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All Da King's Men

Syria, A No Win Situation

By David King Published: September 5, 2013

The American people are overwhelmingly against U.S. military intervention in Syria.

The British parliament voted against military intervention in Syria.

The UN Security Council would not approve military intervention in Syria.

We aren't even certain that it was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who launched chemical weapons attacks against civilians in the Syrian civil war.

But our Nobel Peace Prize winning (for ???) and war criminal (for his illegal Libyan war) President wants to bomb Syria anyway...and I just heard that Speaker Of The House John Boehner (R-OH) is all aboard  Obama's "limited" and "proportional" war train, so it appears Obama has at long last achieved a measure of that bipartisanship he claims to desire. When the drums of war are beaten, the GOP hawks and the Democrat hypocrites come running to join the fray...seated safely in the DC bleachers, of course.

I am hard pressed to identify an American interest in the Syrian conflict. We oppose Assad and the Syrian government. They are a client state of Iran. I get that part, but on the other side of the conflict is the Syrian rebels, who consist of Al Qaeda affiliated groups and the Muslim Brotherhood, among others. There is no American interest in bringing such people to power, and if they did come to power as a result of America becoming "Al Qaeda's air force," as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) aptly described, what is the benefit there ? That would most likely lead only to further destabilization in the region, which, ironically, WOULD run contrary to American interests. If Obama's goal is to destabilize the Middle East, then I'd say he's done a heckuva job so far. Otherwise, I'd say he has his head stuck up his backside.

Perhaps we should abandon this idea that we can single-handedly remake the Middle East into America's democratic image. We can't, at least not without committing ourselves to nearly endless war at a nearly endless cost, and we have some pretty pressing needs here at home, like Obama's part-time America, Obama's high unemployment rates, Obama's record debt accumulation, and Obama's record numbers of people dependent on the government to survive, to name but a few. Such a belief in the power of American democracy was the central flaw in Bush's Iraq war policy, and that's why the Iraq War lasted a decade instead of the few weeks people like Donald Rumsfeld thought it would last. It's why we are still in Afghanistan. It's why our misadventures in Libya and Egypt are still unfolding, and are still chaotic. Apparently, it has never occurred to our deep thinking politicos in Washington D.C. that when given free elections, those in the Middle East would freely choose to elect people who OPPOSE America.

And what is this idea of a "limited" and "proportional" military strike all about anyway, other than covering for Obama's "red lines" talk ? What will launching a few targeted military strikes accomplish ? Would we take out Assad's chemical weapons ? Even if Assad did launch that chemical attack, I seriously doubt if we know where those weapons are, so it's not about that. A "proportional" attack would consist of killing 300-1200 of Assad's men as payback for the loss of life from the chemical attack, right ? A "proportional" attack then becomes little more than a warning, a message to tell Assad he's a bad boy, and to show him Obama will back up his words. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but what do we WIN in such a scenario ? We win some credibility for the American president, but is that enough of a reason to go to war ? I don't think so. Not in this case. Obama has also said he wants to cripple Assad to end the civil war and "free" Syria, but how does he do that without boots on the ground, which Obama has ruled out ? How does one maintain a free Syria from 30,000 feet ? I don't get it.

The American people are sick and tired of getting dragged into one Middle East conflict after another. We never really win anything, as far as I can see. It is in our better nature to serve humanitarian causes, and the deaths of 100,000 in the Syrian civil war is tragic. It's also THEIR civil war, not ours, and neither side is pro-American. Maybe, for once, we should butt out. If Obama wants to send Assad a message, make it an e-mail, instead of taking unilateral American action that the Democratic party pretended to be against when we had a coalition of 33 countries and congressional authorization for in Iraq to take out a brutal dictator who we KNEW had used chemical weapons to kill tens of thousands of Kurds, who invaded Kuwait (a legitimate American interest), who murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people, who paid the families of terrorist suicide bombers, whose regime had rape rooms and mass graves, who violated the terms of his Desert Storm surrender (another legitimate American interest), etc. Many Democrats, and specifically Barack Obama, were against that military intervention, but now Obama wants to bomb Syria, after Obama illegally went to war in Libya, and ramped up the Afghanistan war ? This would be three Obama wars in 4 1/2 years in office, not to mention the fact that he believes he can strike any Middle East country he wants with drone attacks, and has done so. When Obama promised hope and change following Bush, it turned out to be change for the worse on almost every front.

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