And so now America will likely embark on another episode of swashbuckling Democrat-led interventionism in a part of the world in which America has no friends. At least President Bush went to Congress for authorization to use force in Iraq. President Obama's imperialistic ambitions match his imperial attitude toward the executive office: He needs no Congressional approval, and so he will seek no Congressional approval. In Libya, Obama never bothered to ask Congress to sign off on a no-fly zone; instead, he simply put the military in place, then ignored Congressional deadlines for a cut-off. In Egypt, Obama has avoided declaring the current Egyptian military coup a coup -- and yet Obama is apparently ready to cut off aid regardless, meaning that he wants to avoid any sort of Congressional control over his decision-making.
Now, in Syria, Obama is readying the missiles, despite the fact that just 9 percent of Americans want America to intervene in Syria. Why? Because for Obama, personal pride is at stake. Obama once accused George W. Bush of a petty obsession with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
But at least America had interests in Iraq ranging from preventing terrorism to quashing threats to American oil flow. America has no such interests in Syria. President Obama is intervening in Syria for one reason: He wants to. He wants to because he set down a "red line" on the use of chemical weapons in Syria; he wants to because he is sick of being seen as a lead-from-behind world ninny; he wants to because he believes that his personal influence trumps the Islamism of the enemies we now fund and arm. Most of all, President Obama wants to intervene in Syria because we have no interests in Syria.
This has become a running theme with Democrat-led wars. American interests in Yugoslavia were non-existent. American interests in Somalia were non-existent. For Democrats, the virtuous war is the war in which America has nothing to gain -- except, of course, glory for the occupant of the White House.
President Bush could rightly be accused of wanting to remake the Middle East in the American image. President Obama wants to make the Middle East over in his own image, unblemished by considerations about America. A new world. A world without American hegemony. And he'll use American force to do it.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone