by William Teach | August 29, 2013 8:05 am
I suppose there’s something raaaaacist in that headline, but, hey, don’t blame me, blame the Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Leigh Munsil, who offer up 5 questions for Obama on Syria
President Barack Obama is not a commander in chief drawn to military adventure nor an explainer-in-chief who is especially fond of delivering Oval Office addresses.
But Obama’s reluctance to offer a detailed explanation of an anticipated attack on Syria has puzzled allies and adversaries alike who warn that even a short engagement – likely two to three days of missile strikes – could draw the U.S. into the kind of “dumb” war Obama opposed as a candidate in 2008.
Obama – awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize before he knew where all the White House bathrooms were located – is in an unfamiliar and deeply uncomfortable position. He was elected on a wave of contempt for George W. Bush over Iraq, but now finds himself on the wrong side of public opinion – only 25 percent of Americans supported U.S. intervention in Syria after a chemical weapons attack.
Obama plans no Oval Office or other meaningful announcement, speech, notification, nor explanation to the American regarding Syria. Apparently, according Glenn Thrush, the White House stated that an Oval Office address is considered “passé” by Team Obama. My bet is on a couple throwaway lines inserted into a campaign style speech on one of Obama’s favorite subjects (which doesn’t include actually fixing the economy) given at either a high school or college. So, if Obama leaves town in the next few days, expect military strikes to start shortly.
1. What is the goal in attacking Syria?
The answer seems to be something well short of a regime change but somewhat tougher than a face slap at Assad.
American’s would love to know, because the O admin continues to yammer on about possible operations, alerting Syria as to what Obama plans to do. Of course, Obama has apparently made no decision on Syria. One would have thought plans would have been made by Team O after the multiple times he warned Syria about “red lines”.
2. Why attack now?
It’s all about cashing a rhetorical check Obama wrote Aug. 20, 2012, when he famously declared, “a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”
We’re also hearing about “moral imperatives” and that this is in the best interest for US security and national interests, though no one in the O admin is bothering to explain just why. But, if anything is done, let’s face the fact that this would be about Obama saving face.
3. What happens if Syria, Iran or Hezbollah attack Israel?
Welcome to Obama’s big nightmare – an act of controlled retaliation that escalates into uncontrollable regional conflagration.
Then someone shouldn’t have run his mouth with an off-teleprompter throw-away threat a few times.
4. What’s with all these leaks?
In most conflicts, countries guard their military plans with shoot-the-leaker secrecy. (snip)
Defense sources say Team Obama wants to keep expectations low and avoid the argument that the president is starting a third war or dragging the U.S. into a boots-on-the-ground quagmire. So officials are making clear that this won’t involve ground troops or even human pilots in warplanes overhead in Syria but rather only the safest and most precise weapons in the U.S. arsenal: Tomahawk missiles.
We’ll probably know what the ground crews stencil on the cruise missiles before they are even launched. Which will be posted on the White House Twitter feed.
5. Does Obama need to consult Congress?
The White House hasn’t said one way or the other – but Obama is preparing to anyway.
If he does, that would be a good start. The article reports that Obama plans on telling Congress, in person and by teleconference, starting today. Personally, I suspect we’ll start hearing about how Obama sent an email or a flunky in person to tell Congress Critters something, which really doesn’t provide any sort of explanation. Regarding Obama’s Big Libyan Adventure (how’s that worked out so far? Well, good for Britain and France, since the oil is still flowing to them), Obama told Congress with a letter. I don’t expect much more, because, sheesh, He’s The President, and has No Need To Inform Anyone As To His Actions. Including the American People.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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