not the job of the US to police the world. There are legitimate ways of dealing with the perpetrators of these atrocities. The civilized world must unite and make it crystal clear that such madness will not be tolerated, and to get the civilized world together we need a real leader. We do not have such a leader at this time. Obama has become the laughing stock of world opinion. His juvenile “red line in the sand” has become an embarrassment to all of us and especially to him.
So, what to do? What should we do if Obama decides to go it alone and strike Syria without Congressional approval? Are “boots on the ground” the same as boots on the deck of a ship? If Obama fires missiles at Syria and someone takes exception and fires on our ships, do we retaliate? How high must the body count go before we realize that starting wars to save face are just a bad idea? I heard a Congresswoman say that as a Democrat she would support Obama in this strike to keep him from being embarrassed. Getting egg off the face of an inexperienced politician is not a good reason to kill thousands of people.
A reasonable question is why isn’t the free world more upset by Syria’s actions? Why hasn’t the UN gotten involved and sanctioned Syria? Is this their recognition of the fact that these Middle Eastern people have been killing each other and swapping dictators for thousands of years and gassing babies is just more business as usual?
I hope more intelligent minds will soon show up and stronger people will step forward and demonstrate true leadership. The US is war weary. We have economic problems that will only be exacerbated by getting involved in another war in the Middle East. I hope President Obama comes to understand that his embarrassment is no reason to kill thousands of people.
History will decide who took the appropriate action in Syria. History will also record what happens to dictators who defy the will of their people whether they reside in the Middle East or in America.
Ron Scarbro Sep 11, 2013
UPDATE… There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that stronger, more intelligent leadership has shown up. The bad news is that it’s Putin, not Obama, who has shown up with a workable answer. Personally I don’t trust any of them so I will just wait and see.