August 28, 2013

"8 Reasons Not to Go to War in Syria."

"1. If the rebels win, it’s bad news for the U.S.... 2. If Assad wins, it’s bad news for the U.S...."

35 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I don't foresee a good outcome if the US gets involved. I don't see a good outcome if the US does not get involved.

I would err on the side of non-involvement. Avoid this notion that the USA must do something.

Unless you want to distract to voters from, say, the Economy, or your abysmal performance. Then by all means, go for it. What have you, personally, got to lose?

cubanbob said...

If the British and the French are willing to furnish the manpower to invade, occupy and civilize Syria-in other words this time get the colonization right-then we should supply the sea-lift. Otherwise it will turn out badly.

Michael K said...

We won't go to war. This is only an Obama PR stunt. Of course, the Iranian response may be a lot more serious but Clinton didn't worry about that when he sent symbolic cruise missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan. Fortunately for Clinton, he had left office by the time the blowback hit. Bush got the blame.

I'm not sure Obama will be gone before the reaction from Iran hits. He has shown himself to be an actor, "a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.."

I think he is messing around with serious people. Too bad we have to share the decade with him.

tim in vermont said...

If the Arabs invented chess today, it would not be about toppling the king, a game would not finish until every piece was captured from the other side. This is not a game we can win, and we shouldn't be playing it.

Hagar said...

For once, I will agree with the doves - sort of.

This is a mess that Obama has got himself into, and there is no clear way out of it. The best thing for the country will be to just hunker down and take the results of this administration's fecklessness for the time being. Perhaps it will sort itself out; perhaps we will have a full-out regional war on our hands that we cannot get out of.

But in the meantime, we need to resist all attempts by this administration to scale back our military. We may need all we can muster soon enough.

BarrySanders20 said...

It's so unlike Obama to have no endgame. So unlike him to say dumb things that later box him in. So unlike him to say one thing to get elected and then do the opposite when pres(id)ent.

Like the Onion says, Obama is considering his option.

I never did, but does anyone still think he is a talented leader? That he is either wise from having lived a life that allows him to exercise good discretion or is a strategic thinker who exercises good judgment?

Iowahawk pegged him years ago with the Beltway Adventure! post based on the old computer role-playing game where the player makes a series of decisions. I swear Obama governs the way Iowahawk skewered him.

The best that can be said about why to bomb Syria is to not make the US look weak after Obama promised action if they crossed the red line. Not to Syria, but to Iran. There is no immediate US national interest at stake unless we count posturing with Iran (and to some extent Russia) as in our immediate interest sufficient to engage in acts if war. If that is all it takes, then there is no limit on the presidency, at least on this one.

Good thing we have such a wise president.

David said...

We are not considering going to war in Syria. Going to war involves long term effort and sacrifice with a (usually changing) objective. Here we have no plan for the long term, no will to sacrifice (except the usual sacrifice of the troops involved) and no articulated objective.

We are doing something quite different than going to war, and their will be intense disagreement on what it is. My take on the reason is cynical and pessimistic and you will hear it from others so no need to go into it now.

Could this lead to war? Of course. But then we would have an objective. Our objective would be to get out of what we did not intend to get into with the least shame and damage possible.

bpm4532 said...

C'mon folks. The fix is in.

Like a good con man, or slight-of-hand artist, they want to distract you from what's really important.

Obama the senator and candidate insisted that the president needs Congressional authorization for war where US interests are not threatened. A civil war between Muslims is not one of these.

Obama wants to go to war and be seen as a strong leader so as to lend even more momentum to his illegal and unconstitutional domestic actions. We've already had adventurism in Libya and Yemen (w/o Congressional approval), now Obama wants to continue this in Syria?

Prepare for more domestic strong-arming (the infrastructure is in place) and lawlessness.

I'm sure he'll claim MLK and Lincoln would be a kneeling supporter of his every action.

madAsHell said...

Wag the dog! Something to deflect from the IRS scandal.

James Pawlak said...

The primary reason is that such a war, without the active consent of the Congress or United Nations' approval is another attack on the Constitution by Mr. Obama.

Cedarford said...

Reason #9 - The Russians have the US spit in their face yet again, like us propping up a Muslim regime in a region the Russians long have been appreciated as guardians against both Western imperialism and Muslim conquest. Best Russian reaction would be to sell their best in the world anti-air, anti-missile S-300VM theater defense system to Syria, Iran. Just to see McCain and the Neocons go crazy.

10. We poke the Bear, then expect Russian cooperation on terrorism, being an available heavy logistics route for supplying our "heroes" still stuck in Afghansitan, and expect cooperation on global energy supplies/resources/Arctic development.
We suffer worse than the Russians fo if they tell us to pack sand.

Mark O said...

Yeah, but Obama might be mocked.

R. Chatt said...

There were two civil wars in Sudan lasting over 20 years and millions of people were killed, millions displaced as refugees. No one felt that we as the US was obligated to intervene for humanitarian reasons. Why is Syria different? Because of the use of chemicals? Really, that's it? Or is it because Syria is Muslim against Muslim while Sudan was Muslim against Christians/Animists? Or is it because Saudi Arabia wants to use us (the West, the US, UK, France) as part of their larger project against secular governments in the Muslim world? See:
Three Fundamental Mistakes in Dealing with Islam
Daniel Greenfield. He explains how we are being manipulated by the Muslim world to do their fighting for them in order to appease them. As stated, we if we succeed we will take the blame for removing Assad, the slaughter of the remaining Christians and Allawites.

Or are we motivated because the longer the conflict goes on the more jihadis from around the world (even Canada and the US) are going there to be trained and will probably return to their homes to commit jihad here?

I have no idea but on the surface I am completely at a loss to explain our government's actions.

traditionalguy said...

It's hilarious to watch Obama's carefully laid plans come out this way. No matter what happens next in Syria it helps Israel to attack its nemisis Iran, and it will all be done at our cost.

Jason said...

Ready. Fire. Aim. Typical for the idiot currently infesting the Oval Office.

jr565 said...

They are all good points. But they are not complete. If there is a stalemate and nobody wins it's also bad for the US and the Middle East.

And even if we don't intervene it's either going to be an Assad win or an Al Qaeda win (assuming that the rebels are Al Qaeda) or an endless war impacting the Middle East and drawing other actors in.

None of those are good options either. If we don't intervene it's not as if Iran isn't going to. What if our lack of action only strengthens Iran?

Sorun said...

If I was President, and a reporter asked what was to be done about Syria, I'd say: "I dunno, I guess we'll do whatever the Canadians do."

jr565 said...

This article could also be written as 8 reasons how America has neutered itself militarily.

Inga said...

Number 8. America is tired of war and broke. It's horrible what is happening in Syria, but it's not our fight. McCain was on Morning Joe advocating war, throwing out the price of oil as one incentive. Really?! When will America realize we need to be freed from the yoke of oil consumption from the Mideast. Do what we have to, drill, blast, frack, nuclear, solar, coal, hydro, whatever we need to.

David said...

R. Chatt said: There were two civil wars in Sudan lasting over 20 years and millions of people were killed, millions displaced as refugees. No one felt that we as the US was obligated to intervene for humanitarian reasons.

I did.

Maybe "obligated" was not the word but why we stood by while this was going on is beyond me. It's still going on.

Syria is a different situation. Lots of proxies, much greater potential to flare completely out of control, much less clear who is trying to exterminate whom. None of this means that there should not be an intervention. But intervention needs to have a purpose and objective. In Sudan it could have been to stop the massive slaughter of innocents. That is a possible purpose in Syria, but if it had been a serious purpose, we would have done something well before now. We would, in short, have had a policy with an objective.

Chris Lopes said...

I'm in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Inga. We don't have a dog on this fight, and intervention is likely to make things worse. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya should have taught us to avoid such messes.

jr565 said...

Setting a precedent that the international community will do nothing when a country gases its population is not really a good precendent for the international community to take.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote;
"Number 8. America is tired of war and broke. It's horrible what is happening in Syria, but it's not our fight. McCain was on Morning Joe advocating war, throwing out the price of oil as one incentive. Really?! When will America realize we need to be freed from the yoke of oil consumption from the Mideast. Do what we have to, drill, blast, frack, nuclear, solar, coal, hydro, whatever we need to."

Even if that's true, we are in a world market for oil. And our economy and our technology is setup for fossil fuel. And getting us to drill baby drill requires us to actually do that. And requires one side that was particularly reticent to stop with the bullshit and accept that we need pipelines from Canada and fracking and what not.That side is your side.

But even if we said we're going to be completely independent when it comes to oil and produce and refine our own energy how long is that going to take? Decades.

So, we still need to exist in a world where the Middle East has a a say in the world energy expenditure. What do you propose we do until then?

The middle east going to hell is our problem. We're not Fortress America.

Carnifex said...

I don't mind agreeing with Inga. There is always something to be learned from your opponent if you're willing to open your mind. America CAN'T afford another war. She is absolutely right.

And the price of oil is going to go up...in case you haven't noticed, the oil companies use any excuse to raise the price. Just the threat of a US strike is enough to raise the price.

Adding to C4's addendum list:

Reason 11 to not go to war with Syria...zero wants to. His past judgements have led me to the opinion that anything zero wants is to the detriment of the country. He is a rolling disaster looking for the next village to destroy

Reason 12...John McCain wants to. See reason 11 and transpose McCain instead of zero.

Anything that Maverick and zero both want will be Armageddon to the country.

to paraphrase Pelosi...We have to fight the war to find out whats in it.

Trashhauler said...

Any military operations plan starts with a statement of strategic intent and a list of intended outcomes. You can bet that the Joint Chiefs have been asking for clarification of intent while they look at options.

Almost all the options will be very limited in nature - precision targeting of Syrian military sites, probably suspected armories where WMD might plausibly be found. No ground troops, excepting - perhaps - some SOF types with strict instructions not to engage unless discovered. Of course, by this time any high value targets will have been dispersed, so the intended outcomes are already questionable.

Paul said...

Obama is just having another 'Oh look a squirrel' moment.

Killing people to further his hiding of scandals is nothing new.

jr565 said...

Carnifex wrote:
Reason 12...John McCain wants to. See reason 11 and transpose McCain instead of zero.

Anything that Maverick and zero both want will be Armageddon to the country.

both McCain and Obama were for the killing of Osama bin Laden. Ergo, you were against having him killed?

RecChief said...

by the way, those of us that were in Iraq in the early days of the war are still certain that whatever WMD Saddam had, they were shipped to Syria when we invaded. Just sayin'

jr565 said...

The free Syrian army seems to be more moderate, certainly moreso than Al Qaeda and more so than Assad. And its not in our interest to have Assad running Syria. Syria is Iran's right hand in its proxy war, so ousting a pro Iran Syria will weaken Iran's hand in the Middle East. Which again should be our long term goal.
As well as killing Al Qaeda.
As messy as its going to be the democracy project is the only way long term that we are going to be able to deal with the Middle East. The regimes have to go down and be replaced by less bad regimes. It won't always mean military intervention, but its got to happen.

What I'm describing is a long term project that is going,to be one step forward and then a few steps back. But it is doable.

I'm not saying that the ME will ever be a democratic utopia. It just doesn't have to be the cess pool hat it is now. But it will require war on our part. But make no mistake, even if we don't want to wage war, they do (and by they I mean Iran, Syria Al Qaeda, the Muslim brotherhood) so we wil be drawn into this because we live in the same world.

There is no retreating into our bunker in an interconnected world.and Neville Chamberlain is not looked on as a hero in history.

Obama has painted himself Into a corner by saying that there will be reprisals if Syria used chemical weapons because if you don't actually do anything after making the threat you look feckless and weak. Kind of like we do to Iran when we keep talking about how there are going to be serious consequences if they continue with their nuclear program and we then let them go about their business. Kind of like we did to Iraq when we told them the cease fire was predicated on them disarming and then the UN issued not one but fifteen resolutions telling them they were behaving badly.

But I understand why Obama made the declaration. Countries are not supposed to gas their population If a country does so, there should be reprisals. And we shouldn't say "none of our business".

jr565 said...

As far as affording another war, war and defense are the two areas where govt can't make the "we're broke" argument. Because we cant fight wars based on the premise that we can afford them, like they're luxuries. Its not like we are funding the NEA. Govt fights war based on national interests, and those interests are there whether our coffers are full or empty.

This is not to say that this particular war is in our interest.

jr565 said...

So for all the libs saying we shouldn't do anything to target Syria for their gassing of the population, why are you sticking your nose in Israel's business when it doesn't gas a population but merely puts up a wall. "None of your business"

Or why are we demanding that South Africa give up apartheid? If South Africa gassed Nelson Mandela instead of putting him in jail, I'd imagine few would say "none of our business".

Back when slavery was legal, Brittain took it upon itself to police the seas and attack any slave ships it encountered. Acting imperialisticaly? Perhaps. Could it afford it? Was it really England's problem? But its actions helped end slavery. If it had remained neutral the world would probably be a much different place.

RecChief said...

"What I'm describing is a long term project that is going,to be one step forward and then a few steps back. But it is doable."

But, we HAD to get out of Iraq, and we have to get out Afghanistan (I actually agree with that one).

I would like an explanation as to why this is acceptable in Syria, or Libya, or Egypt, but not in Iraq or Afghanistan. After all, we have proof that Saddam Hussein gassed the citizens his own country. So why are the arguments used by the left to criticize the war in Iraq now used to justify a war in Syria? Simply because of the occupant of the White House?

And for those of you who say Saddam didn't have WMD, my time(s) on the ground in Iraq lead me to the certainty that they were shipped to Syria.

Big Mike said...

Reason #9: It is not 100% clear that Assad is behind the chemical attack. So far the President's rationale is a variant on the phrase "trust me." The proper response is "why would we do that"?

Subreason #9.1: Alternate hypothesis that the chemical weapons were possessed by the rebels and were accidentally triggered by conventional shelling. This hypothesis has not been definitively ruled out.

Subreason #9.2: Alternate hypothesis that the "attack" was actually a false flag operation staged by the rebels themselves on their own people as a way to drag the US and Europe into the war on their side. This hypothesis has not been definitively ruled out.

Reason #10: We apparently have no plan for what to do after the first strike.

jr565 said...

Red chief wrote:
I would like an explanation as to why this is acceptable in Syria, or Libya, or Egypt, but not in Iraq or Afghanistan. After all, we have proof that Saddam Hussein gassed the citizens his own country. So why are the arguments used by the left to criticize the war in Iraq now used to justify a war in Syria? Simply because of the occupant of the White House?

yes, they're hypocrites. Even more so considering Biden said if Bush and to war in Iran without consulting congress he would vote to impeach the president. Total, stinking hypocrite.

But lets be clear. Republicans supported Bush on regime change and the War On Terror. And sounded the alarm for Syria being one of the main impedimenta to our success in the ME. So, lets not turn into hypocrites ourselves.

Its in our interest for Syria's engine to go down. If we can do it without full on nation building, great.

jr565 said...

Recchief wrote:
But, we HAD to get out of Iraq, and we have to get out Afghanistan (I actually agree with that one).

I would like an explanation as to why this is acceptable in Syria, or Libya, or Egypt, but not in Iraq or Afghanistan. After all, we have proof that Saddam Hussein gassed the citizens his own country. So why are the arguments used by the left to criticize the war in Iraq now used to justify a war in Syria? Simply because of the occupant of the White House?


pretty much yeah. But sadly this is turning out to be true for both sides. Now suddenly Rand Paul sounds like a code pinker.
As to why we had to get out of Iraq, why? How foolish that we did considering all the blood and treasure we expended. You don't give up those gains and yet Obama did just that.