Thursday, August 29, 2013
Obama Gets His Gun Off Again
By the time you read this Obama may have gotten his gun off again.
And then the Liberal hypocrisy becomes complete.
That’s not to say that Obama’s a hypocrite; he’s just a demagogue.
Other Liberals are hypocrites. They’ve gone from opposing the attack on Iraq over supposed WMDs because Bush proposed it, to supporting an attack on Syria over supposed WMDs because Obama proposes it.
I guess we’re just lucky that John Kerry was willing and able to report for this duty.
This is what you get when you have a Secretary of State who opposed two wars before he was for the one war he gets to start. I guess now he can claim he was right before he was wrong.
So, let me put this in layman’s terms: attacking Syria is a really dumb idea.
There were many reasons to justify going to war in Iraq. WMDs weren’t one of those reasons. Nor is it a reason for going to war in Syria.
War is no longer the Sport of Kings.
Instead, war very often involves you and you and you.
Rick Atkinson captured it perfectly in his book The Day of Battle:
“We had learned our first lesson,” says a corporal, “mainly that fate, not the Germans or Italians, was our undiscriminating enemy. With the same callousness as Army orders, without fairness or judgement, 'You and you—dead. The rest of you, on the truck.’”
And if the last hundred years has taught us anything it is this: war once begun, very often takes on a life of its own.
Like living beings war decides emotionally, and justifies its actions rationally.
As a person who knows some of those living beings who will have to fight wars, I can tell you that an attack on Syria is neither rational nor emotional.
It’s calculated politically. Obama must get his gun off, or risk being thought of as weak.
That’s not a good enough reason to use force and kill other people. It wasn’t a good enough reason for Obama’s so-called “surge” strategy in Afghanistan, either. If the goal, as then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta defined it, was “of reversing the Taliban momentum on the battlefield and dramatically increase the size and capability of the Afghan national security forces," then they have failed.
The Taliban is expected to reclaim power shortly after the U.S. leaves.
But of course military success wasn’t the goal, was it?
The goal was rather that Obama could get his own “surge” as a riposte to the successful surge strategy that extricated the United States from Iraq long before Obama was even the Democrat nominee.
Of the 3,369 coalition casualties in Afghanistan, about 2,200 of them-- that’s 65%-- happened under Obama’s pointless surge. "You and you-- dead. The rest of you, on the truck."
Sometime ago, someone decided that Obama must get his gun off on Syria. And they are now using WMDs as the emotional weaponry to mobilize public opinion. Again.
There are several problems with this strategy beyond the moral question of using a false pretense to start a war.
Syria has not attacked the United States nor any of its allies.
And the cry of “WMDs!” is sketchy again.
“[S]tudies of national capabilities and stock piles of bugs and gas [that is, biological and chemical agents] are notoriously suspect,” writes our correspondent at NightWatch, “but err on the side of caution because a little goes a long way. As a result, the record of predictive accuracy tends to be poor. That record includes the inaccurate judgments about various weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003.”
The report from NightWatch goes on to say that only field personnel on the ground, able to test for chemical or biological agents, would be able to determine whether banned substances were used.
As NightWatch points out, it’s possible that Syria used one of the gas agents allowed under the Geneva Convention.
A second observation derives from the Russian use of a chemical agent in 2002 when Chechen terrorists held more than 700 Russian hostages in a Moscow theater. The Russians used a crowd suppression agent that killed 116 people, but enabled 650 to be rescued. The agent is not banned by the Geneva convention on chemical warfare.
If the Syrians used such an agent, which can be delivered by mortars and artillery as well as aircraft, there would be no international legal justification for attacking Syria based on the Geneva convention. It would not have been violated. The possibility that a non-banned substance was used makes it all the more urgent that competent investigators inspect the sites to identify the agent as well as the culprit.
This would seem logical.
But the decision to go to war has already been made.
Neither by any conventional sense of the word makes much of a difference to the guy in the White House.
It’s the politics that’s important to him.
Obama has to get his gun off again.
And the hypocrites, like news reader Chris Matthews, will go along, making a cameo appearance as fate:
"You and you-- dead. The rest of you, on the truck."