Saturday, August 31, 2013

The President's Statement - My Take

I took something far different from both the President's statement this morning and John Kerry's yesterday than most pundits.

I saw in both the hint, perhaps obscure, that given any chance to avoid it no action will be taken.  Both alluded to negotiation as being the only real way to solve the Syrian problem.  It was well camouflaged by the outrage over the use of poison gas on the people of Syria.

Politicians seem to be divided as to whether or not we should take military action. I'm against it as put forth by the President.  A token missile strike seems a costly and ineffective way to rap Assad's knuckles. My inclination is to stay out of it.

We've so often been accused  of trying to be the arbiter of the world's behavior.  There is truth in it and when it comes to war we've been pretty choosy about where and with whom we should involve ourselves.  Wars in the World web site shows just how many wars are currently being waged and where. Where have we been on any of them? National interest and security has been parsed to fit the moment, not the actuality.

The question that comes to mind is whether or not there is any one way to die in war that's better than any other?  Death is death and in war there is no humane methodology.  Be it poison gas, bombs, bullets or being hacked to death with machetes it's horrible.  The use of one particular method seems to me not to be the reason to insert ourselves if we're not willing to put forth the effort to end it.  Recent history shows our shortcomings in that area.

Well, what about the children?  The casualty figure for the Syrian civil war is somewhere around 100,000 people and climbing.  How many of those casualties were children?  Why aren't we just as outraged about them?  Also, when it comes to touting statistics, I haven't seen a breakdown of that 100,000 as to how many were loyalists and how many rebels or which rebels or women, children and the elderly. They're no more than a head count of the dead.

With the President delaying any action until after Congress debates and votes gives him some wiggle room behind the tough rhetoric.  It also gives Assad time to either disperse his weapons and their delivery systems and/or surround them with human shields. And don't forget he has the support of both Russia and Iran. That doesn't bode well for us.

If we launch missiles into Syria there is no guarantee that we won't be hitting civilians ourselves.  Look at what Karzai does in Afghanistan every time we do.  What do you think Assad will do?  And does that not put us on the same plane as Syria with only the weapon being different?

We say we're war weary.  The President says he's war weary.  Surely with all the consulting of experts he is supposedly doing someone must have a viable idea of how to dissuade Assad with out getting physically involved in his dirty little war.

A token strike would be no more than token punishment which will be met with distain and lower the President's credibility even further.  A President with no credibilty among either enemies, allies  or onlookers is the real threat to our national security.  On that basis we truly are threatened and there's not a  token missile launch that can be made that will alter that dynamic.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

I agree we should stay out of it. There is more then one war going on in the world and we can't take on them all. That's a civil war and nasty as it is, you are right...all war is nasty.

We are not the world's police force. They need to settle it themselves. Consulting with congress is the right thing to do too.