Monday, September 02, 2013

Obama is a dumbass. But he's our dumbass.

I've come to the conclusions that it would be a minor disaster if Congress fails to give Obama authorization to lob a couple of cruise missiles at Syria.

It's certainly true that we're in this predicament because President Says Stuff went off-teleprompter and drew a red line that White House aides furiously tried to erase moments after he stepped off the dais.  Then, after lining up his cabinet to support a strike on Syria without Congressional approval (something Senator Obama would condemn) he changed course.  Without support from the U.N. or Great Britain or the Arab League, Obama turned to Congress as a last resort to put a fig leaf of approval on this war.  This wasn't Obama's finest moment.

But what we going to do?  Kneecap our own commander-in-chief?  Assad would laugh his ass off at such a feckless response and the Iranians would know they could pretty much build a nuclear bomb in the middle of Azadi Square with no repercussions.  It seems to me that giving Obama authority to strike Syria is the best-worst option we have.

Extra - Elliott Abrams in Politico: "How not to run a foreign policy."  "Despite this administration’s incompetence, the United States and our allies will be worse off, and our enemies emboldened, if Congress votes no. The time to reject Obama’s failures in foreign and domestic policy is on Election Day 2014, not in the Syria vote."

More - John McCain concurs.  And so does Paul Mirengoff at Power Line.

And this - Byron York notes that Republicans may vote against authorization because they just can't trust Obama.  The force authorization resolution will be significantly narrowed and limited.


AndyN said...

So, if Congress prevents Obama from launching an attack, the world's dictators will know they can gas their citizenry with impunity. Do you really think they'll be getting a different message if Congress rubber stamps the attack that the White House has described? They kill 1400 people with chemical weapons and we stand off in the Gulf and break some stuff with some missiles, and that's going to send a message? They've already received the message - the US will make no serious effort to remove from power even tyrants who defy our President's ultimatums.

As for sending a message to Obama in 2014 - then what? He'll still be in power, still be perfectly capable of making ill-advised threats, and I fail to see how the argument you applied to Congress defying him now won't still apply even if the GOP holds the House and takes the Senate.

We've tried acting as al Qaeda's air force once under this administration and it bought us so much good will that they murdered our ambassador and torched our consulate. Let's not go down that road again, even if taking a different path makes the President look like a mouthy dumbass and Congress look like bickering, spiteful children.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear to everyone that we don't want to topple Assad, or even to seriously weaken him, because a 'rebel' victory is not in our interests. Our planned strike would be painful, but, by design, it would be both limited and survivable.

This raises a particularly difficult question - if we strike, and Assad's response is another gas attack on his enemies, then what?

Assad has every incentive to be defiant. He depends upon Soviet support and nothing would make the Soviets, or his remaining Arab allies, happier than seeing a very public thumb in the eye of the United States. Furthermore, he has a strong strategic interest in keeping his enemies in fear of his WMD arsenal. He'd almost be compelled to respond to our strike in exactly this way.

How, exactly, would we respond to that?

This is a fine example of the importance of a larger principle: never start a fight you are not prepared to finish.

It might be better if this quietly dies in congress and we let our leaders blame each other for the embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Obama is a putz of the first magnitude. The mere fact that you have anything to say even remotely nice about this complete and utter failure tells me you were actually gullible to vote and will in the future continue to vote for anything that rises to the surface in a septic tank. Let me explain the epic failure of your liberal logic here: 100,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war so far. When 1,400 die because of the use of chemical weapons, Obama and people like yourself suddenly now get your panties in a wad? You need to grab your moral compass so it stops spinning so wildly. But dropping bombs and killing more people will suddenly make the problem go away? Please seek professional help, you need it.