Not Worth Saving Face

The troubled trio of Kerry, Dempsey and Hagel (State, JCC, Defense, respectively) appeared before a Senate committee on 03 September and were put on the spot trying to make Obama’s case ostensibly to “degrade/deter” Syrian President Assad’s chemical-weapon capability but were plainly unhappy about the whole charade, made such because of the president’s insistence that what Congress does actually doesn’t matter. I watched a good bit of the hearing.

The senators were unhappy because Obama was making them into a joke account the above, and also because the polls indicate that the sizeable majority of Americans are against any intervention in Syria’s civil war. A huge part of the reason probably has to do with the fact that Assad would hardly have gassed people in his own town and the fact that the administration lacks credibility about anything it says.

Indeed, State Secretary Kerry never said the administration had positive proof that Assad had perpetrated the gassing. He merely said the president had information that was convincing, or something like that. There is no “slam dunk” proof, so Kerry/Obama ask the Congress for support in dropping bombs on people because Assad “may” have been bad.

That’s not good enough, especially since word was making the rounds that Obama may have colluded with the insurgents in “setting up” the tragedy. Ordinarily, that would be beyond belief, but just the outrageous fraud perpetrated vis-à-vis the Benghazi massacre is proof that the truth is not a priority with the administration.

The question I never heard the senators ask had to do with what would happen in the event of an Obama strike if the Syrians retaliated by hitting an American warship just off the coast with one of their SCUD missiles. All one has to remember is the Tonkin Gulf episode that precipitated the GI-buildup in Vietnam in the 1960s (500,000 troops in 1969) that eventuated in a war that cost 58,000+ American lives…for nothing except their honor.

A similar scenario in the Middle East could devolve into a conflagration beyond belief, with whole nations caught up in carnage not seen since WWII. This is what the senators and the congress-people should be considering. Events spiral out of control when actions are taken absent thorough thought about the potential consequences.

Obama went not to Congress but to the UN for the Libya action, which was purported to be establishing a “no-fly” zone, not that Qaddafi had a real air-force anyway. That part of the “permission” was finished in four days. Using the fine print, Obama stretched the killing-field into seven months before Qaddafi was finally dispatched and the country left to wallow in what’s left – not much.

Now, UN Head Honcho Ban-Ki-Moon has labeled Obama’s grand plan to be internationally illegal. So…will Obama honor the UN position now as he did in the Libya affair, accomplished only because Russia and China gave him permission through abstaining from voting while the rest of the Security Council held their noses.

Using the UN figure of 100,000 Syrian dead in about 2.5 years of insurrectionist activity, a total of 3,333 Syrians have died per month on average. In 2.5 years, after commanding Assad to desert his presidency, Obama watched that monthly death toll and did nothing, notwithstanding what the Syrian citizens thought he would do to back up his arrogance. Now, despite the fact that no other nation will join in any action against Assad, Obama is hot-to-trot to save Syrians. Why?

A gas-attack that was probably precipitated by the rebels is his stated reason, despite the logical consideration that whether by bullet or gas a dead person is dead, and nothing can change that. If, as Kerry insisted, the objective is just to fire some shots, what happens if the tide is turned and the insurgents get their hands on the chemical weapons? Damascus is only 36 or so miles from the Golan Heights (Israel).

Obama put this country on the wrong side in Libya and Egypt. With no military acuity whatever, he now wants to unleash the means to a regional war that could engulf the world. It’s not worth saving his face over those silly “red-line” remarks almost guaranteeing promises he never meant to keep. Defense Secretary Hagel has made it plain that the U.S would take no unilateral action. His only choice is resignation. Obama’s only choice is to man-up and admit his foolhardiness.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark