President Obama keeps making statements about Syria that he’s not backing up, George F. Will writes today — his rhetoric is committing to a war even before he seems to have decided what to do. It’s a problem, especially since it’s looking like Obama will make the decision to strike minus much input from Congress. So what he says really, really matters. And it’s not, or not yet, according to Will, jibing with his actions.
And it’s been awhile since the United States had a military campaign we really felt good about.
While we don’t yet know what Obama’s plan is, we do know it is Obama’s. Enough info for some conclusions to be drawn:
Boy oh boy, another mess to clean up in 2016.
Will may not like Obama’s efforts at “smart diplomacy”, but it’s a big improvement over “dumb war” which would have been the case with McCain or Romney, or for that matter, his war criminal pal Dubya.
Everyone else just seems sort of sad.
Obama: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
Interview with Charlie Savage, December 20, 2007
That ship sailed with Libya in which there was no political push back from any quarter.
The Syrian army has been gaining the upper hand in the civil war. The Machiavellian and unspoken reason for striking that army is that the civil war may be good for us and prolonging it in our interests just as the Iran Iraq war did. Keeping the Hezbollah and al Queda killing each other keeps them busy.
Jeroboam responds to edbyronadams:
Correct. The really sensible policy would be to arm both sides heavily.
So other despots sitting on piles of WMD should be scared of a President who telegraphs that he’s going to execute a limited, short punishment attack against something undefined and then everybody can get back to what they were doing before said attack? If I’m despot X, then the only fear I have is a sustained US effort to put me six feet under. Anything less than that is bearable.
On the other hand, “just sort of sad” seems like the right attitude with which to go to war, if in fact that’s what we’re doing. And if there’s any sure way to tell.