Sunday, September 01, 2013

Congress On Syria - What I Hope To See

Parsing words seems to becoming a required skill for politicians.  That Obama is going to seek Congressional approval for military action is good. When his surrogates go to lay out his proposal I hope they hold his feet to the fire. Don't accept parsed rhetoric.

It's a given that chemical weapons  have been used in spite of international agreements banning that use.  It's also true that red line had been crossed several times before Obama felt forced to take action to save face.  I do not accept his rationale that this time is because of the scope of it.  Use of chemical weapons is just that - large or small.  But this President has a penchant for picking and choosing to his own liking.

I've already made clear that I think token action is a waste of time and to the world, laughable.  Some Senators say we need to do more.  We all know what that means.  The US will be involved in escalating an already untenable situation.

That's the big thing to remember.  This isn't about the misuse of the Presidential bully pulpit.  It's about whether or not we should involve ourselves in a fight that isn't ours, with but one reluctant ally, France, who won't act without us.  It's fair to ask our allies why the lack of support.  I've yet to hear that, but I'd guess at least partially they're as war weary, especially since we don't tend to win them these days, as we are. Why isn't the chemical weapon use as egregious to them?

If the administration briefings to Congress as to the complete strategy is better given in private, I can live with it.  But it must be a complete strategy including what exactly our national interest is in all this, how we will extricate ourselves and what we'll do if the action doesn't deter Assad.  They should also ask what we'll do if Israel is attacked in retaliation for our actions and what we'll do if Russia decides to jump in on the side of the Syrians and also why our allies have all but rejected this tack.

I'm sure, given time, I'll think of more, but you get the idea.  It must be detailed and thorough, doable and meaningful.  So far I've seen none of the above.  What I have seem is impassioned rhetoric about the need for some action because of horrors of war that we are no part of and an opinion that no one seems to share, in an attempt to make us feel guilty for not being willing to bail out the President.

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

I wondered the same thing.. why aren't the other countries upset with the chemical weapons being used. Shouldn't they be horrified about it? Or don't they believe it is real?