Here We Go Again – Part III?

| June 3, 2012

Well, now we have a couple of US Senators urging that we “do something” regarding Syria. Specifically, they’re Senators McCain and Lieberman.

Lieberman has indicated he thinks we’re getting closer to “stopping the bloodshed” in Syria, but that we’re “moving too slowly.” And McCain is “embarrassed” by the lack of “US leadership” regarding the situation in Syria.

Lieberman’s stance doesn’t surprise me. IMO, Lieberman’s relatively liberal regarding social matters. I’d expect him to cry out, “We gotta do something now!” – which is essentially what he’s done.

But McCain? To some extent, his stance here does. He’s seen “up close and personal” what can happen when the US intervenes somewhere without first figuring out precisely what we want to accomplish and how we intend to accomplish it. That type of error by US national leadership during Vietnam cost McCain several years of his life spent as a “guest” in the Hanoi Hilton.

Will all due respect to each: gentlemen, IMO you’re not exactly helping here. No case has yet been made that US intervention in Syria is in the US national interest. I don’t think the Obama administration has yet figured out who the players are, much less we want to accomplish by such an intervention. And I haven’t seen anything presented to the American public that lays out the benefits and potential costs of such an intervention.

All I’ve seen is cries of, “This is bad! We gotta do something!” But I haven’t seen that “something” defined – or an explanation of why it matters enough to the US to risk getting involved.

Bad stuff happens in the world all the time. People are mistreated by their own governments routinely all over the world – just look at Darfur, Rwanda, Zaire, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and any number of other countries. But that should never be the criteria for US intervention, particularly intervention that risks military involvement.

We should get involved in Syria if – and only if – doing so furthers US national interests and prospects for success are reasonable. If neither of those is true, we should leave well enough alone. Period. And I haven’t yet seen a good case made by the current POTUS or officials in his administration to support either.

Santayana warned us what happens when we ignore history. And history shows us that foreign interventions started without due consideration – even those that start out with the best of intentions – often have a way of blowing up in our face.

Make the case first, gentlemen. It’s always best to look before you leap.

When you sow the wind, sometimes you indeed end up reaping the whirlwind.

Category: Foreign Policy, Military issues

Comments (16)

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  1. CI says:

    This is why I’ve generally been a fan of Congress not doing or advocating for anything. The results always seem to be entangling us in situations we have no vested interest in, or further restricting our liberties; or both.

  2. PintoNag says:

    The problem with looking before leaping is that our politicians aren’t ever the ones to make the leap. Our military is. So when it goes sideways, it’s our troops that come back home in boxes, not our politicians.

    Buildings never look that high, until YOU have to jump off of one.

  3. DR_BRETT says:

    Thanks, Mr. Hondo, for requiring substance (definitions, causes explained).
    I saw SEN McCAIN on television;
    he said HE IS ASHAMED of “his” country’s: “. . . failure to CARRY OUT, its FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.”
    That is a direct quotation.
    Apparently the original principles of the United States Of America — according to SEN McCAIN — included BLIND, INDISCRIMINATE SACRIFICE (philosophical ALTRUISM).

    This is the MORAL CRISIS which must be resolved:
    sacrifice as needless suicide, or, fighting to defend Individual Rights.

    GEN PATTON said once (approximately):
    “Don’t die for your country — make the other poor bastards die for theirs.”

    I’ve always set out to LIVE — and woe to the communist/altruist who gets in my way .

  4. Jorge says:

    Honestly, it is odd. I think there may be something going on there with the “rebels” that we are not privy too. The Western admins may be waiting for stuff to sort itself out a little more….

  5. Frank says:

    I move that McLame and Loserman be sent to Syria per their wishes to “do something” – and leave the bastards there.

    Service to one’s country, you see.

  6. TexasFred says:

    OK, lets do something…

    It’s Syria, it’s one sect of Muslims killing a different sect of Muslims…

    DO NOTHING, that is something…

    Muslims killing Muslims and we’re supposed to stop it? Or actually give a damn?

  7. Azygos says:

    That senile old fuck McStain needs to go away. Thanks for your service now get back under that DIABLO rock you live under.

  8. I have a suggestion on what we can do in syria. Nothing. Let them kill each other off…because if we show up, then we become the enenmy and they take all the 2 million years of being retarded and stuff and point it at us.
    Then there would be the protest here that would waste more tax dollars for police…and they the police would bust a few heads on the hippies…and more law suits…
    I think it’s cheaper to tell the rest of the world to work it out on their own.

  9. RJ Fleming says:

    Since we have yet to see what will come out of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Tunisia, Yeman or Libya I would be reluctant to endorse another adventure in “Democracy” just yet. Also with the change in government in France I cannot see the French 1st Regiment of Parachute Infantry Marines deployed as the “boots on the ground” for NATO in Syria as the were in Libya.

  10. Elric says:

    Let them kill each other until there are none left. Or leave it to the UN (same thing- nothing). While Assad and his murderous thugs need to go, more than likely it will be replaced by a different group of muslim fundamentalists. Oh…and don’t forget Hezbollah.

    No threat to our national interests. Let Turkey and Israel do something about it if it is that much of a regional threat.

    On a good note, perhaps the Kurds can take the opportunity to extricate their Kurdish brothers trapped in Syria.

  11. NHSparky says:

    One issue. An if, but a very significant one. IF there were in fact significant usable WMD’s in Iraq prior to 2003, and they were shipped to Syria as some have speculated, would it not be in our best interest to stop those from falling into the hands of some really bad characters?

    Granted the chances of such are remote but can’t be entirely dismissed.

  12. Hondo says:

    That would be one argument in favor, NHSparky. But I haven’t heard this administration make that case publicly.

    Or anyone else, for that matter.

  13. Old Trooper says:

    I agree, Sparky, that your IF scenario would warrant some sort of action, but I’m thinking more of a focused mission with specific emphasis on those WMDs and then GTFO.

  14. WOTN says:

    McCain is correct: there has been a lack of leadership in the US regarding Syria.

    Is there an excuse for that? “We don’t know enough?” The American public doesn’t have enough information on the record, but after 15 months of turmoil in a country that should have been under our watchful eye for 30 years? We SHOULD have the information needed.

    IF the US Government does NOT have that information on a KNOWN enemy in turmoil, a KNOWN state sponsor of terrorism, then the Administration needs to be removed.

    We’re not talking about a place that just hit the international radar last week. We’re talking about one that has been on the radar of OUR Nation for decades.

    And this isn’t just a sect of Muslims killing another sect of Muslims. Syria has a large Christian population that is also being killed in the current violence. Syria is a primary ally of Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Syria and Iran are the TWO direct sponsors of Hezbollah, which is and has been for 30 years, the most organized and dangerous terrorist group on the planet, which has operational cells in OUR cities. Until 9/11, Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group.

    Moreover, Syria (as well as Iran) are directly and purposely keeping Lebanon unstable, in addition to funding terrorism against Israel, and threatening its borders.

    The POTUS SHOULD make a case for action, one way or the other, or for us to continue to sit on the sidelines. That IS his responsibility. There IS a National Interest in the outcome of Syria: whether it remains a “rational” enemy under Ba’athist Assad, falls to an irrational enemy under an Islamist regime, such as Al-Qaeda, or emerges as a secular democracy, it has a direct impact on the Middle East. And as the capital of the FIRST Caliphate, it is also a location that Al-Qaeda would love to control. (Other Caliphate Capitals include Egypt, Iraq, & Turkey, while Mecca & Medina remain the crown jewels. And the Caliphate symbols of power remain in Turkey.)

    What is the best path in Syria? That’s probably only debateable in a secure environment, with access to classified information.

    Do I trust the current administration to make the right decision or true case for action? NO, Libya, Tunisia, & Egypt, as well as Iran (2009) prove they can find the wrong path, too late in the game. Do I believe that will take a Constitutional path, if they decide to do “something” in Syria? NO, Panetta already told Congress that he won’t.

    But a lack of trust in the current crop of politicians does not mean that the lack of leadership they exhibit is the correct path.

  15. Dave says:

    WOTN – not sure I can comprehend all the “lack of leadership” blah-blah above – until someone comes up with good solid reasons why we should even give a damn, there is no decicision needed. God knows I am no fan of this administration, and would hardly credit them with any level of intelligence in NOT committing one way or the other.

    What seems to be happening over there is regrettable, but is iy anything for which we are the best first responders? Are we going to launch our own jihad against Hizbollah? The fact that Syria is aligned with people we don’t like, who don’t like us, is not sufficient – there are far more cogent reasons for taking on others, such as Iran, first. If we are not prepared to deal with those who are an active threat first – why would we first attack their allies and surrogates?

  16. WOTN says:

    Dave, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the POTUS, to convince the American people of the course he deems most prudent. It is his responsibility to convince Congress of that plan. It is his responsibility to have a plan. It is NOT enough that HE is convinced that he’s taking the best path.

    Whether that path is to do nothing, to cheer on others from the sidelines, or to ask the American People, and their REPRESENTATIVES in Congress to support a plan of active action, that responsibility falls on him. And he has failed to do so, arrogantly so.

    In 2009, he squandered the opportunity to give the Iranian people the chance to change their government. In 2012, there are Syrians dying to free themselves of an enemy of the United States, a state sponsor of the most dangerous terrorist organization on the planet. This POTUS sent the SecDef to Congress to tell them he won’t necessarily even consult them if he decides to go to war, and won’t ask for their Constitutionally mandated permission to do so, but is allowing international opponents (China & Russia) to dictate that we don’t do anything meaningful to resolve the situation.

    I am not saying that the best path is to support the rebels in Syria, or to get us actively involved, but I am saying the POTUS has flat out failed to do his job of making a case for sitting on the sidelines, or getting us involved.

    Given his record in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, AND Iran, I see little hope he would take the right path, or take it Constitutionally, but he should have made the case for “why” months ago.