Filed under: Election 2014, Foreign Policy, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Progressivism, The United States | Tags: Bashar al Assad, The Use of Nerve Gas, What to Do About Syria
On Saturday, President Obama spoke briefly to reporters, in the Rose Garden, about his decision to strike militarily at Syria in response the their gassing of 1500 Syrians and women and children, and to request authorization from Congress — then headed for the golf course.
Congress has no plans to cut short their 30 day vacation, the president did not call lawmakers back into session. No urgency. Military assets are in place, and ready for him to take action any time, no rush.
At the Washington Times, Joseph Curl says:
The first rule for President Obama: It’s all about 2014. The second rule for President Obama: See Rule No. 1.
Make no mistake: The president couldn’t care less about the plight of Syrians, the 1,500 gassed to death — including nearly 500 children. It’s all about 2014. Win the House, reign supreme. …
The conventional wisdom is, as usual, wrong. Losing the congressional vote won’t be an embarrassment for the president, as all the talking heads are still parroting. A loss would be a double win. First, because a “No” vote would allow the foreign policy neophyte to walk away from his blundering “red line” declaration on chemical weapons (“I wanted to go in, but Congress said no”). And second, should Republicans who voted for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now oppose Syria, the president would be armed with clear “evidence” that their opposition is purely political.
Victor Davis Hanson says that “Obama Indicts Obama:”
One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy.
The hypocrisy is so stunning that it infuriates his critics and stuns his supporters.
Deriding the Iraq war was Obama’s signature selling point. He used it to great effect against both Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war) in the Democratic primaries and John McCain in the general election. For the last five years, disparagement of “Iraq” and “Bush” has seemed to intrude into almost every sentence the president utters.
And now? His sudden pro-war stance makes a number of hypocritical assumptions. First, the U.S. president can attack a sovereign nation without authorization from Congress (unlike the Iraq war when George W. Bush obtained authorization from both houses of Congress). Even if Obama gets a no vote, he said that he reserves the right to strike.
At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin points out that “Obama’s politicizing national security:”
Democrats routinely accused President George W. Bush of “politicizing” national security, meaning that he allegedly would use national security success to bolster his political standing. Not only has President Obama exceeded that by leaps and bounds, by continually boasting about killing Osama bin Laden (and setting al-Qaeda back on its heels), but he has dragged domestic partisanship into national security. That is far more dangerous and inappropriate than anything Bush ever imagined.
Three important pieces for understanding the case of Syria. Is it a humanitarian necessity, a political ploy or simply about the 2014 election? Obama may be trying casually to trap Republicans and make them look bad, but if so how can you put American lives at risk?
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