There seems to be a certain level of, shall we say, fellating going on when it comes to Obama and his intent to attack Syria. It is illustrated here:
America is poised to strike at the Assad regime in good part because Obama could not resist the urge, last year, to declare publicly the existence of a chemical weapons red line that the Assad regime should not cross. Obama could not resist because the urge was morally irresistible. Like any decent human being, and like anyone with respect for international law and international norms of behavior, Obama was repulsed by the idea that the Assad regime would deploy poison gas against his own people, and he said so.
Obama, by demarcating a red line, placed American credibility on the line. If the world is to maintain the taboo against the use of chemical weapons, then the world’s superpower, which does so much to ensure global stability, must act, particularly when its leader has previously threatened to act.
The article goes on to argue for an actual wholesale engrossment in the Syrian mess.
But this is wrong on several levels.
First, it’s wrong because we do not know with certainty who used the weapons. We have reasonable certainty that theywere used, but not by whom. And this is critical because if in fact the rebels used them then our striking at the Syrian government will be an explicit act of endorsement of the rebel act of chemical weapons use irrespective of our claims otherwise.
There would have been only one thing worse than letting Hitler gas Jews and that’s explicitly attacking his enemies after he did so!
If the rebels have laid a nice trap for America and we hit Syria the jaws of that trap will close upon us and there will be no escape. Being wrong is so disastrous that it could easily destroy all remaining international credibility that the United States has — credibility that is at a 50-year low already.
Second, however, and at least as importantly, the rebels are terrorist-affiliated. This isn’t speculation, it’s known fact. And not just “any” terrorists either — Al-Qaida. The taking of any action that assists them, no matter how much of a bastard the other side may present themselves to be, is taking arms in material support of a sworn enemy of the United States — and not only is that as dumb as it gets it also meets the black-letter definition of Treason.
Now we might be able to weasel our way out of that if we had dropped our “State of Emergency” post 9/11 — but 12 years later it remains in force and effect, and as a consequence so does the formal US recognition of Al Qaida as a sworn enemy of the United States.
Actions have consequences and so do declarations of enemy combatant status among a particular group, geographically-centered or not.
We made a severe set of mistakes post-9/11. We should have smacked the hell out of those who funded Al-Qaida but that would have included Saudi Arabia, and we should have bombed the camps involved in training and “activation” of these clowns back to the stone age in Afghanistan — but not gone in there with troops on the ground.
We did neither, instead Bush played a three-way pincer move.
My writings of the time pre-date the Ticker but my position at the time was that what was being attempted in Iraq was to lay the groundwork for dealing with Iran which was fomenting much of the problem in Iraq, and that Syria would fold. In other words we’d invade one nation under a legally-defensible pretext, since there was never a peace but rather a cease-fire and terms had been violated and from there Iran would either sue for peace and cut that crap out or we could (if necessary) nail them. Syria would say “screw this; we like our cities standing!” and fold their tent.
Well, that didn’t work. We never were committed to Iraq in a sufficient form and fashion because we played “hearts and minds” instead of “shoot with all available force until they sue for peace” (the only way you ever win a war, incidentally), we blew it in Afghanistan, learning exactly nothing from Russia’s experience there (which is really stupid, if you think about it, given that they had their own Vietnam there not all that long ago, but we had CIA “assets”, including drug production, that we had to “protect” there) and as a consequence both Iran and Syria erected middle fingers instead of folding their tents.
Obama apparently never figured out what was going on in the first place but he had no winning plays left with the 9/11 declarations still on the board. The right thing to do in 2009 when he took office was to cut the crap, bring the troops home, rescind the emergency powers and declarations of 9/11 and replace them with one simple statement:
If you attack the United States, either directly on our soil or our people and property abroad, we will return you to the dust from which you came without fear, favor or a care in the world as to who you are. Govern yourselves accordingly.
But that would have meant walking away from a huge build-up in the defense department, turning off all inside-the-US NSA and CIA activity, disbanding the TSA (except for perhaps that outside the United States) and telling Big Sis to stuff her head in a garbage disposal and then turn it on, because “Homeland Security” was being zeroed in the budget and all that crap was going back where it belonged, which was to the FBI (if inside the US) or CIA (if outside.)
In short it would have meant taking 10% off the Federal Budget immediately, which would have been good rather than bad for the nation and its tax and deficit posture but which went directly against the “Bigger Government Is Better” mantra of Washington DC — irrespective of political party.
There was not only no support for that then in the Democratic party there is no support for it in the Republican side of the aisle either, irrespective of the grandiose bullshit that the GOP spews from time to time.
And both John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are equally responsible for this, as is the entire Senate — especially the feral hogs like John McStain who cannot resist the temptation to feast on anything that moves outside the United States.
So here we are, with a fetid “emergency statement” that has now turned into a lodestone being attracted to the side of an Aircraft Carrier and which will, if we strike Syria, instantly become black-letter commitment of Treason by Obama, every member of Congress who does not put an instant halt to this action before it occurs or who fails to impeach immediately if the operation goes ahead and which will also attach to every member of the Military that is involved in this action as well.
Of course nobody in those groups will actually be prosecuted for same, which makes it even worse, because destruction of the actual overt act of Treason as a crime is arguably the worst possible thing that could ever happen in the United States.
This act, should it proceed, when the history books are closed on the United States will mark the self-inflicted gunshot to the head of The Rule of Law in this country.