President Obama learned nothing from the war failures of Bush. In fact, he continues to make the same mistakes and worse under the cover of a sympathetic media and myrmidonic democrat electorate.
We absolutely should not directly intervene in Syria. There are two reasons why: 1- the entire situation was brought on by reckless ad-libbing policy to the media. 2- we have no end-state objective.
Obama has only himself to blame for putting himself in this position. Back in May, the president declared a "red line" that cannot be crossed. That red line was the use of chemical weapons by Assad.
Last week, it was discovered that chemical weapons had, in fact, been used during fighting in Damascus. Whether or not Assad's forces, or the Syrian rebels, or even a rogue element deployed them is not being asked in the West. Assad has already been found guilty so no investigation is necessary.
Of course, the UN, Russia, and China are asking for more time to actually investigate, but those are our enemies and we cannot listen to them.
The fact that the Syrian rebels are lead by Al Queda and have every reason to lie about the chemical attack is not important.
What is important is ego. Obama said, "red line" and he means to enforce it.
The administration talked boldly and is now forced to use a big stick for fear that any other threat they make to rogue nations, like North Korea and Iran, is serious. The bluff was called and now you have to show them your 3, 7 off-suit.
It really should not come as a surprise since Samantha Power-the Ambassador to UN, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Leon Poneta, and Joe Biden have been beating the war drum on Syria for over a year. And many of you thought the Republicans were the war party. Outside John McCain you hear nary a peep. Apparently the conservatives learned their lesson from the misguiding neo-cons.
The President backed himself into the same position with Libya when he declared that Quadafi must be removed. Never mind that NATO did not have a mandate to do so. By drawing the line in the sand, the US was left with no choice but to lead the mission in Libya and make sure Quadafi was replaced.
And we saw the result of that action: Benghazi. Because the US and its allies did not have an end-goal beyond blowing stuff up, we lost an ambassador and several Americans that should have never been there in the first place. Libyan weapons and fighters have continued to migrate throughout Africa and the Middle East wreaking havoc.
In Iraq, we invaded with no plan for the aftermath. The only thing holding the country together by 2011 was the remaining US soldiers. But Obama had said he would bring everyone home and so his ego had to be appeased. Iraq is now in the midst of a civil war.
In Afghanistan, we invaded with no end-goal beyond kill as many Al Queda and Taliban. We stuck around under the auspice of country building in a place that has no conception of the Westphalian state. We should have left years ago, but Obama said Afghanistan was the good war, so he threw more troops, money, and drones into the fire no real objective. We still have no definition of victory, yet cannot figure out a good excuse to leave.
And now we have Syria.
No one has verbalized our objective. Do we intend this raid to be humanitarian or simply punishment? Is success measured in by number of bombs dropped and missiles fired? What comes after?
In all honesty, neither side of the Syrian conflict benefits us. Hezbollah versus Al Queda? Better to let them both kill each other on their own.
America would most likely been blamed and hated by some for not intervening. However, it is even worse to jump in now---we are guaranteed to decrease our standing in the region. We will shoot some missiles and call it a day, but once again, have created an expectation. The rebels will keep calling for more. The rebels in other countries will demand our help all the more and know that any WMD accusation they can pin on the opposition is the ticket to American air strikes.
In some circles they are whispering that we are telling Assad when and where we will strike, thus avoiding casualties. So the punishment for crossing a “redline” is that the US will waste millions of dollars destroying non-essential targets so the bad guy learns his lesson and we can feel like we did something. That might be even more insulting. It is paramount to wink, wink, nudge, nudge diplomacy--we will pretend to punish you and hope you pretend to be chastised.
Stupid. Deranged. Cuckoo.
The definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Apparently being Democrat or Republican does not matter. Our dear leaders continue to engage in foreign policies that blatantly risk American lives with no thought to the consequences of their actions.