Syria and the Amateur Hour
Syria is ruled by dictator Bassar Al-Assad. Assad’s political faction is supported by Iran and Hezbollah. Assad is now opposed by many Syrians, and by quite a few Al Qaeda foreigners fighting in Syria. Both sides are willing to kill religious minorities like Syrian Christians. Both factions are more than willing to gas civilians. There is evidence that both sides already used chemical weapons.
Two evil factions are fighting for political control of Syria. We did not arm Syrian moderates when we had the chance. Muslim extremists stepped into that political vacuum. Now, neither side is an ally of the United States, nor will they become an ally in the future. We have significant differences between us.
As a point of long standing military doctrine, the United States opposes using weapons of mass destruction. These weapons are indiscriminate and easily kill non-combatants in the area. The United States has sufficient military expertise to decide how and who we kill in war. Muslim terrorists were never concerned by that fine distinction. Non-combatants are murdered in Syria every day. A few thousand civilians killed by chemical weapons act as an excellent public relations trophy for a terrorist organization. To Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, civilian casualties are a feature, not a flaw.
All Qaeda and Hezbollah are killing each other. They are murdering innocent civilians as the world watches their brutality. Let them. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
President Obama said the US would intervene if Syrian civilians were targeted with WMDs. He did so to look presidential on the world stage and so increase his popularity at home. Obama then ignored several chemical attacks. Now he looks like a community organizer from Chicago who sits in the White House playing cards.
To be politically effective in Syria, our military response must be fast and militarily significant to the combatants. An effective response will aid a political faction in Syria who is our enemy. A slow and insignificant military response from the United States makes the US look militarily weak and irrelevant. That aids our enemies outside Syria. Those poor options are the sure sign of a failed US foreign strategy and a failed civilian leadership at the top levels of government. What we have here is a failure of imagination.
The US military is not militarily weak. It is one of the few organizations still respected by US civilians. Corrupting the reputation of the US military fits Obama’s political goals at home. It is the civilian leadership of the United States that is old, slow to react, politically corrupt, and ineffective.
Like a good community organizer, the president continues to be sensitive to domestic public opinion. Public opinion against military action in Syria is an effective tool to stop US military involvement. President Obama, and more importantly, other democrats in the president’s party, will not willingly face a strong political backlash from a failed military action in Syria. That is true despite the favorable coverage guaranteed by the mainstream media.
We are watching amateurs on the US political stage. I don’t want to see the American military humiliated. I don’t want to see President Obama humiliated. Please study the events in Syria and contact your legislators. An angry reaction may stop this farce before it gets worse. Politically active voters are our best hope.
What say you?