by William Teach | September 3, 2013 7:42 am
The NY Times has been doing a Hamlet schtick (to be or not to be), wavering back and forth regarding Syria on the opinion pages from both the Editorial Board and op-ed contributors (remember “Bomb Syria, Even If It’s Illegal“?). Today they find that Mr. Obama did the right thing in sending the whole mess over to Congress for a debate and vote
President Obama made the right decision to seek Congressional authorization for his announced plan to order unilateral military strikes against Syria for using chemical weapons. There has to be a vigorous and honest public debate on the use of military force, which could have huge consequences even if it is limited in scope and duration.
The real question is whether we we will get an honest debate from Team Obama or of they’ll turn this into a typical Neverending Campaign prop designed to assault the Republican Party. Considering many of the articles we’ve seen so far from the Leftist media, including one at the Times noting that the debate sets up a clash within the GOP (what about the clash within the Dems?), this will become a typical Blame Republicans campaign.
Anyhow, the Editorial Board wants to know a few things, like what the objectives of strikes would be, how to ensure that the strikes don’t escalate, and how the strikes will keep Assad from using WMD again. But, then
It is unfortunate that Mr. Obama, who has been thoughtful and cautious about putting America into the Syrian conflict, has created a political situation in which his credibility could be challenged. He did that by publicly declaring that the use of chemical weapons would cross a red line that would result in an American response. Regardless, he should have long ago put in place, with our allies and partners, a plan for international action – starting with tough sanctions – if Mr. Assad used chemical weapons. It is alarming that Mr. Obama did not.
That’s the Liberal equivalent of a a slap across the face with a iron glove to another Democrat. Thoughtful and cautious means “disengaged and absent”. The situation is one of his own making, though I suspect he was thinking more along the lines of 10,000 dead from WMD, not 1,400. Yes, that’s still a lot, but in a conflict with over 100K dead, it doesn’t resonate.
Really, though, the Times gets to the heart of the matter, which is that Team Obama had no plan for following through on an crossing of a red line. Especially since there have been chemical weapons used several times already. One would think that after multiple red line comments, there would be plans in place. Alas, no. Once it was learned that more chemical weapons were used, Team Obama seemed to be winging it. And ended up with a coalition of …… Obama and France. He drew a line and failed to meet or talk with foreign leaders, particularly Russia (which has no respect of nor fear for Obama in the first place). He announced strikes a-commin’ and gave away the plan in, I guess, trying to scare Syria. But talk was all he did.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council, which has the responsibility to uphold treaties outlawing chemical weapons use, has failed to act in any way following the August attack, largely because of the opposition of Russia, Mr. Assad’s chief ally and arms supplier, and China. It is appalling that Russia and China have not been the focus of international outrage and pressure.
Syria is not part of any chemical weapons treaty. Furthermore, Mr. Obama failed to make a case to the UN, and his UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, was out on holiday in Ireland at a comedy festival a mere 19 days after getting the job, and sent a lower level flunky in her place right after the use of chemical weapons came to light. Obama apparently made no attempt to engage the Arab League, either. He wasn’t going to engage either the American People nor the Congress, till the British PM lost a vote in the Parliament. Now Obama’s thrown the ball into the Congressional court. Why? I supposed we’ll find out soon what the real reason is.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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