Removing All Doubt
Obama's Syrian Slip-up
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
"It is better to remain silent and allow others to wonder if you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." ... A. Lincoln, President of the United States.
Mr. Lincoln was making an attempt at paraphrasing the Bible, Proverbs 17:28 to be exact, which says: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."
It seems to me that the US President would do well to take to heart Proverbs 17:28 -- especially after his "Syrian Slip-up."
I have often thought , and said as much, that our President talks to much, far too much.
For most of my working life, I was paid to talk. Not for showcasing my, uh, brilliance, but for the ease with which the ability to express myself seemed to come. I can report to you now, that it did not come easy for me. It was LEARNED BEHAVIOR. See, I figured out, as a kid, that a fellow with a good vocabulary and the power to,persuade -- plus the ability to speak in public would never go hungry. I've been hungry. Believe me, well-fed is much better.
So, where am I going with all this? I expect you can guess.
Our President doesn't know when to shut up!
Look, there are two things you can always count on: One, you will not always be the smartest fellow in the room, and two, there will always be someone ready, willing, and able to call your bluff.
Oh, and there is a third thing (when dealing with despots and terrorists.) You can't bluff a person willing to lay down his life for his belief. He has nothing to lose and, he BELIEVES, anyway, that he has everything to gain by dying. Therefore, you cannot defeat him. Yes, you can deconstruct his organization, demonize his cause, and kill him. But you cannot defeat him.
Endeavoring to totally defeat terrorism is akin to squeezing a balloon only to see it bulge in another location. Squeeze that bulge and another appears. Thus it is with terrorist organizations.
You would think that after nearly five years of the Obama administration we would no longer be surprised at the administration's amateurish efforts at foreign policy. About the time we thought we were immune to any more infantile like surprises, Obama went and drew a red line and dared Assad to step over it. Of COURSE, Assad stepped over it. Hell, he had to. It is basic psychology. When you are a "strongman" leader and you are challenged, you MUST rise to the challenge. Otherwise you risk being dispatched by your own people and replaced with another strongman who WILL rise to the challenge.
Obama should never have drawn that red line. However, being the amateur that he is, he did, and now we have no choice but to back it up by going to war (in the middle of a civil war) in a country where there are no US interests and where the outcome, no matter what it is, will not be advantageous for the US. It doesn't get much crazier than than this.
I can't speak for you but, I must tell you, I am fed-up with my country involving itself in "nation building" especially in the Middle East where it is a lost cause from the git-go.
(By the way, this is a glimpse into what the entire world would look like under global governance. Constant, never-ending war.)
But, the red line has been crossed and Obama must, repeat, MUST strike. If he does not follow through, all the implied threats, going forward, will be seen as hollow, worthless, gestures made by a country that talks big but hasn't the cahones to carry out it's threat. THAT will loose all sorts of mischief on the globe. US foreign policy, such as it is today, will be a laughing stock. (Not that it isn't a laughing stock today. Only MORE people will be laughing and a lot louder!)
One must consider what Russia and Iran will do the moment the first US missile or bomb slams into Syrian soil. Personally, I expect terrorist attacks on Americans in diverse places around the globe. There have already been rumors that orders have been given for Islamic terrorists to take American hostages forthwith in the event of US military action against Assad.
It is also likely, there may be some jostling of Russian and American naval vessels and combat aircraft.
Oh, did I say AIRCRAFT? I did. Once we learn that cruise missiles can't get the job done alone, expect US manned aircraft to be launched against Assad's forces. (If bomber aircraft are not a part of the original raid.) There are reports, unconfirmed by this scribe, that US bomber aircraft have been seen flying into British air bases in the immediate area.
Some sources have made much of the fact that the US has not sailed an aircraft carrier into the eastern end of the Med. It isn't necessary. The British have military bases, including airbase(s) on the island of Cyprus just off the coast (Approx. 100 miles) of Syria.
Another question: Will Obama be able to withstand the withering criticism bound to come rolling in over the deaths of civilians as a result of our bombing and missile strikes? Does he have the steel to stay the course once he has committed our forces to the task? All we know of Obama's military prowess so far is his ability to retreat, as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the bottom of all this mess, I feel sure, is that damnable UN initiative of "The responsibility to protect" designed to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. Of course, it is just more leftist feel good policy which doesn't do anything toward alleviating the problem, but cost a great many lives of US servicemen and women.
Obama has climbed way out on a limb with his Syrian adventure. It is almost impossible for it to end well. Look how Libya ended. Syria stands to be far worse than Libya.
All America can look forward to from our Syrian adventure is more flag draped coffins ... and for what? No, I mean -- FOR WHAT?
© J. D. Longstreet
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