September 7, 2013

"The fact is that Obama is the only president we have."

"We can’t abdicate our position in the world for the next three years. So Republicans will have to resist the temptation to weaken him when the cost is weakening the country. A party that for at least two generations has held high the banner of American leadership and strength should not cast a vote that obviously risks a damaging erosion of this country’s stature and credibility abroad."

 From Bill Kristol's explanation of why "yes" is the correct answer for Republicans.

110 comments:

Charles said...

The opposition is not about reducing our strength, its about the proper use of the legions and Treasure of the US.

There is absolutely no gain in attacking Syria and so much to lose. Going in will reduce the influence of the us. Voting no will just reduce the influence of one President. I think the Nation should come first.

Kohath said...

A country that could re-elect an Obama isn't a country that should be trusted with power.

madAsHell said...

risks a damaging erosion of this country’s stature and credibility abroad.

The cognitive dissonance is deafening.

Almost Ali said...

At this point, the country and the world can differentiate between the country and Obama. We abdicate NOTHING by rejecting him. If our enemies choose to beat us up during the next three years, so be it - but there'll be hell to pay when the punk's term expires.

kimsch said...

Kristol is just wrong. He may be the only president we have, but it doesn't follow that we should support him in this because of that. It's not like he can't be "fired". And it's only three years more. With term limits we don't even have to worry about any re-election possibilities.

Jim Gust said...

Thank you, Mr. Kristol. You may leave the stage now, your 15 minutes are over.

luagha said...

Actually, it is the job of the Republicans to say:

Don't do that, that's stupid.
Don't do that, that's stupid.
Don't do that, that's stupid.
Don't do that, that's stupid.

Over and over again.
While withholding their consent.

Pettifogger said...

Agree or disagree with Kristol, but at least he is taking a principled stand. What Leftist of note took such a stand during the Bush presidency?

JackOfVA said...

Never thought it would come to this, but let me quote Julia Roberts as a recognized expert* in this matter:

"He's embarrassing. He's not my president. He will never be my president."

* Recognized and accepted by the mainstream media and the Democrat party, that is.

Meade said...

I google and find "beating the conundrums of war" has already been thought of.

cubanbob said...

I'm surprised that Kristol has bought in to the Leader Principal. Rather he should ask, indeed demand that the president should resign for the good of the country.

Hagar said...

The United States has been around for a while and is a known quantity, including the occasional fits of odd and/or irrational behavior. As Churchill once said, "Our American friends can be counted on to do the right thing in the end - after they have tried all the other things, of course."

It is Barack Obama that is the new factor that needs to prove himself, not the nation.
Right now it is the President's credibility that is on the line and found wanting. We are eventually going to have to pick up the pieces and put the world together again, but that is going to be a long, hard slog over many years; it is not going to be resolved by any single military strike.

richlb said...

America's standing in the world was equally at risk when Carter left office. We managed to rebound with the election of Ronald Reagan.

Maybe Kristol's concern is more that the Republicans have no chance of fielding such a strong candidate next election, and as such is doomed to live with Obama's destructive foreign policy effects for a long time.

chuckR said...

What would Mr. Kristol think of JFK's handling of the Bay of Pigs had it not been in the black? A sound tut-tutting and a cruise missile or two up a camel's keister sound similarly effective.

hombre said...

Kristol is a dinosaur. It is Obama's intemperate "red line" comment that is at issue here, not "this country's stature and credibility abroad." Both are already in the tank.

Americans are pulling away from the world policeman mentality and Obama and Kristol are lagging behind. Kristol, who holds himself out to be conservative, evidently hasn't noticed the similarity between the avuncular neocon view of the world and the avuncular liberal view of the nation.

Hari said...

Kristol's argument seems remarkably similar to Ann's argument in a different context:

"Conservatives have rested on the principle of colorblindness for a long time, and they've taken abuse for it."

Similarly, conservatives have rested on the principals Kristol continues to argue for. And they have taken a lot of abuse for it, especially from Obama.

Kristol's argument is that conservatives should stand by their principles rather even if it means standing by a president who has mocked them every step of the way.

Xmas said...

Someone tell Bill Kristol it's too late. When the British Parliament voted down their war resolution we lost all respect on the world stage. The UK is our biggest ally for these global interventions, and they said, "No, not this time, not with this guy."

We are losing a diplomatic struggle with Russia, there is growing saber-rattling in the China Sea, and our diplomatic core has been compromised 3 times, that we know about (Manning, Snowden, and Benghazi).

This terrible sideshow of the Syrian civil war is not where a can reclaim our lost pride. Assad is an ally of Russia and Iran, slapping him down would be nice. But the rebels are Islamic militants, the same folks who gladly crash planes into the hearts of our cities. Few in Syria will be happy if we intervene. Certainly, no one will be happy with the Obama method of intervention, cruise missile and drone strikes with no troops on the ground.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Disagree. The correct vote is "No."

A "Yes" vote to open this proposed boondoggle in Syria is to 1) demonstrate once again to the World the frivolity and fecklessness of U.S. foreing policy; and 2) openly invite retaliation and retribution on the scale of the Twin Towers.

A "No" vote will 1) reject gratuitous mahem as a legitimate tool of partisan politics; and 2) demonstrate respect by our elected officials (President Obama excepted) for the expressed will of the populace they represent; 3) conform to the expressed will of the World at large.

In 2006 when G.W. Bush was selling the idea of a second Iraq invasion, I was cautiously supportive. If well done, the thing could result in establishing an enclave of free market Capitalism with a large and prospering secular middle class in a very troubled region of the world.

Cautious becaus I noted that 1) in 1965, 20 years after the end of WW II, as I was commissioned in the Air Force, the U.S. had a major military presence in Germany and Japan; 2) in 1985, 40 years after the end of WW II, as I left the Air Force, the U.S. still had significant military presence in Germany and Japan; 3) in 2005, 60 years after the end of WW II, the U.S. *still* had a military presence in Germany and Japan.

If we, in 2006, were not prepared to keep a military involvement in Iraq well beyond 2050, then we should just drop the whole idea.

As things developed, Bush (of whom I am no great admirer) was stabbed in the back by the turncoat Turks and sucker-punched by a gang of despicable Democrats who placed partisan politics ahead of personal and national honor.

Barack Obama is the very definition of "feckless," absolutely the wrong man to be believed about anything.

And so I say, Ladies and Gentlemen, lets just LEAVE THIS ONE THE HELL ALONE!

Big Mike said...

It’s true that Republicans on the Hill lack confidence in President Obama’s execution of the military action they are being asked to vote to authorize.

He should have ended the column right there.

Clyde said...

Kristol is wrong. A majority of the American electorate that showed up on November 6, 2012, chose to re-elect Barack Obama. They deserve to get the full consequences of the choice they made, even if only as a prophylactic against choices so foolish in the future. Then again, that posits that such people are capable of learning from their mistakes. Even a flatworm will recoil if shocked, so I suppose that if the shocks the American people receive are severe enough, perhaps even the densest Obama voter might think a little more the next time, rather than voting with her ladyparts.

elkh1 said...

Do whatever our Dear Leader wants to do between his golf games and fund raisers so we won't weaken him and the country. A few thousands of Syrians might be killed, a few American young men and women might lose their limbs or lives. It's a small price for someone else to pay.

Why don't we all agree that he has never drawn a red line, so he wouldn't have to bomb Syria to defend his honor and we, as a country, could stay powerful and relevant in our own f*cking mind.

chrisnavin.com said...

I kind of wonder, Althouse, as a hippie-chick, would you have been hanging out with Barry and Kerry-types and chillin at Dylan concerts?

Or were you too mod, thoughtful, and skeptical even before you wet to Law School and got the crusty conservative coating?

grackle said...

The fact is that Obama is the only president we have. We can’t abdicate our position in the world for the next three years.

We don't have a President in any traditional sense. We have an ideologue who has decided that America should be taken down a few notches. In Obama's view, which is the viewpoint of most on the left, the US is an overreaching monster on the world stage with too much power.

Obama has ALREADY abdicated America's "position in the world." He's a laughing stock now, will continue to be no matter who does what and there's nothing to do about THAT until 2016.

Obama has been easily out-maneuvered by the jihadists, who began gaining ground everywhere almost as soon as Obama's first election. It's as if Obama wanted the jihadists to gain the upper hand the way he's conducted US foreign policy.

A lesson from history: Nations not willing and prepared to wage real war, as opposed to "pinpricks," actually invite war, Syria being a case in point. Assad has no fear of significant damage from an Obama-commanded military. Assad knows he can do just about anything he wants with relative impunity.

Considering his track record so far I say Obama's fall from grace is a good thing which will prevent him from doing as much harm as he could if he were a powerful and respected figure.

Saint Croix said...

What's fascinating is how the branches are working exactly like they should. The Senate is not worried about popularity. So they are on board with protecting the institution of the Presidency and yada yada yada.

The House, on the other hand, has a fear that they might end up out on their ass. Yes, that's right, you might be fired!

Gahrie said...

It's not like he can't be "fired".

Actually at this point, he can't be.

There is not a single scenario in which Sen. Reid and the Democratically controlled Senate would convict and remove President Obama from office.

chuck said...

So how would intervention improve our position in the world? My impression is that it would isolate us even further from our allies and widen the war in the Near East. Doing stupid things is not the way to maintain credibility.

jr565 said...

Charles wrote:
There is absolutely no gain in attacking Syria and so much to lose. Going in will reduce the influence of the us. Voting no will just reduce the influence of one President. I think the Nation should come first."

There is so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin. How will giving Russia veto power over us, strengthening Russia, Syria and Iran and normalizing chemical warfare, not to mention making us seem like we will not backup our words with actoins (and think of all the cases in the world where that's important - hint, Iran's nuke program) an example of us GAINING influence?

jr565 said...

Kohath wrote:
A country that could re-elect an Obama isn't a country that should be trusted with power.


That's MY country BRO. And the left got away with saying "not my president" when Bush was in office, but in fact he was still president.
And now, Obama is still president. Thinking you will punish Obama at the countries expense still ends up hurting the country.
We are not assholes like the left and can't make the argument that the president is not the president. He is, and god help us for it.

jr565 said...

JackofVA wrote:
Never thought it would come to this, but let me quote Julia Roberts as a recognized expert* in this matter:

"He's embarrassing. He's not my president. He will never be my president."

And this is why Julia Roberts is a CUNT. Yes I said it. Are we the same CUNTS as her? If we behave in the same manner can we still call her names for being such a douche.
Obama is the worst president in my lifetime, but he's still president until he's not.

Lyle said...

We won't lose credibility and stature. We'll still have all of our aircraft carries Billy.

Dr.D said...

We, the US, have no business at all in Syria. This is their civil war. We had ours 150 years ago, and Syria did not butt in. We should return thee favor and stay out of theirs.

Our sworn enemies are killing each other in Syria, and the best thing we can do is encourage them to keep at it. We have no friends in that part of the world, NONE, other than Israel, and both sides in Syria hate the US. We should just encourage them to keep it up.

Jason said...

What ship is Mr. Kristol serving on?

chrisnavin.com said...

I look at it this way: If Obama HAS a strategy, it would be called operation power vacuum in the Middle-East.

Pull-out, be the anti-Bush guy, plug into the war-weariness and isolationism. Split the difference between anti war true-believers and previous commitments. Talk up the int'l community, give speeches and go with the liberal internationalists and realpolitikers.

Show pictures of yourself looking at the stars.

Use the military in Libya to topple a dictator on the cheap, with 'international' support. Look, that was easy.

The Arab Spring is chaotic, but a chance for a flotilla of perpetual peace and a better world. You 'know' Muslims. Send Hillary out to make some speeches. Whoops, maybe not. Keep droning the hell out of Afpak and Al Qaeda. Kill Bin Laden and leak it to look tough. Moderates and extremists, that's right.

Lean back on the liberal internationalists and realpolitikers for awhile, still appealing to the peacenik civil rights base at home, and don't strategize too far ahead. You've got this Barry, the arc of history DOES bend towards justice.

Whoops, Libya's messier than thought, Syria's a clusterf**k. Better wait on the U.N. Whoops, Egypt's descending into chaos. Better listen to 'my military.' Whoops, the worst is happening in Syria. Whoops, the thugocracy in Iran is still heading towards Shia domination and deliverable nukes.

Whoops, the Saudis are turning towards Moscow. Whoops the Israelis are getting restless. Speeches...not....working...

Whoops, the Russian reset a total failure, Putin's like a mob boss, still playing Cold War Chess, backing the Iranians and the Assads. Whoops, there may not be an int'l community.

Chemical weapons? Did I say redline? Speeches...still...not...working. Community...talk...failing Congress? What's My Strategy?

Whoops, worst in Syria happening. Split the difference again. Talk up 'my military' Send Samantha Power out to crack some Code Pink heads.

Thanks for the advice, Bill Kristol. I'll keep it in mind.

jr565 said...

"A party that for at least two generations has held high the banner of American leadership and strength should not cast a vote that obviously risks a damaging erosion of this country’s stature and credibility abroad."

That is exactly right. That may be the Rand Paul left wing isolationist Republican brand but its not what republicans should stand for simple because we want to cut off our nose to spite our face.
Will us not honoring the red line we set erode our stature and credibility abroad? Yes or no? I dont see how it wouldn't. And I see all our enemies strengthened by us doing so (casting a vote to damage our credibility). So, how then is it in our interest and not theirs to do so.
I'm also thinking of the next red line that we might need to set. Like Iran not continuing its nuke programs. I heard a lot of republicans saying that we shouldn't concentrate on Syria but instead on Iran, but don't they realize that it's essentially the same thing? Syria is Iran's proxy state, for one.So what happens in Syria will also effect Iran.
And what we say and then whether we back up our words with action will directly impact our future interactions with Iran. They can see what our words means and that we don't have the will to actually back up words with actions.
So how will that impact our negotations with Iran when we try to tell them in no uncertain terms that they can't continue with their nuke program?
That type of weakness only strengthens Russia and Iran and Syria.
If we're going to hold Obama to account for being weak with Russia, we as Republicans shouldn't make arguments that intentionally weaken a president and strengthen Russia's hand and then say that it's the president who is the weakling. No, we are just as much weaklings.

wildswan said...

We can't expect to get anything done in Syria until the left acknowledges that it was wrong to call for unilateral withdrawal from Iraq. Because the left will simply sabotage any effective action which Obama stumbles into or else Obama will get up and waver about from side to side about continuing whatever he has decided on. But meanwhile our soldiers will be wounded and killed for the empty chair. That's wrong
In other words, under Obama we aren't going to do anything in Syria so let's not waste lives, money and time in pretending. Obama's supporters have to show resolve before anything will happen.
Or if I saw hell freezing over, I'd vote to go back to being the neighborhood watch.

Jason said...

Yes, Obama is President. That still does not obligate any member of Congress to vote to authorize him to attack Syria.

If he was worth a damn, he would have hit Syria hard last month, within three days of the confirmed chemical attack, and let it be a done deal before the Russians and Chinese had a chance to do thing one.

As it stands now, Obama has stretched our OODA loop so loose you can drive a fleet of warships through it. And the Russians and the Chinese already have.

It's not only shitty policy. It's military incompetence from the Commander in Chief and Susan Rice, the most feckless and incompetent National Security Advisor ever to hold the post.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:

We don't have a President in any traditional sense. We have an ideologue who has decided that America should be taken down a few notches. In Obama's view, which is the viewpoint of most on the left, the US is an overreaching monster on the world stage with too much power.

Obama has ALREADY abdicated America's "position in the world." He's a laughing stock now, will continue to be no matter who does what and there's nothing to do about THAT until 2016.

No you're wrong. Yes, he's an ideologue, and a weakling and I'd even agree that his policies take America down a few notches.
But us not backing up our words and strengthening the Assad regime is similarly an example of taking America down a few notches. I thought you were opposed to that.

And 2016 is still a few years off. In the meantime we still need to deal with foreign policy.

It just so happens that Obama has stumbled on the right course of action that doesn't weaken our standing further. And now it's some republicans saying "No, we need to weaken American standing further by making us look weak".

When our embassies were attacked in Benghazi it was the lack of response and the weakness of it and the passing of the buck that weakened us.

Obama backing up his words with action is the opposite of that. And now you're arguing that THAT'S the strong policy.

Lets not confuse being the opposition party with opposing our own principles because we want to teach Obama a lesson. Yes, we'll teach him a lesson, but our principles will suffer for it.

ANd then you'll be left with, at the end of the day Republicans even weaker sounding than the president.

If we're going to do that, then we really have no basis in calling the president Weak, do we? At least he was arguing that if the president sets a red line and a rogue nation crosses it, that there should be consequences. What are the dove republicans suggesting other than we should have policies where the president sets a red line and nothing happens (other than that Russia and our enemies get stronger because of it).

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:
A lesson from history: Nations not willing and prepared to wage real war, as opposed to "pinpricks," actually invite war, Syria being a case in point. Assad has no fear of significant damage from an Obama-commanded military. Assad knows he can do just about anything he wants with relative impunity.


And you therefore oppose us bombing Syria because what? The attack isn't strong enough or it's not in our interest? Are you in Mccain's camp or in Paul's?
If you're in Paul's I don't see how you're not in fact for policies that do exactly what you say is weak and wont allow Assad to do anything he wants with impunity.
That's the whole point of backing up the red line with words.

Gabriel Hanna said...

"My country, right or wrong" = "My mother, drunk or sober", as Chesterton pointed out.

Peggy Noonan pointed out that our status as the world's military superpower is a matter of fact, not of appearance. A minor annoyance intended to maintain our "credibility" will look exactly like what it is.

jr565 said...

Almost Ali wrote:
At this point, the country and the world can differentiate between the country and Obama. We abdicate NOTHING by rejecting him. If our enemies choose to beat us up during the next three years, so be it - but there'll be hell to pay when the punk's term expires.

That's pretty short sighted. You recognize that what Syria is done requires an action on our part and that there will be hell to pay, but say we'll do it in a few years.
Are you Wimpy with his stock phrase? "I'll gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today"

First off, the repubs are painting themselves into a corner where the are acting like left wing doves. It's not our problem. We can't get involved. What makes you think those same people will suddenly turn on a dime and become hawks again.
And wont they them become hypocrites in our eyes for putting America through what they knew was a weakened position because they were just waiting for the right time in the future when the planets align perfectly.
What if the planets don't align so? What if Hillary is president. THen Republicans, will refuse to see Syria using chemical weapons and thumbing it's nose at the presidents red line for four more years.
HOw many years are you prepared to strenghen Iran, Syria and Russia until we do what you think we're supposed to?
Bottom line, if President Obama is the one who sets the red line and drops bombs on Syria becaose they crossed the red line, and its Republicans that are standing in the way knowing that it will weaken us, then Obama is better as a leader then they will ever be.

And I've already said that Obama is the worst president in our lifetime.

Sam L. said...

Concur with madAsHell--That ship has sailed. Barack Hubris Obama has stabbed it, stomped it, shot it, and smothered it.

jr565 said...

elkh1 wrote:
Do whatever our Dear Leader wants to do between his golf games and fund raisers so we won't weaken him and the country. A few thousands of Syrians might be killed, a few American young men and women might lose their limbs or lives. It's a small price for someone else to pay.

A hundred thousand Syrians have already been killed, And thousands gassed by chemical weapons. and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced.
So they've already paid that price even if we dont act. Further, by us doing nothing it all but ensures that despotic regimes can use chemical weapons on their population and not have to face consequences for it. And we're all set to have them pay THAT price.

jr565 said...

Xmas wrote:
Someone tell Bill Kristol it's too late. When the British Parliament voted down their war resolution we lost all respect on the world stage. The UK is our biggest ally for these global interventions, and they said, "No, not this time, not with this guy."

We are losing a diplomatic struggle with Russia, there is growing saber-rattling in the China Sea, and our diplomatic core has been compromised 3 times, that we know about (Manning, Snowden, and Benghazi).

Yes, yes and yes. We are losing a diplomatic struggle with Russia. We know that Russia has supplied Syria with chemical weapons and is backing Syria on this against us. So, if we back down we will lose diplomatic struggle number 4 against Russia.
Only this time it will not be Obama losing the struggle because he's the one saying we should not wimp out when a president puts down a red line and a rogue nation uses chemical weapons.
It's YOU thats saying we should wimp out and strenghthen Russia's hand on this. all the while acknowledging that to do so is a bad thing.

And there's saber rattling around the world. If we can't back up our words with actions do you think that will lead to more or less saber rattling?

Revenant said...

Obama's credibility is at stake. The credibility of the United States is not.

Cedarford said...

Pettifogger said...
Agree or disagree with Kristol, but at least he is taking a principled stand.
======================
Kristol is a Neocon. There is nothing principled about his stand except he believes the US getting bogged down in another ME quagmire of a war would be Good For Israel. It may not serve the US's vital interests, but it would serve Israel's. And then hopefully the Neocon's Golem can be manipulated into a wider war where we attack Iran. And once the 300,000th or so US soldier is in Syria, assuming China would still lend the money - we can help Israel further by wheeling to attack the Shiites in Lebanon.

Make no mistake, if it was Congolese again killing one another, or the Sudan, or Yemen "killing it's own Al Qaeda sympathetic people" - Kristol wouldn't give a shit.

All while the price of oil is jacked up and Kristol makes a good living being paid by Sunni oil-rich nations to give speeches urging Iran be attacked..

Edward Lunny said...

Well, let's see Mr. Kristol , how to put this as succinctly as possible.........ah!------
------- Bullshit !

jr565 said...

Actually, if I must be honest it feels like I've entered bizarro world where people are arguing up is down.
Because Obama is actually, for the first time in his presidency arguing the strong position.

My beef with Obama has always been that he's weak. He lets our enemies walk all over us. He can't call terrorism terrorism. etc.

So lets say he didn't lay down a red line and lets say that Syria gassed the rebels. My beef with Obama would be that Syria, a proxy state of Iran is gassing their people and he is just standing by letting it happen. Even though Russia is arming them. Yet again, Russia walks all over this president. I would then argue Obama lost Syria the same way he lost Egypt the same we he lost Libya. And it would be yet another example of why the president is the worst president in my lifetime.
Of course our allies don't respect us,of course our enemies are emboldened because here is Obama yet again, acting like the weakling.

Only, in this case Obama actually put down a red line and is now saying there will be consequences if you cross it. He actually stumbled on the correct policy for the first time in his life!

And now we have republicans who have been arguing that Obama is bad because he's wake making the case that a president who doesn't back up his words with actions is a sign of strenght some how.

jr565 said...

Cedarford wrote:
Kristol is a Neocon. There is nothing principled about his stand except he believes the US getting bogged down in another ME quagmire of a war would be Good For Israel. It may not serve the US's vital interests, but it would serve Israel's

Are you not advocating serving Russia's interest? Not to mention SYria's interest? Not to metion Iran's interest?

I thought the argument was that if we did this there would be reprisals against Israel and that's why we shouldn't do it?
Last I heard Iran was our enemy, regardless of Irans relationship with Israel.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
"What ship is Mr. Kristol serving on?"

Ah, dusting off the old "chicken hawk" argument again I see.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
Yes, Obama is President. That still does not obligate any member of Congress to vote to authorize him to attack Syria.

If he was worth a damn, he would have hit Syria hard last month, within three days of the confirmed chemical attack, and let it be a done deal before the Russians and Chinese had a chance to do thing one.

If President Obama was worth a damn he'd strike Syria. Yet, repubs are saying they don't want him to strike Syria. Why is Obama the problem here? YOU are the one saying which policy is the right policy that he SHOULD undertake if he doesn't want to come across like the worlds biggest weakling, and yet YOU are sayign that congress doesn't have to give him the authorization. If Obama isn't worth a damn for not going after Syria, then what is congress worth for tying the presidents hands?

What if he goes to cognress, they say forget you, and he does what is necessary and bombs Syria. Who will look weaker ,the president or the republicans?

I know who I won't vote for next election. That's for sure.

Robert Cook said...

What is, according to the execrable Mr, Kristol, our "position in the world?"

jr565 said...

xmas wrote:
Xmas wrote:
Someone tell Bill Kristol it's too late. When the British Parliament voted down their war resolution we lost all respect on the world stage. The UK is our biggest ally for these global interventions, and they said, "No, not this time, not with this guy."

Then Obama needs to do it without the help of Britain, and he or a future president punish Britain for not siding with us. Will that make him act unilaterally? Yeah but so what. The problem with relying on the international community to get things done is that they are so unreliable.And we have members of the security counsel that will always veto action on our part for their benefit.

The whole idea that we need to pass some international test has always been stupid. and now Obama realizes that those words were stupid. I'm sure Kerry is hoping that no one asks him about it.

He might have to go it alone. That's part of being a strong leader.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

jr bombing would not make Obama or America look strong. Why do you make the assumption it would? Are confusing how nations act toward other nations and your childhood interactions with peers?

Mark Steyn pointed out recently America has no will anymore to win a war, and this makes us weak at the moment. Nothing Obama could do would change this unless Obama does as did Bush by sending troops for a prolonged period, with some or many quickly dead.

mtrobertsattorney said...

"If we can't back up our words with action...".

Who is "we"? It's Obama's red line we told to "back".

Obama is not "we". He is the chief of the executive officer of the executive branch of a democracy. He derives whatever power he has from "We the people".

If his superiors tell him to put a stop to his ill-considered adventure, it will illustrate the strength, not weakness, of democracy.

Firehand said...

Let's reword it a bit:
"Obama is the only President we have, so we owe it to the country to put a bunch of sailors, airmen and- quite possibly- Marines and soldiers lives on the line so he can pretend to be tough."

cubanbob said...

jr565 said... Really? Seriously? Get real. There is no overwhelming national interest here. If there was Obama would have made it. Or rather he doesn't have the guts to be straight with the American people on this. A few missiles isn't going to work. What may work is a general war with hundreds of thousands of troops marching in to Syria to smash all of the bad guys and from there to smash the bad guys in Lebanon and wipe out the Iranian bad guys sent to take on our troops and flattening Iran's economy. This also would require us to change our rules-of-engagement and smash any would be suppliers of the enemy or at least immediate personnel and equipment involved in the transport while in the declared war zone. We would have to be willing to impose (and accept hardships) harsh economic sanctions on those countries who are supplying or otherwise aiding the enemy.

In other words fight like were willing and able to do in 1945. If The Democrats hadn't as per usual effed things up in Iraq and thus not allowing us to have a sizable force based in Iraq there probably wouldn't be a crises in Syria today and and without the Democrats sandbagging us in both Iraq and Afghanistan putting the screws to Iran in terms of sanctions or even arming groups inside of Iran to keep the Khomenei's busy would have been doable and possibly successful. But the bell can't be un-rung.

The simple fact is the American people aren't willing to go to war right now on a small scale never mind on the grand scale especially with a Democrat president and with a sizable leftist minority of the public who will sandbag the war.

Illuninati said...

jr565 said...

"That's MY country BRO. And the left got away with saying "not my president" when Bush was in office, but in fact he was still president.
And now, Obama is still president. Thinking you will punish Obama at the countries expense still ends up hurting the country..."

I agree with you that if we oppose Obama's proposed war with Syria to punish him that is very wrong. On the other hand, if we oppose the war because it is a very bad idea, that is not wrong.

It appears that Obama wants to destroy Assad in Syria just like he did to Khadafy in Libya. Once he begins bombing, it is highly unlikely he will stop before his objective is achieved. The rebels have already begun to act against the Kurds and Christians in Syria. Once they gain total power they will probably completely eradicate the ancient Aramaic speaking Syrian Christians, the Kurds, and the Alawites.

American prestige is not worth genocide.

30yearProf said...

The purpose of the Congress is to CHECK and BALANCE the President.

Constitutional Theory 101.

Big Mike said...

Here's the debate we need to be having.

(1) Are we or are we not the world's policeman? If we are not, then what goes on in Syria is none of our business, thank you very much. If we are, and I readily concede that there is no other country capable of doing the job and moreover I am prepared to stipulate that there is no other country I would trust, then who is going to pay us to do the job? Every cruise missile we fire is a half million dollars and change that is gone for good -- a half million that could feed a lot hungry children.

(2) What international laws do we enforce?

If the only international law we enforce is "don't piss off Barack Obama" then I submit that there are no laws at all worth enforcing.

grackle said...

… not backing up our words and strengthening the Assad regime is similarly an example of taking America down a few notches.

The assumption here is that there is any alternative to Assad for Syria that is realistically beneficial to the US. There isn't. No matter who ultimately wins the civil war in Syria – Assad or any of the various rebel factions – Syria will continue to be Iran's ally, will continue to be a so-called "rogue" state ruled by Muslims ruthlessly antagonistic to the US, Israel and the West in general and still in possession of WMD.

Prediction: If Obama strikes Syria he will do as little as possible in order to retain some credibility with the left and his base, which from force of habit is against any US-led military actions.

And by surviving such a half-measure Assad will gain credibility and prestige in the Middle East, further proving America's ineffectiveness. And America goes down many notches, as opposed to maybe a couple of notches.

I believe Obama is already held in contempt by most leaders who count outside America – and for good reason. His word, the only effective currency among world leaders, is worthless. He ditches allies and promotes their enemies. Result? Very few allies.

When our embassies were attacked in Benghazi it was the lack of response and the weakness of it and the passing of the buck that weakened us.

I would put it differently: The Benghazi attack was a result of jihadists realistically assessing Obama's weakness/naivete/inability to act/etc. They knew Obama's response would be either weak or, as it has proved to be, nonexistent. We were already weakened to about the lowest point possible. I'm not worried about the US hitting bottom. We were already there, my friend. Still are.

Russia and our enemies get stronger …

Yes, Russia and the jihadists have been busy filling the vacuum created by Obama's pulling out of the Middle East. It's a zero sum game, this game of international power, when someone leaves someone else always comes in.

But the damage has already been done. We are out and a "pinprick" in Syria won't get us back in. They understand and respect power in that part of the world. As with Carter, we will be living with Obama's Middle East mischief for a long time. A partial repair could be achieved with the election in 2016 of a more pragmatic President, hopefully surrounded by competent advisors instead of ideological hacks.

GrandpaMark said...

I cannot help but wonder what the situation would be today if Carter had not stabbed the Shah in the back.

I may be wrong, but I believe the Shah needed medical attention and Carter denied him entry into the U.S.

The U. S.(govt) seems to have an unfortunate history of betrayal

gk1 said...

What if this Syria thing is just a ruse while u.s forces get ready to attack Iran's nuclear program? It makes more sense than what I am hearing daily from Obama and the democrats on why we need to do an ineffectual, "pin prick" attack on an adversary that has been given a few weeks warning to hide its WMD assets and pile some sandbags. The build up in the region could actually be directed at Iran. Nah, I'm giving this administration waaaay too much credit.

Unknown said...

Are you in Mccain's camp or in Paul's?

How childish. What camp are you in?

McCain's pattern has become too obvious. He hasn't seen a conflict that shouldn't be escalated. He's
practically supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Frankly, I'm not sure if his sanity is certain.

The days of our ability to shape the middle east are over. They ended when the Congress authorized the use of force, and then stabbed Bush in the back for the rest of his Presidency. There is obviously some behind the scenes force that wants to keep getting us involved in these misadventures to bleed us.

Like it or not Paul is with 80 to 90 percent of the American people. I was pro-Iraq invasion but give the left and Obama their due, there is nothing that we can point to as a gain from it, other than the hanging of Sadam and a more moderate Iraq. The American people are not with more efforts like this, I'm surprised that Obama got away with Libya - mainly because the media didn't cover it.

The Constitution needs protection as well. If a President can spew some whacky red-line talk and refer to our American military services as "my military" and head to as dangerous and complex an action as Syria, then Congress's power to declare war is null and void. Under these circumstances an out of control President could whipsaw us into conflicts at anytime, all the time protecting his Presidential power.

Lydia said...

Make no mistake, if it was Congolese again killing one another, or the Sudan, or Yemen "killing it's own Al Qaeda sympathetic people" - Kristol wouldn't give a shit.

Really, Cedarford? To my recollection, it was neocons like Kristol who advocated strongly for intervention in the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s.

Cedarford said...

jr565 said...
Cedarford wrote:
"Kristol is a Neocon. There is nothing principled about his stand except he believes the US getting bogged down in another ME quagmire of a war would be Good For Israel. It may not serve the US's vital interests, but it would serve Israel's."

Are you not advocating serving Russia's interest? Not to mention SYria's interest? Not to metion Iran's interest?

I thought the argument was that if we did this there would be reprisals against Israel and that's why we shouldn't do it?
Last I heard Iran was our enemy, regardless of Irans relationship with Israel.

====================
Some serious convoluted logic at work here by JR565.

1. He justifies initiating a war not in the US vital interest by saying anytime we have an opportunity to shed blood and treasure we must, otherwise we "serve" Russia, Syria, and Iran's vital interests. When Reagan refused to get sucked into Lebanon, was he "serving Russia/Syria" or just wisely cutting America's losses and avoiding a bloodletting quagmire while the Israelis just sat back and munched popcorn?? When Bush ignored McCains squawking about getting us involved on behalf of Chechen and Georgian "freedom lovers", was that smart? To avoid killing Russians on grounds Russian blood last ran when the Nazis invaded them??

2. Some people just haven't had their fill of Neocon's eternal wars of adventure. JR565 thinks we should start war against anyone we deem "enemy".
Standing by for JR565 to announce who he wants war to soon begin against. N Korea, Ecuador, Venezuela, Somalia, Cuba, Russia??? And if Iran is our enemy, then why pussyfoot around with Syria when we can borrow 5 trillion from China and attack Iran directly with "The Heroes"?? McCain has advocated 6-7 new wars since 2004. Maybe JR565 can match him in number of exciting new wars he can cheer from safety.

Jason said...

jr565: You and Obama are arguing an outdated reality. You are weeks behind the true military, political and operational reality. That's what I was referring to when I mentioned the OODA-Loop. Your arguments are totally invalid, because they don't take into account intervening realities - most particularly the fact that the Russians had a chance to mobilize their navy, position their submarines, and escape the Dardanelles bottleneck.

Now the decision isn't just "do I hit Syria?" It's "Do I risk a major naval battle with Russia?"

Remember that Russia has the power to all but destroy our logistical lines of communication in Afghanistan.

And if you are thinking through a military problem and not considering logistics first and foremost, then I consider you to be an incompetent and rank amateur.

Much like our current National Security Advisor.

Now, none of that was true within a few days of the chemical attack. Obama could have struck, done enough damage to say he did something, and withdrew. He would have achieved the policy aims he SAYS he's trying to achieve without the downside.

Russia wouldn't risk a war with the U.S. over something that's a done deal and over with.

Congress wouldn't have impeached him, and may have backed him in that circumstance. Certainly more than they're backing him now that he's demonstrated his idiocy beyond all doubt.

Stop arguing based on things that you WANT to be true, that aren't true anymore, and deal with the on-the-ground reality.

The window of opportunity for action in Syria has long passed.

Now, it may open again: We can station a carrier group there and sustain it longer than Russia can. But that's a different policy matter.

Look up OODA-Loop, and do a bit of logistics homework and get back to us.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@jr565: Attacking Syria is pointless and stupid. It does not matter that Russia and Iran do not want us attack Syria, that doesn't make attacking Syria less stupid.

The decision whether or not to attack Syria must be made on whether it is a good decision for the American people, and not on what we think our enemies might want us to do or not do.

It served Japan's interest that we focused on Germany first in WWII--should we not have done that? It served the Soviet Union's interest to focus on Germany first, should we not have done that?

Russia and Iran didn't want Osama bin Ladin alive. Should we not have killed him?

grackle said...

And you therefore oppose us bombing Syria because what? The attack isn't strong enough or it's not in our interest?

Both, with caveats.

Are you in Mccain's camp or in Paul's?

I might be in Mccain's camp if I knew the details of McCain's plan and I trusted Obama to follow McCain's plan. But McCain is dreaming if he thinks Obama can be trusted to follow a plan formulated by McCain. Therefore, it's a moot question.

In my view the US would have been fully justified to have made war(real war) against Syria and killed Assad years ago. Here's what I mean by war:

Kill as many of the enemy leaders and soldiers as possible. Very few rules of engagement. Kill anyone resisting. Destroy all military assets, leave them nothing. Right now a jihadist can fire on American soldiers in a theater of war, hide the weapon and openly walk away with impunity. As long as they are not holding a weapon they cannot be fired upon, even if they fired a weapon a minute before. A real war cannot be conducted under such restraints. This is just a small isolated example. If you want more nuance a Google search for "ROE" will give you plenty.

And I'm a bit tired of the US pounding money down rat holes, also known as "post-war reconstruction" efforts. After we destroy the enemy we leave, period. No infrastructure repair, no nation-building – with those who may be left understanding that if they cross us again the same thing will happen again. If they have a civil war we watch it from the sidelines.

… I don't see how you're not in fact for policies that do exactly what you say is weak and wont allow Assad to do anything he wants with impunity If you're in Paul's.
That's the whole point of backing up the red line with words.


Assad is already able "to do anything he wants with impunity." Obama's little strike wouldn't change that. Middle Eastern despots understand power, not pinpricks. American lives and treasure should be saved for things more meaningful than for merely saving Obama's face domestically. Internationally, of course, he has no face left, pinprick or not.

Almost Ali said...

@jr565

Supporting Obama only weakens the country. It's not a partisan issue. It's a matter of national survival.

CWJ said...

Singing -

"I say vote Yes, vote Yes, vote for interventioncy"

"Sit down jr565, sit down jr565, for God's sake jr565 sit down!"

Apologies to "1776"

grackle said...

What international laws do we enforce?

As it stands now the concept of international law is an illusion. There is no enforcement arm of international law. To put it simply: Without enforcement there is no law. In fact there is no international set of codified law, only differing opinions by various international law "experts." There's only treaties and agreements, nothing else.

Nor do I believe the US should be the enforcer of any hypothetical international body of laws should such a thing be created. Considering our naivete and incompetence that might be a good way to end up enforcing an international version of sharia.

Levi Starks said...

I find it humorous in an ironic sort of way that Obama has won, and maintained his presidency by codling the far left, and demonizing the right, and in what can only be called the strangest of bedfellows those two groups are the ones likely to rob him of his power.
Of course for different reasons.
The left is of course principled, the right? well they're just mean racists.

Inga said...

Neocons, exactly right. They never met a war they didn't love.

Henry said...

National status and credibility is the right's version of climate change. In all its protean forms its import can never be disproved and so it justifies anything you want it to.

jr565 said...

Almost Ali:
@jr565

Supporting Obama only weakens the country. It's not a partisan issue. It's a matter of national survival.

Except allowing Syria to get away with this also strengthens Syria directly. So, you'll have to explain how having America not back up its words makes us stronger.
Other than by citing the knee jerk Obama is bad reaction. I get that and I even agree with it. But strengthening Syria should not be in our interest.

sunsong said...

Good grief. Why not vote based on what you honestly think is right?
I don't think Bill Kristol has ever opposed a war or military action. Has he?

jr565 said...

notquiteunbuckly wrote:
"jr bombing would not make Obama or America look strong. Why do you make the assumption it would? Are confusing how nations act toward other nations and your childhood interactions with peers?Um, because common sense dicates that if you make an ultimatum and then never back it up you are weak. Carrots and sticks require sticks that actually potentially hurt you. If they know that the stick isn't really a stick then they know your ultimatum has no consequences. How then are you not weaker because of it? IT would be like playing poker and them knowing what your hand is.

"Mark Steyn pointed out recently America has no will anymore to win a war, and this makes us weak at the moment. Nothing Obama could do would change this unless Obama does as did Bush by sending troops for a prolonged period, with some or many quickly dead."
But Russia does. But Syria does. But Iran does. So then they are stronger and we are weaker. You seem to think we should make ourselves even weaker, BY CHOICE.

jr565 said...

I'm going to call Cedarford a neocom going forward. Hes actually doing the bidding of his communist masters at all costs.

jr565 said...

Cedarford wrote:
Some people just haven't had their fill of Neocon's eternal wars of adventure. JR565 thinks we should start war against anyone we deem "enemy".

Not at all. Not all enemies. But if we are holding an enemy to a red line, and they cross it, then we are fools and weaklings to to let them do so.
I didn't see the need to go into Libya because Qaddaafi was already largely playing ball. Egypt was already our ally. But Syria and Iran our the two foils in our side in the ME at the moment. And one of them we are TRYING to keep in line because of their nuclear program. And because they refuse to cooperate they are inching us ever closer to war every day.
As such our ultimatum's better have bite to them or they will run roughshod over us, just as they are doing currently.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:

Assad is already able "to do anything he wants with impunity." Obama's little strike wouldn't change that. Middle Eastern despots understand power, not pinpricks. American lives and treasure should be saved for things more meaningful than for merely saving Obama's face domestically. Internationally, of course, he has no face left, pinprick or not.

He can only do anything he wants with impunity if we don't hold him to his actions. Yes, they understand power. They also understand weakness. Doing nothing after saying you will do something only promotes more weakness. And so, you will get more of Syria doing what it wants with impunity.And if Syria does what it wants with impunity so will Russia and so will Iran.
In fact, Russia armed the regime with chemical weapons because he took a look at Obama and said he was pushover.
He was rolled. But he doesn't have to continue to be rolled. And republicans shoulnd't back him into a corner where he has to be weak. Or they shouldn't make weakness into a virtue because Obama is a weakling himself.

jr565 said...

Gabriel Hanna wrote:
The decision whether or not to attack Syria must be made on whether it is a good decision for the American people, and not on what we think our enemies might want us to do or not do.

Having us be a laughingstock and pushover in the world is not good for the American people. Having Russia have us over a barrel is not good for the American people. Normalizing the concept that regimes can use chemical weapons with impunity is not good for the American people. If you subsidize things you create more of it. If you allow to happen and don't do anything, especially if you say you will, then you get our enemies dictating the terms and again, doing more of it. If Russia can get away with this here, why would they not be able to arm Iran when we try to hold them to account (while they laugh at us at our hollow threats).

ken in sc said...

We don't have to impeach him. Now that we know how it can be done, I look forward to a justice department that will hound Obama and his friends with suits, grand juries, tax audits, and investigations for the next 20 or so years.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
"You are weeks behind the true military, political and operational reality. That's what I was referring to when I mentioned the OODA-Loop. Your arguments are totally invalid, because they don't take into account intervening realities - most particularly the fact that the Russians had a chance to mobilize their navy, position their submarines, and escape the Dardanelles bottleneck.

Now the decision isn't just "do I hit Syria?" It's "Do I risk a major naval battle with Russia?"

Why are you risking a major naval battle with Russia if you are engaging in air strikes And do you think that Russia will actually target our jets or, were we to use our navy for anything beyond transport, our Navy. They will back the regime with weapons,but do you think they would actually risk an all out war against us directly? For Syria?

Right now Russia is playing chicken. They assume that Obama is a weakling and so can arm the Assad regime with no real response from us.But if there were a response and the response was harder then Obama promised, then Russia has to make the calculation as to how important it is for them to continue supporting Syria versus antagonizing the US. Its thinking we will not call their bluff and so can do what they want. But if we did call their bluff then that's a whole new calculation, and backing Syria sudddenly becomes a riskier proposition.

"Remember that Russia has the power to all but destroy our logistical lines of communication in Afghanistan.

And if you are thinking through a military problem and not considering logistics first and foremost, then I consider you to be an incompetent and rank amateur."

Even if, due to timing Russia has its resources already placed and thus has an advantage over us logistically it would be beyond crazy for Russia to do something direct like destroy our logistical lines of communication in Afghanistan. Why would they risk that? That would put their own resources in danger. That would make them be in direct conflict with the US.

Xmas said...

Jr,

Syria is not a good choice for a dick measuring contest with Russia.

Neither side in the fight is one we want to back. Neither side in the fight is our ally, proxy nor puppet. Both sides in the fight will murder, mutilate and gas civilians to ensure their victory.

So, lets get involved in a war that'll be uglier and bloodier and more dangerous than Iraq. With less international backing and certainly less internal backing.

Remember, all this is over an off-the-script comment made by the President. It's not like we had years of political pressure on Assad. Nor is anything Assad done worse than what Saddam had done with no response from the US. Jumping into war now, right now, is recklessness that is worse than anything we've done since perhaps the Spanish-American war.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
Now, none of that was true within a few days of the chemical attack. Obama could have struck, done enough damage to say he did something, and withdrew. He would have achieved the policy aims he SAYS he's trying to achieve without the downside.


Russia wouldn't risk a war with the U.S. over something that's a done deal and over with.

And if Obama does it now that would still be the outcome. Because Russia does not want to get into a direct confrontation with the US even if it has a potential advantage at the moment because we dithered for so long. It will not risk a direct war with the US over something that's a done deal and over with. We just have to do it.
If we were to bomb Syria in targeted bombings Russia might rearm them, help them rebuild, give them weapons to fight us. But they are not going to use their submarines to wage war against us directly. Not over Syria.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:
Neocons, exactly right. They never met a war they didn't love.

That's garbage. You love peace. Yet how is Syria an example of peace? Liberals, they never met a dictator that they wouldn't excuse.

jr565 said...

Cedarford wrote:
Standing by for JR565 to announce who he wants war to soon begin against. N Korea, Ecuador, Venezuela, Somalia, Cuba, Russia??? And if Iran is our enemy, then why pussyfoot around with Syria when we can borrow 5 trillion from China and attack Iran directly with "The Heroes"?? McCain has advocated 6-7 new wars since 2004. Maybe JR565 can match him in number of exciting new wars he can cheer from safety.
I dont want a war with Iran, but I also don't want a nuclear Iran because that will inevitably lead to an even more costly war down the road. Better to nip it in the bud now when we can, then when it's much harder to do in the future. We don't have to have a war with Iran, but its Iran that is pushing us down that road.
Neville Chamberlain explained peace in our time while the Nazis were gobbling up Europe. Did the fact that he said it mean that we didn't get war anyway? Or was it a dangerously naive misreading of the world that led to even more war. And I'm sure that many called those arguing that Hitler was a threat warmongers.

Yet, if the World had dealt with Hitler early on we may not have had to deal with a World War that lead to the death of millions more.

Iran cannot get nukes. If they gave up their program tomorrow, they would face no more belligerence from us. And ye they persist. So, rather than yelling at me for wanting a neo con war, why not hold Iran accountable and demand that our sanctions be tough enough that it dissuades their behavior so that war isn't necessary.

This by the way would have worked with Iraq too. If Russia and France were instead to also come down on Iraq so that Iraq knew it had no one to back it, it would have capitulated. Coddling dictators though always leads to them not cooperating. And you thus get more war.

Hagar said...

I take issue with this notion of "not going to war unless you have an exit strategy." That is so 18th century with kings maneuvering for advantage among their peers.

Modern wars tend to be "total" wars, and you should not go into it unless you bloody well intend to stay in to the finish, and you plan on making the finish go in your favor.

That means long term strategies and building up alliances with patient diplomacy, establishing economic ties, etc., and carefully evaluating your strength against your potential enemies and make sure that you are at least a match for them before you start anything.

You don't just jump 3 ft in the air in reaction to some event somewhere, spin like a top, and take off in whatever direction you landed in, which, figuratively speaking, seems to be what President Styrofoam is bent on.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grackle said...

The window of opportunity for action in Syria has long passed.

Unless some political realities change. Israel must be more nervous than usual. Turkey and Egypt are no longer allies. Both are going jihadist. One of the things that became certain with Obama's elections: Iran will nuke up. Another President might have allowed Israel to nip that in the bud. Not Obama.

After Iran comes Syria, Egypt and Turkey jumping on the nuclear train, perhaps others. Maybe Obama believes that will be a good thing. I don't see anything good that could come from it.

Most Muslims would welcome the imposition of sharia, even outside the countries without Muslim majorities. Europe is finding this out. A good place to start to catch up on worldwide Muslim attitudes would be at the link below. As they say in poker, "Read'em and weep."

http://tinyurl.com/c885o6r

So … the jihadists have the numbers, the will, the patience, they seem to be smarter than us in tactics and strategy and run circles around us in international maneuvering. The only advantage the West has is a technological weaponry advantage and that gap is rapidly closing. The future doesn't look good for liberty.


He, [Assad] can only do anything he wants with impunity if we don't hold him to his actions… they understand power … understand weakness. Doing nothing … promotes … weakness. And so, you will get more of Syria doing what it wants with impunity.

Sorry to repeat myself but I don't believe Obama will topple Assad. If Assad survives an attack by Obama Assad will be seen as a hero and Obama as weak. Result? A stronger Assad. The error here is believing an Obama pinprick strike will make some kind of difference to Assad.

And if Syria does what it wants with impunity so will Russia and so will Iran.

Don't look now but all three have doing what they want since Obama's first inauguration. A few useless sanctions for show against Iran is all Obama has done to any of them.

In fact, Russia armed the regime with chemical weapons because he took a look at Obama and said he was pushover.

But doesn't this fact tend to support my argument?

He was rolled. But he doesn't have to continue to be rolled. And republicans shouldn't back him into a corner where he has to be weak.

Please don't blame the GOP for Obama's weakness. It's entirely self-generated. Obama painted himself into this most recent corner all by himself. Incompetence has it's consequences.

Think of the fake-conservative democrats elected from red states holding on to their asses for dear life in the House because of the upcoming elections in 2014. If betrayal is in the works it will be they who betray Obama, not the GOP. The GOP is simply heeding it's base.

And believe it – Obama will continue to be "rolled." I think what the commentator sees as Obama "being rolled" to Obama means assisting the Middle East to a new, more just 'parity,' with Imperial Amerika cut down to size of course.

Paul said...

Bill Kristol is full of it.

Should we, like lemmings, go over the cliff cause Obama is the only president we have?

Yes up to a point back ones leader, but when the leader pushes arsine agendas that can lead us to a REAL war, no.

Can't Kristol remember the '60s and 'hell no we won't go' to LBJ's Vietnam?

And Kristol, remember what Pelosi said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism".

Remember that Billy?

Jason said...

Jr565: Why are you risking a major naval battle with Russia if you are engaging in air strikes?

Are you really that stupid?

Jason said...

Jr565 is eager to get into a war when the Chairman of the JCS can't even articulate the objective and the POTUS promises the military course of action he will take will change nothing.

Let's count how many principles of war this stupidity violates:

1. Objective. Big time.
2. Offensive. We're reacting to Assad, not him to us. Absent an objective, there's no advantage to the strategic or tactical offensive.
3. Mass. LOL. The POTUS has already promised our hit will be 'limited.'
4. Economy of force. Ok, I'll give him that one.
5.Maneuver. Nope.
6.Unity of Command. Well, since our coalition is pretty much non-existent this shouldn't be difficult.
7. Security. Unknown.
8. Surprise. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
9. Simplicity. Not with this crew. If the OPCON was simple, the JCS would be able to articulate at least a desired end state.

You can never maximize all 9 principles. But when you're already blowing six or seven of them before you get started, you're fucking up.

Kirk Parker said...

"Because Obama is actually, for the first time in his presidency arguing the strong position. "

The heck he is. He's arguing for a pointless gesture. That he's going to use the military to do it makes it worse, not better.

Almost Ali said...

I've been thinking about how cavalierly Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham embraced Obama's war. One quick visit to the White house, and they're fully ready to launch the missiles. And they couldn't wait to get to a microphone to tell the world - that after nothing more than a few back slaps, and even fewer facts, they were fully and completely prepared to take us to war - even if it meant WW3.

Think about that for a minute, about how frivolously they take their offices. And how honored they are to do the president's most dangerous bidding for no apparent reason other than upholding and protecting their exclusive fraternity.

JackOfVA said...

JR565 said Why are you risking a major naval battle with Russia if you are engaging in air strikes And do you think that Russia will actually target our jets or, were we to use our navy for anything beyond transport, our Navy. They will back the regime with weapons,but do you think they would actually risk an all out war against us directly? For Syria?

Doesn't have to be intentional. A plausible scenario I recently read runs along these lines:

Obama order cruise missile strike against Syria, launched from Navy ships in the Med. Russian navy launches ground-to-air interceptors to knock down the cruise missiles over the sea. Then, due to human or machine error, the USN misinterprets some of the ground-to-air interceptors as an attack on US naval vessels and responds with a self-defense attack against the Russian ships. Russian ships detect that launch and respond in kind. 10 or 15 minutes later you are in a full fledged US-Russian naval war.

Anyone thinking this could not happen should reflect upon the USS Vincennes and Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988. Mix the fog of war with high testosterone levels and electronic countermeasures by each side to spoof the other, and he necessity to make life and death decisions in the matter of seconds with imperfect information and the possibility of war by misadventure is not negligible.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Jason. If President Obama had struck at the regime in Syria a day or so after the use of chemical weapons, then it might have made sense. Now, it would not only be pointless, but counter-productive. What Jason failed to mention was that the Syrian leader moved human shields into many of his more critical facilities (and made that move publically), which means that we cannot do much in the way of hitting him meaningfully without a lot of collateral damage in terms of innocent civilian lives. This is what happens when the other side controls the OOPLA loop.

Now, I don't see the Russians trying to sink our destroyers if they launch a cruise missle attack on the Syrian government. Why? Because, I think that they would rationally fear a weak American President backed up against the wall of public sentiment overreacting. He and his top national security people are grossly inexperienced in this area, and, as Rummy might have said, they don't know what they don't know, and the Russians know that. But, I would not be surprised if they would bloody our noses if they could do so and still maintain some sort of international credibility. The American people might tolerate a couple of planes being shot down, or military personnel lost, but not ships sunk.

Jason said...

Putin will risk war for Syria.

If libtards think it's important for Obama to hit Syria to maintain his credibility, it's even more important for Russia to back Syria up to maintain theirs.

Obama is already known to be a shitty ally. Ask the British parliament. Ask Mubarak. This is a good chance for Russia to demonstrate that it backs its allies. America doesn't.

Backing Syria now is much more important to Russia than hitting him to accomplish nothing is for us.

sojerofgod said...

"This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it." -Admiral Josh Painter, "The Hunt for Red October"

In the pre-missile days naval engagements often started with the "shot across the bow" which served the purpose of finding the range with your guns as well as demonstrating to your opponent that you had a serious intent. Those days are over. the speed that anti-ship missiles and the like move gives the target only seconds -certainly less than a minute to respond. And there is no near miss possibility. The accuracy of these weapons is such that in the event of a full scale exchange it is quite likely both sides will be nearly obliterated in a matter of a few minutes. Once that kind of damage is done to either side, I don't see how any party to such a battle could back out of all-out war. And all over a postage-stamp sized sandlot of a country no one really gives a damn about? Really?

grackle said...

Neocons, exactly right. They never met a war they didn't love.

I sure didn't love the Afghanistan war after Obama's election. Bush kept roughly between twenty and forty thousand troops there after the initial victory to keep an eye on things.

http://tinyurl.com/435fu5t

It was another, earlier corner, that Obama had painted himself into when he used Afghanistan during his first campaign. Remember? Iraq was the bad war and Afghanistan was the ridiculous(yet evil!) Bush's forgotten, neglected war, the good war.

It was a neat contrast so cute and so crowd-pleasing that it became a regular feature of The Speech and the MSM dutifully "reported" it a lot and thus it quickly became a part of what could be called the Lefty Conventional Wisdom.

The resulting very reluctant, caveat-burdened and undermanned temporary escalation after Obama's first Presidential victory was obviously only so Obama could save himself from embarrassment, another largely symbolic exercise. How much treasure and how many soldiers must be sacrificed on the alter of Obama's image?

I've been thinking about how cavalierly Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham embraced Obama's war.

And in the House Boehner and Cantor immediately bending over for Obama's little proposed spitting contest! You know, I do not agree with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on some things but at least they will fight. At least they seem to be paying a bit of attention to the Constitution.

Almost Ali said...

To follow up on the political fraternity that is Washington, for maybe the first time in their lifetimes, many otherwise disinterested (working) Americans are witnessing the hard reality of... them vs. us. That the elected, having been admitted to the exclusive club of incredible power, privilege, and wealth, can and will do anything to maintain their positions within that club.

But the pending war represents a bridge too far due to the stunning blow-back from the voters - that in order to continue serving themselves, they too must face a certain reality; that going to war via Obama is simply untenable. And that it has virtually nothing to do with anything other than the reality of Obama as Commander-in-Chief – a job he’s simply not intellectually or emotionally equipped for.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@jr565Having us be a laughingstock and pushover in the world is not good for the American people. Having Russia have us over a barrel is not good for the American people. Normalizing the concept that regimes can use chemical weapons with impunity is not good for the American people.

We already are a laughingstock and a pushover. A pathetic remote-control bombing will not improve that.

Regimes already DO use chemical weapons on their own people. Not once in history did we EVER prevent it or retaliate against it.

Russia already HAS us over a barrel. They already know we do not dare stop them in what they want to do.

Obama is inherently not credible. Launching some missiles at empty tents and hitting camels in the butt will not restore that credibility. Only some major commitment on the Iraq scale would do that, and everyone already knows this President does not have the balls to buck his own party, or the American people on it, and that we can't afford any more Iraq-level commitments in any event.

So why do something stupid that changes nothing for us, and changes nothing for the Syrians, and makes us look more inept than we have already demonstrated ourselves to be?

jr565 said...

Gabriel Hanna wrote:
We already are a laughingstock and a pushover. A pathetic remote-control bombing will not improve that.
The way to stop being a pushover is to stop allowing people to take advantage of you. If you say, yes I'm a pushover already therefore continue to abuse me is not an example of acting strong. I get it Obama is already weak. But him saying he will put down a marker and countries better toe the line is not an example of weakness. It would only be weak if, after saying that he capitulated. I hate Obama because he's weak, and because he is he's putting our country into a subservient position. My counsel then wouldn't be lets put ourselves into an even MORE subservient position that proves we are even weaker. Republicans who are advocating this are beyond foolish. ANd you want to accuse Obama of not engaging in smart diplomacy?

"Regimes already DO use chemical weapons on their own people. Not once in history did we EVER prevent it or retaliate against it." If you subsidize things you get more of it. Lesson that all republicans SHOULD know. If we can't control Syria we are going to normalize the use of chemical weapons in all future conflicts. And we are going to put ourselves in the same position when we have to deal with Iran's nuclear program. (Which will then normalize the use of rogue regimes seeking nukes in the ME).

Russia already HAS us over a barrel. They already know we do not dare stop them in what they want to do.


And why do they have us over a barrel? Because people like you are counseling that Russia should continue to have us over a barrel.That's somehow a position of strength to you. Bullshit that we dare not stop them in what they want to do. You dare not stop them, and Obama dare not stop them because you are both weak. Russia gets away with what it does because of people like yous saying we have no choice in the matter. What are we, some third world nation? Last I heard we were the predominant superpower.

Now, I fully expect the left to argue that America should be in this position. But that's why I rail against the left. Because this is the position they WANT for America. That's why I so despise Obama. Because he's put us in this position because he is so uncomfortable wielding power that rather than doing so he lets our enemies do so instead. And at our expense.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
"Putin will risk war for Syria.

If libtards think it's important for Obama to hit Syria to maintain his credibility, it's even more important for Russia to back Syria up to maintain theirs. "

with all respect, that's bullshit. Russia will arm the Syrians and seek to undermine us politically, but they are not going to go to war with us directly. Backing up Syria doesn't mean that Russia puts their troops on the ground as it were. They will back Syria the way they've already backed Syria. Behind the scenes.

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
Jr565: Why are you risking a major naval battle with Russia if you are engaging in air strikes?

Are you really that stupid?

SO you really think Russia will literally use its subs to attack our planes directly and thus draw them into a full fledged war with us? It will put boots on the ground and get involved in a protacted war with the US when we are not at war with them. Wouldn't it know that we'd have to retaliate and that the retaliation would be a lot worse than what we would do to Syria? Why would it go all in like that when it doesn't have to?

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
Let's count how many principles of war this stupidity violates:

1. Objective. Big time.
2. Offensive. We're reacting to Assad, not him to us. Absent an objective, there's no advantage to the strategic or tactical offensive.
3. Mass. LOL. The POTUS has already promised our hit will be 'limited.'
4. Economy of force. Ok, I'll give him that one.
5.Maneuver. Nope.
6.Unity of Command. Well, since our coalition is pretty much non-existent this shouldn't be difficult.
7. Security. Unknown.
8. Surprise. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
9. Simplicity. Not with this crew. If the OPCON was simple, the JCS would be able to articulate at least a desired end state.

I'll fully acknowledge that Obama should have just done it and not gone back to congress to have a debate about it. And by saying it will be limited and there will be no feet on the ground he is telegraphing that he will not do enough to actually impact Syria in one way or another. So if that's the case, maybe he shouldn't bother. I'm in Mccain's camp, where, if he's going to do it, then make it meaningful enough that it actulally impacts the regime. And that can be done.

But I have to say, a lot of the objections you bring up are ludicrous when applied to not just this military operation but any military operation we'd undertake. Even more so when it's a limited strike versus a total war/invasion type scenario. They simply do not apply.

For example -
1. Objective. If the objective is to decimate Assad's air force, that could actually impact the Assad regimes ability to wage war against the rebels. If we were able to target his chemical weapons (and I'm not sure we can) that would be an objective that was meaningful, at least short term. But even if it's just impacting Assad's ability to wage war against the rebels going forward, its a doable objective, one that wouldn't even require boots on the ground.
2. Offensive. And if we attacked Assad, he'd then be reacting to us. considering this is only being contemplated because of Syria's actions, how would it ever be a situation where he is reacting to us first and not us to him? our action, by definition is a reaction.
3. Mass. This is a potentially legitimate objection. However, if we are engaged in military action that does more than just lob a few missiles but is less than boots on the ground it MAY be effective in achieving our goal.
4.Unity of command. Sometimes we have to go it alone. Even when we had a coalition of the willing we end up having to do the lionshare of the work anyway. And thus far, at any rate, the operation is limited, thus not requiring the interaction of 40 nations to offer support.

jr565 said...

-cont-
6. Surprise. if we have to go to congress and get an authorization any time we do anything how are you expecting at the same time fo there to be an element of surprise? You might as well give up on this one for any military operation going forward as an objection. Even if Obama were to announce a bombing today, it will take time to get our troops into position where they could even wage an attack. And Bush's rush to war in Iraq took 6 months. Do you think Iraq wasn't aware of our intentions by month 5? True, the longer he waits the more Syria can react by moving their equipment around or setting up human shields. So, it would have been nicer had Obama done something earlier. But Syria would know about it ahead of time regardless.

9 Simplicity. I don't know that an air strike isn't simple enough. Perhaps too simple. Thus, does it require simplicity, or is it even a valid objection. An air strike is certainly more simple than a full on invasion, that's for sure.

I agree that Obama may not have articulated a good end game in all of this. But hat does'nt mean that there isn't one. Bomb Syria enough so that it's air force is worthless and it can't use it against the rebels. Then sit back and let the rebels try fighting the regime absent their air force. While that is occuring, arm rebels that are loyal to us, just as Russia is arming the regime and assist them logistically in fighting the regime just as Russia is logistically aiding the Assad regime.

jr565 said...

Jackof VA wrote:
Obama order cruise missile strike against Syria, launched from Navy ships in the Med. Russian navy launches ground-to-air interceptors to knock down the cruise missiles over the sea. Then, due to human or machine error, the USN misinterprets some of the ground-to-air interceptors as an attack on US naval vessels and responds with a self-defense attack against the Russian ships. Russian ships detect that launch and respond in kind. 10 or 15 minutes later you are in a full fledged US-Russian naval war.



But that's not a reason to not go to war. Because of the possibility of computer error. If there were a war you were totally for, that was totally necessary you could have the exact same possibility of computer error.

And Russia launching ground to air interceptors to deal with us attacking Syria and not Russia or it's ships would be a pretty provocative act to begin with on their part. That alone would be a potential grounds to escalate a war with Russia since of course our actions are against Russia.

I would think it would be unlikely that Russia would even do that to Israel were Israel to wage an attack on Iran.

It's one thing to act as a foil to our interest diplomatically, it's another to attempt to literally block our attack.

Unknown said...

There's more to being Commander in Chief than issuing orders. Obama has degraded alliances and ruined his own credibility.

Most importantly to me is his credibility in advancing the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is probably in the mix in Syria.

Another way to accrue power and credibility is not to advance your MORTAL enemy.

Tibore said...

I said it before, and I need to say it again: It's painfully disturbing that the conversation about Syria seems to begin and end with a talk about Obama's merits and flaws. Precious little is said about Syria itself.

The real pain-in-the-ass part of all of this is that a legitimate case can be made for military action. Not only has Assad the younger turned out to be the sort of monster the US should always be an enemy of, but he is also aligned with two other powers that have worked too hard at destabilization in the region: Russia and Iran. Striking Syria is standing up for US policy above and beyond the civil war.

Are Assad's opponents worth saving? Not a whole lot of them, no; too many Al Qaeda adherents and wannabes have used this as a training ground, and everyone is already aware of Hezbollah's (and therefore Iran's) association with Assad. I'm fully aware of the huge likelihood of enabling groups hostile to America by striking Assad. But believe it or not, that doesn't change the fact that Assad's regime itself is worthy of punishment from America. Maybe you'd simply be enabling the next snake to arise, but I'm at a loss as to how letting the current one continue its depredations is the correct answer to that. That's saying that the snake that hasn't done anything is worse than the snake that's already bitten and killed. You don't exterminate vermin by letting them Darwin themselves into getting stronger against each other.

Yes, Obama's a painfully weak example of a "leader". His work on Syria has been effete at best. And let's not think that he should be given a free reign; his idea of limited action is laughable at best, self-destructive at worst. If the idea is to hit Syria, then dammit hit them, don't give them a love slap and say "Let this be a lesson to you". That's every bit as bad as leaving them alone. Military action is supposed to hurt the opponent. Doing any less is utterly stupid.

But at the same time, is the isolationist idea of staying away really the right idea? Nobody's saying you have to help the awful elements arrayed against him; that's the most wrong way anyone could take action against Assad. But nothing rules out either taking out or mortally weakening Assad and notifying all the other cockroaches that the extermination took place because this particular bug got big enough to earn it, take heed and don't make us come back. At that point the Al Qaeda sympathetics can take on the Hezbollah brainwashees and whatever rump state remains and we can keep out of their way. But the situation we leave behind is hellish and an atrocity? Well, yes, but it was already that way to being with; it's just missing the biggest insect now.

Kristol's got a point I think too many here are missing: Obama's not the real problem here. He's merely a placeholder in office who's been stuck dealing with a problem beyond his competency level. The real problem is the same one America's been facing for centuries now, and that's the threats to civil, rational, peaceful society by monsters abroad. If the conversation keeps on starting and ending with him, then we make details such as the actual merits of the situation take a backseat to Yet Another Obama Debate. And navalgazing like that doesn't help address that real problem.