September 8, 2013

David Gregory moderates an excellent discussion on Syria with David Axelrod, Newt Gingrich, Jane Harman, and Chuck Todd.

On "Meet the Press" today. Gingrich is especially good. Here's his answer to Gregory's question paraphrasing Denis McDonough's argument for the strike ("It's going to be limited. Don't worry. Very, very limited, very targeted. And by the way, if we don't act, Iran, the real enemy, is watching"):
No, look, I thought Denis was very effective, making a bad case. And I think that's their problem. If the strategy is inexplicable to a normal American, we're going to sort of punch you, but we're not going to punch you too hard, and we really would like you to leave, but we don't want you to leave enough to get rid of you, and we hope there's a political solution, although we haven't got a clue what it is. I mean, that's very hard to build momentum for. 
And Harman left a strong impression on me when she said:
But the notion of going to war or launching a limited strike, at least to me, to project American power in a way that deters really bad consequences in Iran and North Korea and so forth is by my rights, the right thing to do. And I think what's going on here, in my view, is all these folks in both parties, especially in the House, are worried about being primaried. The base in each party is against this. I'm sympathetic to that, the economy hasn't rebounded in most parts of the country. They're against it. So these folks think that the reelection, my view, matters more than perhaps taking a principled stand.
Video of the whole segment:

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51 comments:

Oshbgosh said...

Axelrod did a good job of protecting the Obama brand, but I don't buy it. This is rope a dope by Iran. Get us involved in Syria in a way we can not win while you continue to develop nuclear weapons. When challenged point to the immorality of US action in Syria. We should stay out militarily, sanction Syria economically and concentrate on the real bad guys in Iran.

elkh1 said...

"deters really bad consequences in Iran and North Korea and so forth"

Oh, really, never understand those and so forths.
Bomb Syria because they have chemical weapons, to deter Iran who is accelerating its nuke program?
Remember Gadhafi? Bush's Iraq war scared the daylights out of him to give up his nukes. Where is Gadhafi now? He'd never see daylights again.
Harman really believes we can scare the Iranians with a couple of Tomahawks aiming at Assad's palace? Stupider than I could imagine.

Crimso said...

Here's the thing about any sort of AUMF: it implies an extensive operation. Punitive strikes could have been done without Congressional approval. I think the only reason they buckled and went to Congress was precisely because they were planning more than punitive strikes.

St. George said...

Immediately after JFK’s inaugural address, former President Eisenhower and his wife Mamie got into their five-year old Chrysler Imperial. Accompanied by a single Secret Service car, they drove to their Gettysburg farm. Upon arriving, the Secret Service car honked and returned to D.C.

That said, as early as 1950 when serving as a consultant to the Pentagon, he told his friends there that, among other things, they should consider using one or two atomic weapons in Korea.

Later, as President, frustrated by the stalemate there in 1953, he told Secretary of State Dulles to tell foreign leaders the US would start using atomic weapons soon to end the war. Dulles did so.

At about the same time, the NSC approved a new war plan that had already been submitted by the Joint Chiefs. It called for the use of hundreds of atomic bombs against China and N. Korea and for the use of mustard gas against the enemy. (I don’t make up this stuff. Page. 78. “Ike’s Bluff” by Evan Thomas, 2012.)

About two weeks before that, Ike had suggested using four atomic bombs against N. Korean airfields.

To this day, no one knows if Ike was bluffing. He was a master poker player and bridge player.

And, of course, he was “the conqueror of the conqueror of worlds,” as one of his aides called him.

When asked what brought the N. Koreans to the bargaining table, Ike immediately replied, "Danger of an atomic war."

This was a man one might trust with nuclear weapons. He smoked four packs of cigarettes a day.

Pres. Obama, not so much, ciggies or war.

And do you think that he and his family will drive back to Chicago in a Chrysler Imperial?

n.n said...

What consequences? Neither Iran nor North Korea pose an imminent threat to America or American interests. For that matter, neither did Libya or Egypt. Who is financing the "rebel" campaign in Syria? Who is arming the "rebels"? This was an Obama-made disaster.

The economy has not rebounded, anywhere. While they have managed to control inflation through import of cheap foreign products, cheap illegal aliens, sequestration of private capital, and increasing transfer payments (e.g. welfare), the consequences of trillion dollar deficits is a progressive (i.e. monotonic) devaluation of capital and labor. Not even Obamacare will provide cover for their liberal spending schemes forever, and many places in the world, including the Middle East, have already experienced negative progress.

As for an effective example of American power... finish the job in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Then there is our neighbor, Mexico, who is also coping with their "rebels" armed by our federal government. Don't cut and run. Don't switch channels. The natives and world are unimpressed by your exceedingly short attention span. If you start something, then finish it.

Priscilla said...

I know it's a silly, silly thing....but some of those representatives may actually believe that they should listen to the will of the people.

Hagar said...

As I understand it, the mood in Congress is that some Republicans say we have to support the president abroad unquestioning, or America's "credibility" will suffer, and some Democrats say we [Democrats] must support the president regardless of how much we hate this, or the republicans could win the elections next year.

None of them want to discuss what the U.S. should do next if there is a reaction from Syria and its allies - which there very likely will be - because none of them have any idea what such reaction might be, nor how we would go about dealing with it - especially with no allies abroad and no popular backing at home.

n.n said...

elkh1:

Yes, launching missiles and dropping bombs on people's heads earns us retributive change. The natives who survive our arrogance are unimpressed by the American ego.

Original Mike said...

Obama's limited strike as deterrence is just like ObamaCare's penalty if you don't sign up. "We need a penalty to get people to sign up, but the penalty shouldn't be so big as to actually hurt." The result is that people will choose the penalty over signing up for health insurance. The same thing is going to happen with Obama's "shot-across-the-bow".

The man has no balls.

gadflyjohn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grackle said...

… all these folks in both parties, especially in the House, are worried about being primaried.

You bet. And isn't it about time all the fake-conservative Democrat Representatives elected in the red states be flushed out of the bushes?

I read that their counterparts in the Senate are not worried because the Senate elections are not until 2016 – an eternity away in the political world. If so, I think they may be in for a surprise come election time.

gadflyjohn said...

The US's UN Ambassador thought she could bring the Iranians and Russians to isolate Assad. How badly can someone misread events? Harmon is walking that same road. Some limited, one-off strike isn't going to persuade anyone to stop the killing. What it will do is convince people that the US political leaders are given to thoughtless statements which they will only back up with some PR show when defined. The Russians are going to push back, and then what? The President gets a bad case of "can't back down-itis" and we wind up with a real shooting war in the Med.

If Harmon thinks any limited strike is going to convince the world is the US's resolution, she's misreading the situation as badly as Powers.

Mark said...

Blogger and writer Michael Toten talks about the 'strong horse' theory of mid east politics: it's the strong horse, powerful leader/faction/country that gets the respect. Bush became a strong horse by invading Iraq, and both Syria and Libya moderated their behavior after that. Thinking that launching a couple of Tomahawks into Syria will impress Iran is delusional.

Richard Dolan said...

The problem is that the points made by Gingrich and Harman are mutually exclusive, and in all events the critical audience is over there, not here. Hartman argues that we need to strike Assad "to deter bad consequences in Iran and North Korea," but doesn't explain how O's planned attack would send a useful message (for the reasons detailed by Gingrich). The reality is that they have all taken O's measure. In order to change the perceptions that matter, the strategy would have to give the Iranians and Norks reason to reconsider their evaluation of O.

Hard to see anything in the O Team's presentation that could possibly accomplish that, and instead lots in their pathetic shot-across-the-bow plan that will just reinforce it.

The O team, and its bakers, treat the problem as if the audience were a domestic US group, but alas, it's not. Putin, Assad, the mullahs and the Norks are very different indeed, and can only be motivated to change their evaluation by realities, not fantasies.

Almost Ali said...

The finale of today's Meet The Propaganda was an asinine question from David Gregory about - not Syria, or Iran, or North Korea - but what teams would make the Super Bowl. Which was the perfect segway from yet another light-hearted look at some really arcane, oh-hum world affairs.

Mark B said...

1. Four Democrats against a weird Republican led to tons of unstated assumptions and conclusory comments that could not be effectively rebutted.

2. Dennis has a last name (McDonough). I never heard of the guy before I saw him on Fox News Sunday this morning. Now, all of a sudden he's just "Dennis"? Newtie called him Dennis in order to soften Newtie's TV persona; the others made me want to puke. What have we come to when no one on TV wants to hurt Dennis's feelings by calling him Mr. McDonough? This may seem a trivial complaint, but I think it says something about how far we have fallen from our previous view of how public discussions of matters of great national importance should be conducted. Personal connections/feelings should be left out of it. It seems like a girls' middle school claque chattering on about personalities.

Mark B said...

Grackle - 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election every two years, including in 2014. Not sure what you meant by Senate elections in 2016.

wildswan said...

"to project American power in a way that deters really bad consequences in Iran and North Korea" That's what Jane Harman imagines Obama is going to do. And if I thought that's what Obama was going to do I would support action in Syria. But I do not. I think Obama is going "to project American power" in a way that leads to bad consequences and I am on firm ground thinking this because this is what he already is doing. Stop asking us to "support the President" as if the world would end if he were shown to be wrong on some issue. He's wrong already on Syria and he was wrong on Benghazi, his treatment of Israel, his treatment of allies, his rush to leave Iraq, his indifference to the economic plight of African-Americans who will support him no matter what and on a lot else. I promise you that Mr. Peace Prize will stab in the back any fool who supports him on this war.
And it is war to bomb Syria. How would we feel if someone bombed us? They will retaliate. They will kill our soldiers or American civilians. Of course they will. Then what, Mr. Peace Prize?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Hope it was a strong BAD impression, as it was weak sauce.

The sooner Barry has his inevitable comeuppance, the sooner we can get one with his lame duckness.

cyrus83 said...

If I were the president, I'd be arguing against what Congress is proposing here.

Regardless of the merits of getting involved with Syria, the 60/90 day AUMF Congress is proposing should be rejected on its face. If Congress decides to go to war, it has to intend to go to war to win or otherwise accomplish the objectives. If there is no desire to see this through to the end, no military action should be authorized.

Obama is now literally in a no-win situation in Congress. If the 60/90 day AUMF passes, he basically has to hope Assad is out of power within 90 days to avoid looking ineffective, and I'm not sure that can happen absent ground troops when Assad knows he only has to hold out 3 months. If the measure fails, it's an international humiliation and leaves him a lame duck.

MartyH said...

Message to Harman-As far as our Reps and Senators are concerned, getting re-elected IS the principle.

To reduce strategic voting, ballots should be sealed but not secret. Each Senator/Rep gets a ballot with his/her name on it. They vote Yes/No or not at all, and the ballots are collected then tallied, and how each member voted is made public. A Senator or Rep thus cannot watch the vote tally and cast or change a vote for strategic reasons. Each vote is public and meaningful-you can't cast a last minute "symbolic" vote for a resolution that is going to lose anyway, for example. This should be the case for any war declarations, AUMFs, or similar military actions. Strategic voting when deciding whether or not to kill people is bullshit.

John Lynch said...

Why do we have to listen to the same few people over and over again?

frank said...

Ike, when asked what was his biggest mistake as President replied, "Oh that's easy--I appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court [Earl Warren, then Gov of CA] who makes Ruth Ginsberg look like a right wing activist.

Paul said...

Few citizens of this country have any faith in Obama (or Hillary) to take a 3AM call after what they did in Bengasi. For in Bengasi they failed. Failed big time and now they want to attack another country and cannot give a coherent reason why Syria and not Iran, or North Korea, or Zimbabwe, or any other place where tyrants murder their own citizens.

And that is why so many say NO to what he wants to do.

Obama ain't no Bush. He is not even a Jimmy Carter.

grackle said...

1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election every two years, including in 2014. Not sure what you meant by Senate elections in 2016.

Quite correct. An elementary mistake like this is embarrassing indeed. My face is red. And thanks for the correction.

Michael K said...

The Iranians are no impressed by Obama and his minions facile reasoning. They make the classic mistake that Americans make when dealing with other cultures. They think that what motivates us, works with them.

Powers showed incredible naiveté. Obama thinks the Afghans speak Arabic and the Austrians speak Austrian. These people are fools.

Neville Chamberlain was a genius compared to this crew. Where are the "wise men"? What we have are "wise Latinas."

MadisonMan said...

We had to pass Obama Care to see what's in it. Similarly, we have to bomb Syria to see what happens in Iran.

David Davenport said...

That said, as early as 1950 when serving as a consultant to the Pentagon, he told his friends there that, among other things, they should consider using one or two atomic weapons in Korea.

Later, as President, frustrated by the stalemate there in 1953, he told Secretary of State Dulles to tell foreign leaders the US would start using atomic weapons soon to end the war. Dulles did so.

At about the same time, the NSC approved a new war plan that had already been submitted by the Joint Chiefs. It called for the use of hundreds of atomic bombs against China and N. Korea and for the use of mustard gas against the enemy. (I don’t make up this stuff. Page. 78. “Ike’s Bluff” by Evan Thomas, 2012.)


I am not at all sure that those statements about Eisenhower threatening to use nuclear weapons are true. You may be conflating Eisenhower with MacArthur.

Could you please provide some citations to back up those claims about Eisenhower?

zefal said...

Does this mean I can punch a nerd to let the bullies know I mean bizness? Wow! harman's an idiot and an unethical one at that.

Iran and North Korea would be more swayed not to overstep the RED LINE seeing one of obama's towel fights in a Chicago bathhouse back in the day.

Michael said...

A competent and decisive leader would have had plans and assets in place, and if a strike were decided upon it would have happened before anybody talked about it publicly. If it were decided to consult Congress, a special session would have been called and Biden sent to the G20 in place of the President. Obama sounds the classic uncertain trumpet. "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"

zefal said...

Has moral concern about pouring water on captured Al-Qaeda leaders' heads. Okay.

Bombing a third party to show you mean bizness with "The Axis of they don't mean us no harm regardless of what the warmongering Cheney says"? Not so much!

Oh Jane you're playing a game of attack and go hide
Jane you're playing for fun but they play for keeps, yes they do

If you choose to publish my comment, please publish this one and not the previous one. Thanks.

eddie willers said...

So the guys who complained that Bush didn't have an "Exit Strategy" can't even come up with an "Entry Strategy".

Killing some people and then sitting back and seeing what happens hardly seems to be a well planned mission.

Almost Ali said...

Jane Harmon said the most revealing thing on Meet The Press, which was the basis of her "getting primaried" remark; that (paraphrasing) most of the country (voters) haven't experienced the economic recovery.

And for that she probably got an earful from the White House after the show.

FleetUSA said...

Is Syria the proverbial "tar baby" for us while Iran, NK, and Russia watch and react?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Here's something to contemplate. China is wealthier than it has been in a long time but threatens to fall apart if it can't control its internal divisions. India is full of potential but can't quite seem to get organized enough to move ahead. Iran is pushing to expand its influence from India to the Mediterranean. Greece is collapsing, and the most powerful empire in the world squabbles and dithers, yet its political class consolidates power to the extent that the Republic itself is threatened. What a mess!

Welcome to the mid-1st Century, BC.

Looking at the not-so-long-term picture, the real issue is this: of all the nations between Israel and India it is *Iran* which has the best chance to become a flourishing, productive democracy. Unfortunately they have been taken over by ideological monsters, much like Japan and Germany in the 1930s.

We shall ultimately be forced to deal with Iran, and most probably in the same fashion as we dealt with Germany and Japan, but it is ironically the most effective path to a stable, secure, and generally peaceful Middle East.

Stupid, hesitant actions in Syria will only make things worse in the short term, whilst contributing not one bit to resolving the long-term issues of Iran. Obama had his chance in 2009-'10 and produced nothing but air-balls.

Subsequent events around the world have shown that to be utterly typical of nearly everything he attempts.

St. George said...

David—

Every fact in my above post comes from the 2012 book "Ike's Bluff" by Evan Thomas.

For example, on May 6, 1953, in a National Security Council Meeting chaired by President Eisenhower he "suggested using nuclear weapons against four North Korean airfields. Such a move would 'test the effectiveness of an atomic bomb [the notetaker recorded].'"

Thomas' sources are FRUS (Foreign Relations of the United States), 1952-4, 15:977 and Tannenwald, The Nuclear Taboo, page. 146

Thomas writes Ike "knew that, to be credible about using the bomb as a deterrent to war or as a prod to diplomacy, he had to show a willingness to use nuclear weapons--not just in his public statements but in his most private deliberations."

Ike was not some grinning playboy. He was one hard cold man. His son was an officer in Korea, and Ike told him that if he was captured he should kill himself, as Stalin's son had done.

My point in all of this is to assert the U.S. was in good hands between 1952-1960. All this talk of limited strikes, short-term action, no boots on the ground is all silly nonsense uttered by silly people. Once the shooting starts, there is no telling what can happen, particularly with a President who played upteen rounds of hearts during the bin Laden raid.

Paco Wové said...

"the notion of going to war... to project American power in a way that deters really bad consequences in Iran and North Korea and so forth is ... the right thing to do."

Too bad nobody seems to know what that "way" is.

The past decade is turning into the era of America as the world's homicidal helicopter mom -- killing the little people for their own good. We love them that much!

Kelly said...

If Obama was a decent commander-in-chief,, he would have just done it already without asking congress. It would be over with. What a fool he is.

grackle said...

On the Senate elections - with my new insight, I did some much needed research and it sure looks interesting. I ran across an article by Nate Silver. It was written several months ago before this Syria mess but it was about the 2014 Senate elections.

http://tinyurl.com/odnxjmj

Obama's Syria bungling may have created a big problem for the Senate Democrats in the upcoming elections. Silver said at the time of the article the GOP would probably make a gain of 4 or 5 seats – just short of a majority. Syria could change that to a GOP majority in the Senate.

I wonder if Reed can prevent a vote on Syria in the Senate. I guess not. Could Obama withdraw his request for congressional approval? There wouldn't need to be a vote then, would there?

If this whole thing plays out like I think it might and after my own recent humbling I'm almost feeling sorry for Obama. A few ill-chosen words and … disaster ensues overseas and at home. Oh, those pesky words – if only they could be made to disappear.

Basil said...

There is the possibility that all this is part of the President's plan to "fundamentally change" the USA. Why do the chattering classes have such a hard time taking him at his word? He is changing America from strong to weak, economically and militarily. Just as he promised we would do.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Our system IS supposed to reflect the will of the voters. Harmon's insulting voters with her claim that the will of the majority of voters is not a principled position on Syria. Harmon is both arrogant and condescending in her expressed belief that her position on authorizing an attack against Syria is the one "principled" position and any other is unprincipled. Also Harmon uses the desires of our elected representatives to reflect the views of their constituents to win re-election as a way to avoid directly calling the US voters unprincipled. Harmon just say the majority of the voters are unprincipled since this is what you think.

sonicfrog said...

As I wrote yesterday on my blog:

Here’s the push from the Obama administration to bomb Syrian – Some quotes from the mouth of White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as he tried to sell the bombing of Syria on “Meet The Press”:

“This is an opportunity to be bold with the Iranians,”….

And

“Our troops have not been subject to chemical weapons attacks since World War I”

And

“We have to make sure that for the sake of our guys – our men and women on the front lines – that we reinforce this prohibition against using chemical weapons.”

First point - We had, you know, 100,000 plus troops on the ground in the country right next door to Iran, and we had at one point openly discussed the possibility of invading Iran from Iraq to affect regime change, yet they continued to invest and build up their nuclear program. Do you REALLY think then that dropping a few tomahawk missiles on Syria will make the Iranians suddenly shudder and behave the way we want them to????

Me neither.

If you want to be bold with the Iranians, be bold with the Iranians. Being stupid with the Syrians is NOT being bold with the Iranians, OK.

Point number 2 - Um, are you saying we are going to have boot on the ground then? Because, if we’re not there, our troops will not be subject to chemical weapons attacks then, would they.

I was of the understanding we’re not going to have any boots on the ground.

Point three - That’s nonsensical. IF we have boots on the ground in a country, whether or not they have chemical weapons or not, we’re more than likely going to be bombing them. So how is bombing a country where we have no boots on the ground going to stop a country that we’re at war with from using em if they got em?????

Jeez. If this is the reasoning being used to try and convince Congress to follow the President into war, then I would half expect him to lose even more support after this….

jr565 said...

"No, look, I thought Denis was very effective, making a bad case. And I think that's their problem. If the strategy is inexplicable to a normal American, we're going to sort of punch you, but we're not going to punch you too hard, and we really would like you to leave, but we don't want you to leave enough to get rid of you, and we hope there's a political solution, although we haven't got a clue what it is. I mean, that's very hard to build momentum for."


well stated. Here I am, the hawk saying there is a perfectly good case to be made for bombing Syria. But the way the Obama administration is going about it is totally bass ackwards. If you're going to do it, make it strong enough to actually get something accomplished. Otherwise it's a futile gesture.

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
"A competent and decisive leader would have had plans and assets in place, and if a strike were decided upon it would have happened before anybody talked about it publicly. "


Agreed. It was stupid to take it to congress. He should have just done it.

jr565 said...

Oshbgosh wrote:
Axelrod did a good job of protecting the Obama brand, but I don't buy it. This is rope a dope by Iran. Get us involved in Syria in a way we can not win while you continue to develop nuclear weapons. When challenged point to the immorality of US action in Syria. We should stay out militarily, sanction Syria economically and concentrate on the real bad guys in Iran.

And how do you propose we concentrate on Iran? Are we going to tell them they can't develop their nuke program or else? What is that "or else" going to entail, since obama will have shown that when someone calls his bluff he backs down. How he handles Syria is DIRECTLY involved with how we respond with Iran. Carrots and sticks require a credible use of force, otherwise everyone knows you have a bark but no bite, and thus will walk all over you. Iran will walk all over us.

And who's to say we can't win in Syria? If the goal is to, say, destroy their air force, that is something totally doable. If the goal is to let them know that we aren't afraid to bomb them, that is a lesson that Iran can learn as well.
As Syria is Iran's proxy state in the region, anything that weakens Syria also weakens Iran's influence too. So you can't say we should ignore Syria and concentrate on Iran.

Back when we invaded Iraq, there was fears that we were going to invade Iran too. And our current VP, said if we dared invade Iran without consulting congress he would bring impeachment proceedings.
Yet, his anti war stance, which is totally hypocritical now, in light of his administrations bellicosity, was one of the reasons we didn't deal with Iran then. And we are weaker because of it.

Note, we didn't even have to invade them. So long as the country was united in saying we would have invaded them, and if we had our allies not act like a bunch of pussies Iran would have no choice BUT to acquiesce, or face consequences. A credible threat of force, doesn't mean that you have to act on it, but if it's not a credible threat then they know that they they don't have to acquiesce.

So, take Syria in the context of Iran.They either think our threat of force is credible or not. If not, you will never hold Iran to account ,which seems to be what you want. If you don't back your words with actions then Syria knows it can continue to use chemical weapons, and Russia knows it can continue to block us with impunity.




jr565 said...

elkh1 wrote:
Oh, really, never understand those and so forths.
Bomb Syria because they have chemical weapons, to deter Iran who is accelerating its nuke program?
Remember Gadhafi? Bush's Iraq war scared the daylights out of him to give up his nukes. Where is Gadhafi now? He'd never see daylights again.

So you're saying that the threat of force can cause regimes to back down if they are afraid that we are serious? Hmmmm.

Chuck said...

The simple reason that "the Base" in both parties is opposed to any intervention in Iraq, is because the Base in both parties is sticking with their own conventional thinking (the Left hates the U.S. military and American froce projection; and the Right hates the Obama Administration), instead of thinking carefully and strategically outside of their conventions.

And the clear reason that the Base of both parties are sticking with their conventions is that Obama has done nothing to make the case for what he wants. If anything, he has undercut himself with each passing day. He's made a hash of everything. This is what the world looks like, when we are governed by the New York Times editorial board.

jr565 said...

sonicfrog qouted the Obmama administration:
“We have to make sure that for the sake of our guys – our men and women on the front lines – that we reinforce this prohibition against using chemical weapons.”

That's referring to future conflicts we may have with regimes that might have chemical weapons. Not necessarily this regime. But not excluding this regime either.

The point is, once you normalize chemical weapons and allow a regime to get away with using them, it gives other regimes the idea that they can use them too and there will similarly be no reprisal.

I don't think that that's a bad assumption on their parts do you?

ANd so, if we are going to put boots on the ground an a regime has chemical weapons, they might think to use those weapons on us because Syria got away with using them and there was no reprisals.

jr565 said...

Incidentally,for Robert Cooke:
Iraq was all set to use chemical weapons against us, except Sadaam at the last minute told his generals that we didn't have any to give them. The case was so convincing that Iraq had WMD's that even the generals thought they were going to be there for use against us.
That is some lie. the Un thinks Iraq has WMD's. The US thinks Iraq has WMD. THe previous administration thinks Iraq has WMD. All the intelligence agencies think Iraq has WMD. Iraq's generals think Iraq has wmd. So, if there was proof that Iraq had gotten rid of their WMD at the time that Sadaam's generals might have gotten the memo.

And also, if you listen to the scientists they say they lied to Sadaam Hussein. Namely, he directed them to continue with production but at a certain point they were unable to do so, but told him they were proceeding apace because they were afraid that if they didn't Sadaam would kill them.

So even Sadaam thought he had the weapons because it was his intent to have his programs continued. It's just that he had sucky scientists.

jr565 said...

N.n wrote;
for an effective example of American power... finish the job in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Then there is our neighbor, Mexico, who is also coping with their "rebels" armed by our federal government. Don't cut and run. Don't switch channels. The natives and world are unimpressed by your exceedingly short attention span. If you start something, then finish it.

I agree they should finish what they start. But neither Afghanistan nor Syria were imminent threats. In the case of Iraq we needed to deal with it before the threat became imminent. And the same is true for Syria and even moreso for Iran. Syria is simply an extension of Iran. And if you start something then finish it also ties into putting down a red line. If you put down a red line then you back it up with action. Otherwise its like not finishing what you start.

jr565 said...

Richard Dolan wrote:
The problem is that the points made by Gingrich and Harman are mutually exclusive, and in all events the critical audience is over there, not here. Hartman argues that we need to strike Assad "to deter bad consequences in Iran and North Korea," but doesn't explain how O's planned attack would send a useful message (for the reasons detailed by Gingrich). The reality is that they have all taken O's measure. In order to change the perceptions that matter, the strategy would have to give the Iranians and Norks reason to reconsider their evaluation of O.

Right. Obama would have to wage a war that was not a pinprick, that wasnt advertised as a small attack that won't really hurt.
But if his reaction were not small, it would send a useful measure. Namely that Russian and Iranians would have to reconsider their evaluation of Obama.
And if Obama is weak for posing half measures what are his opponents when they are proposing NO measures?