Syria according to Obama

| September 11, 2013 | 31 Comments

OK, I’ll admit that I didn’t watch the President last night, but my novelas come on at that hour on Telemundo, so… But I did read the transcript this morning at Fox News. I was hoping that the president would answer some of my questions about his planned assault on the Syrian regime. Unfortunately, he did not. I’d like to know how this attack will make us safer, what the national security interest is in a limited attack on the Assad regime. This is what he said;

I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime’s ability to use them, and to make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use.

But why is it in our “interests” to do all of that? “Because f* you, that’s why” is not a reason. It’s a little arbitrary to say that it’s not OK this time, but was OK all of those other times they’ve used chemical weapons in the last year when they crossed that “red line”. We invaded Iraq and deposed Hussein because we won’t tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction – so if Assad hadn’t got the message yet, he has a comprehension problem. Do I need to remind you that Assad’s father was in the coalition against Hussein in 1991 and Syrian troops accompanied ours into Kuwait?

Obama goes on to remind us that the troops are out of Iraq and rushing for the exits in Afghanistan on his orders. I’m guessing that’s one of the reasons that he feels a need to use force against Syria because the whole world knows that he doesn’t have the cojones to see a mission through. There are more people dying in Iraq by the month than died while we were still there because we didn’t finish the job when we were there than. The job isn’t done in Afghanistan, mostly because Obama couldn’t properly staff the “surge” in 2009 against the advice of the generals and the CIA. The threat of US military action has no “umph”, largely thanks to the Democrats who fought a political war at home while our troops were fighting a real war overseas giving the enemy aid and comfort from the very beginning.

The President continues;

I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo.

It sounds like we’ll be able to keep our own doctors and healthcare costs won’t go up, and no taxes on the middle class promises, doesn’t it? The problem is that all military actions have a way of changing despite what politicians want to do.

Other questions involve the dangers of retaliation. We don’t dismiss any threats, but the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military.

Then, why are we even doing this, if Assad doesn’t have the means to threaten us? It’s as if he’s arguing with himself.

And so to my friends on the right, I ask you to reconcile your commitment to America’s military might with the failure to act when a cause is so plainly just.

To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor, for sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.

Indeed, I’d ask every member of Congress and those of you watching at home tonight to view those videos of the attack, and then ask, what kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?

So, basically, we’re making a military strike in Syria costing billions of dollars and putting countless lives at risk as well as risking another world war “for the children?” Why didn’t he just say that in the beginning? I’m convinced.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Military issues

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  1. rb325th says:

    I hate saying things like typical liberal… but whenever they want to steam roll some bull shit through that the public would not buy on its honest reasons, they toss in “it’s for the children”.
    Well let me ask Obama where in the fuck has he been for those Children in Syria over the past two years? While they have been massacred, driven out of their homes into refugee camps, had their lives forever destroyed… where has he been?? Same place he has been for this Nation the past 5 years, out golfing!!
    It is not for the children, if it were we would have gone ahead and sided with the opposition before Al Qaeda was allowed even the small toe hold they have there now. We would have bombed the crap out of Assad right then and there… No, we didn’t though because reality is Russia and Iran are Syria’s good pals and have been flooding Syria with arms and personnel since the outbreak of the civil war. So Obama knows he does not want to go to war to begin with, and especially not against Russia and Iran (even by proxy) so he draws his Red Line figuring Russia will keep Assad in line and not let him use the WMD…. of course they do though, and there you have it Obama looking even weaker than he is and like the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain with his foreign affairs skills.
    So the Emperor is now cornered into taking action, even though he does not really have the heart for it, so he plans a “very small” attack that will be “just muscular enough” so that he does not look like a total pussy. In comes John Fing Kerry though with his off the cuff, off script declaration that if Syria gave up all their WMD in a weeks’ time, no strikes would occur. Putin saw that and it took 30 seconds for them to jump all over that and completely upset Obamas apple cart.
    That is why you had that weak assed justification for military action last night. Obama is a non-committal asshole even when he is calling for committing our military to a fight.

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    It’s fascinating, isn’t it? — that ‘for the children’ fails to recognize that children are frequently the victims of collateral damage in warfare?

    I could not sit through that waffling gobbledygook last night. Now more than ever, I do not believe anything he says or will say in the future. Two analysts, Democrat and Republican, this morning said that he failed to take the steps that should have been taken and is leading from behind (where it’s safe), and that Putin is making him look incompetent. (I think that gives too much credit to Putin.)

    I particularly do not trust him when he says ‘no boots on the ground’. Not for one teensy weensy second.

  3. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    The problem is that all military actions have a way of changing despite what politicians want to do.

    Indeed as Von Moltke (the Elder) likes to say: “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength” (or “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”)

    There has been in US history almost no encounter that was promised to not have boots on the ground that did not end up with boots on the ground at some point.

    So due to the failing to accomplish any mission beyond leaving a giant mess in Afghanistan and Iraq, I am concerned that a mission against Syria will do nothing to solve their civil war and will do nothing to degrade Assad’s ability to kill civilians (removing the chemical weapons only means he will have to machine gun children instead).

    So what is the president saying or trying to accomplish in Syria? Is he in fact saying as long as nations use machetes (Rwanda) or gunfire (Syria) or IEDs (every sh1thole in the world) the US will do nothing of substance to stop the mass murder of tens of thousands of civilians by any government? But kill a couple thousand with chlorine gas and we’ll take the chlorine away so you can go back to using conventional lethal force?

    What the h3ll am I missing in this message from our president? I’m apparently not bright enough to parse the language he uses and ascertain the intent.

  4. Hondo says:

    VOV: you missed the POTUS’s point entirely. Allow me to summarize it:

    Killing a few hundred using poison gas is unacceptable and merits a US response. Killing 100,000 by various other means is OK, and we’ll give you a pass.

    Whether it’s in out national interest to become involved is irrelevant. We MUST do something!

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    One poli analyst said this morning that he was ‘buying time’ — whatever that means.

    In my book, it means he’s waiting to see if his popularity gets back to its normal level and he can do whatevs he wants to.

    Right now, the US is perceived as completely ineffective.

  6. QMC says:

    Re-read the “friends on the right, friends on the left” comparison and contrast, then try not to say, “You motherf###er,…”

    That jackass.

  7. jim says:

    I still believe in definition of target. The outside papers say target missle came from free syria, areas under government control. That is not the same as saying the government did it. Remember what took down lives here came from free government lands. The army commanders and the government there deny involvement they had invited inspectors and accountants to come in and verify.
    Rebels have a past history of chemical attacks in syria. Verified by the un and the free press. Would it be a streach to attract help by not doing that again?
    That said, and the US wants too do something, let us do the obvious, be the cop, find the shipper, find where the weapons came from, hit them…or would that company have moved from texas.

  8. Debbie says:

    This person spends half a decade of dividing Americans and now he wants a “Come Together” moment?

  9. 1Marine says:

    Watching Putin vs the pussy we’ve got running the show now, cracks me up. If I were still active and received orders to Syria, I’d leave my post and go home. This usurper is not only a crackpot, he is a dangerous one at that. I know many, many, of my Marine buddies as well as other military folks and it seems unanimous…this asshole just needs to stay on the golf course until his affirmative actioned ass can be successfully replaced.

  10. David says:

    Even conceding that Assad’s behind the poison gas…. the fact that Syrians are killing Syrians is lamentable. The fact that they aren’t – and can’t – threaten us, makes me think “until they do threaten us or act against us – who gives a shit?”

  11. Hondo says:

    David: bingo. If there’s no US national interest directly threatened, IMO we don’t need to get involved militarily. So far I haven’t seen this administration detail the US national interest(s) threatened by the conflict in Syria, or heard them make the case of why the conflict in Syria threatens said US national interest(s).

    “What’s they’re doing is terrible!” just ain’t enough reason to bomb another nation. No US national interest at stake IMO means US involvement should be a NO-GO.

  12. SteveS says:

    @6… yeah, I see what that clown did. “My friends on the right” equals militaristic war-mongers. “My friends on the left” equals people who believe in freedom and equality for all.
    Shameless. Even now, the Divider-in-Chief is still spinning.

  13. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Regarding the whole, “it’s for the children” comments….am I mistaken by thinking that Syrian children, Iraqi children, and Afghani children grow up to be adults of those respective nations, typically adults that hate us and want to kill us at every turn?

    I wish the world viewed children as we do in the United States, as a fresh take on a future of hope and initiative and not as slave labor to exploited sexually and financially for all of their lives….but, kids die every day all over the world in terrible ways, it’s horrific and tragic to see that future hope dashed. That’s why these nations haven’t been able to crawl out of the stone age because the kids that survive are taught to prey on their kids in the same fashion they have been preyed upon. Few of them are taught to value education and life, more are taught to be successful means death and fear.

    Knowing that is what happens and we are not capable of changing that mindset I think when those kids are prevented from becoming adults of nations that are essentially hostile nations I fail to see the downside, if you are telling me we want to kill all the adults and educate the children to become something other than the kind of adults who want us dead I might be interested….

    Otherwise at the end of the day baby cobras become adult cobras, if you don’t want your own babies to be harmed by the adult cobras then some dead baby cobras isn’t always a bad outcome….

  14. USMCE8Ret says:

    #13 – Can I borrow that?

  15. Old Trooper says:

    I wasn’t home to watch his mumbling (I doubt I would have, even if I was at home), so I had to read the transcript. My take is that his teleprompter was taken over by Paul K. Wickre, for as much sense as that speech made.

  16. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @14 any time you like my words feel free to take them and repeat as appropriate I’d be honored…

  17. Twist says:

    “I was hoping that the president would answer some of my questions about his planned assault on the Syrian regime.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  18. DaveO says:

    1. The WH will give the strike coordinates to the Pentagon.

    2. TLAMs will hit chemical weapons factories and stockpiles. Because TLAM don’t burn hot enough to destroy chemical weapons, the escaped poisons and wind currents will cause a catastrophe

    3. The UN, EU, Russia and PRC will demand sanctions for the American responsibility for the release of tons of chemical weapons

    4.The citizens of the US will find itself isolated, with heavy penalties in the markets

    5. Never waste a crisis to advance a political agenda.

  19. OWB says:

    Or is he just demonstrating that flexibility of a second term he bragged about?

  20. OldSoldier54 says:

    “… Obama couldn’t properly staff the “surge” in 2009…”

    Substituting “wouldn’t” for “couldn’t” is more accurate, IMO.

    I am unable to imagine ANYTHING that man has to say that I would find interesting to listen to. If his lips are moving, he’s deceiving.

    As “for the children,” that’s the standard smoke screen ploy of the Left used to mask an unpalatable truth. Complete BS, as usual.

  21. Anonymous says:

    When the left starts talking about “saving the children,” the children should run for cover. (See Janet Reno; Waco)

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    ‘Otherwise at the end of the day baby cobras become adult cobras, if you don’t want your own babies to be harmed by the adult cobras then some dead baby cobras isn’t always a bad outcome….’

    VOV, I’m borrowing that, too.

  23. NHSparky says:

    the whole world knows that he doesn’t have the cojones to see a mission through.

    Which would likely explain why he’s about as popular as a john with drippy dick in a whorehouse.

  24. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Certainly, this is all reasonable, it will function and will work out, only if the U.S. and those who support it on this issue pledge to renounce the use of force, because it is difficult to make any country – Syria or any other country in the world – to unilaterally disarm if there is military action against it under consideration.”

    Now that is a reasonable and understandable statement. It is devoid of hyperbole and emotional appeal. It diesn’t invoke innocent children, WW I, or WW II. It doesn’t refer to a dictator. It is, in my view, the best statement of what is and what can be regarding Syria. Obamaman’s speech writer ought to get in touch with Putin’s because the statement is Putin’s. Heaven help us all.

  25. valerie says:

    Well, I watched him real-time, because he is the POTUS. I make a habit of watching all the Presidents.

    If he had actually set forth a plan that had some reasonable probability of saving the lives of the little children, I’d support him. He didn’t do that.

  26. Ex-PH2 says:

    2/17AirCav – It speaks volumes when the head of the former Soviet Union’s KGB comes off as a mature adult and his opponent as a babbling, inept spoiled brat.

  27. BK says:

    Chemical weapons rightly bring forth a visceral reaction from folks.

    I resent Obama’s Holocaust language, though. The remnants of my family in Eastern Europe were slaughtered by machine gun fire at Babi Yar, not by Zyklon B. And death by gas just as often was accomplished by carbon monoxide. So far as I remember, only Auschwitz and Madjanek used Zyklon B, as Chelmno, Treblinka, and Belzec used exhaust fumes. Many victims died of disease, malnutrition, and being worked to death.

    As someone else said, why is only when gas is used that we’re suddenly troubled?

    And if it’s in our national interests, I don’t see how, when even Israel isn’t afraid of Syria’s chemical capability. Our intel supposedly has artillery and rockets being used against the civilians. That kind of mobilization on Israel’s borders would certainly draw attention. Missile deployment has proven futile with Iron Dome and those Patriot batteries.

    I didn’t support Iraq, but it was clear that the inevitable failed state and the uncertainty about either Hussein’s willingness to export WMDs or the presence of them posed a regional and international risk. Even if it wasn’t borne out by what turned out to be the situation, we can say that Assad has not shown up on our radar as distributing CW to any one else. I’d worry more with their stockpile falling into the hands of militant Sunnis.

    I would hope we stop pretending like democracy is a panacea for that region and be content with a few benevolent, or not so benevolent dictators. As we saw in Egypt, or with Hamas or Fatah, the mere ability to vote does not mean minorities will be protected in fledgling democracies. For all the lambasting of human rights abuses by Assad or Mubarak, Coptic and Syrian Christians sure enjoyed a lot more safety than after the Islamists get the wheel.

    And I would dispute the President’s contention that he has the authority to order military strikes. Unfortunately, assumed executive war powers seem to go as far back as Washington and Adams, and the struggle between Congress and the executive over those powers is hardly new. I don’t think we’d see a successful impeachment result. We’re hamstrung, in some ways, by the assertion of a unitary chief executive as asserted by the previous administration. That doctrine has been pushed by varying folks since 1787, including noted Federalist James Madison. Opposition to the principle usually falls down along who is the party in power at the moment, too, as this concept has only been broadened regardless of liberal or conservative in office.

    Overall, I wasn’t sold. Moreover, I’m distressed that Putin has been bending our administration over. It’s more like date rape than rape, I suppose…they’ve been asking for it.

  28. Green Thumb says:

    @27.

    Every time you show up I start getting hungry for a juicy, delicious, scrumptious, inviting and tasty concept of the American Dream : The Whopper!

  29. B Woodman says:

    Ummm. . . . somewhere in there (and I may be wrong), didn’t I happen to overhear Teh Preezy say something to the effect that we aren’t the world’s policeman, just before he feebly launches into excuses why he wants us (not the same as “we need”) to attack Syria?

  30. Ex-PH2 says:

    BWoodman, he DID say that.

    Using the words ‘gas’ and ‘chemical weapons’ is a nod to the psychology of trigger words, those which generate emotional reactions in people, the same as certain images used in the same way.

    Unfortunately, it is not having the wanted effect. We’re all tired of warfare with no sense of direction.

    I do wonder when this nearly Manchurian candidate is going to fail completely.

  31. OWB says:

    And where is the WMD today? Anyone who guesses maybe back in Iraq just might be correct:

    http://www.jpost.com/Syria-Crisis/Report-Syria-transported-chemical-weapons-to-Iraq-326141

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