“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,”
“That would change my equation. . . . . . We’re monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans.”
Those who have unceasingly praised our President in the past now seem to understand his failing. He is a man suffering from chronic verbal diarrhea, which is seldom, if ever, expelled by the force of either information or intelligence.
The predicate event for such insight arises from the impossibility of reconciling the explicit and implicit meanings of the presidential remarks, quoted above, and a recent series of retrenchments explaining, revisions of, and retreats from, his initial, inexactly defined, position regarding (his view of) America’s motivation to impose military force upon Syria’s civil war. However, further thought among his many new critics may well generate other questions – such as why a Nobel Peace Prize recipient is one of the few on Earth now recommending violence as a solution to Syrian atrocities.
Truly, Barack Obama is the President most likely to prove the wisdom of Calvin Coolidge about keeping silent, especially in the absence of teleprompters.
One does not need the postnatal history of the quoted remarks to find the unintended humor and sad foolishness of a man whose apparent allusions to mathematical (e.g., “calculus”, “equation”) precision invite the immediate comparison to his metric of “a whole bunch of chemical weapons” in the same thought. This alone betrays the kind of mind that believed (apparently as a matter of subjective faith and not of objective, rational thought) that it was sensible to claim that entrepreneurs did not build their own businesses, that health insurance rates would decrease under the mandates of the horribly misnamed Affordable Care Act, and that adding $7 trillion (thus far) to a $10 trillion national debt implies neither a budget nor a debt crisis.
The President may deny today that the “red lines” are his, preferring instead to claim that those behaviors to which he was referring have long been established by treaty as outside accepted international norms. However, note that his initial remarks emphasized how the Syrian behavior would change HIS calculus and HIS equation and that it would cross a red line for (the royal) US. Also, he is incorrect in any claim, implied or otherwise, that Syria has signed any treaty, or is obligated by any law, that prohibits the use of poisonous gas against its own people during civil war.
The first thing that we must do about Syria is never elect again an individual as shallow in thought, as poorly informed, or as inexperienced in leadership as the incumbent egocentric is.
Those who have experienced combat will generally agree that successful results are most often produced under the maxim of “Go big or stay home.” There is no practical or effective way to fight with any objectives other than the annihilation of all opposing forces, the unconditional surrender of the vanquished, and the re-indoctrination of all survivors.
The kinds of diplomatic failure that lead to the engagement of our military should always have the seven “D”s in mind before we commit our troops and treasury to combat:
- Defeat the opposing military forces (as quickly as possible).
- Decimate the opposing civilian population.
- Detain all prisoners of war (until well after hostilities cease).
- Disarm all survivors.
- Destroy the ability of the vanquished to make war.
- Disband the political groups that made war.
- Depart the conquered country
- only after a government friendly to the conquerors has been established, and
- only after what was broken has been fixed.
Further, each commitment to use military force should require, and demand, significant sacrifice from the civilian population which supplies the military force.
Our inexperienced BHO does not, and probably can not, understand such things. He has no combat experience. In fact, he has no military experience.
He’s not alone. His predecessors, draft dodger WJC and malingerer GWB, also did not understand the circumstances under which our military forces should be engaged. On the other hand, their predecessor, GHWB, a WWII combat veteran, did.
The “Highway of Death” brought to you 22 years ago by
our most recent competent Command-in-Chief
Hence, the second thing we should do about Syria is never elect again an individual as inexperienced as Barack Obama is to be Commander-in-Chief.
Listening to the arguments from this administration regarding America’s involvement in Syria reminds us what today’s Liberals often fail to understand about government. They, who believe that the solution to every social problem is the monosyllabic cry for MORE! government, cannot understand why moral outrage should not, and can not, be the basis of government intervention – in this case, the use of military force to punish and correct the behavior of the Syrian government in gassing its own citizens.
Today’s Liberals often fail to understand the prohibition of the First Amendment against our government making laws designed to regulate our morality. Therefore, we should not be surprised to hear their exhortations to use government to regulate the moral behavior of others.
Thus, when Secretary Kerry agrees that the atrocities of the Syrian government are things for which it needs to be held “morally accountable”, he uncovers instead a powerful argument against any American involvment in the matter. Moral arbitration is not what our governments, especially our national government, are designed to do, should be asked to do, or, in fact, are allowed to do.
Hence, the third thing we should do about Syria is to not interfere.
The chief source of our difficulties in the Middle East is our unquestioning support of Israel. (Will it do any good here to claim that I am neither anti-Zionist nor anti-Semitic?) However, many benefits may accrue for America, and for the world, if Israel is made to feel vulnerable.
Remaining out of the Syrian civil war is just what may be needed to make Israel believe that their security is no longer guaranteed by America. An Israel, so softened, may thereby become disposed towards justice for the Palestinians and a peace that grants a long promised, viable, Palestinian State. The mechanism by which Israel will become a more humble nation in these circumstances will undoubtedly also lower the frustration and rage among the Arabs that surround the Jewish State, eventually.
A major hypocrisy in the attention now focused upon Syria is that the lawlessness of Israel with regard to its oppression of the indigenous population of Palestine has been, and is, largely ignored by America. There are plenty of international norms being violated daily by Israel in Palestine; but this President hasn’t yet consulted Congress about lobbing cruise missiles into Tel Aviv or West Jerusalem.
Thus, the fourth thing we should do about Syria is to not interfere.
The repetitive nature of the recommendations of this essay is intentional.
Thanks for your time and attention!