Saturday, August 31, 2013

What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?

Believing it was important to speak to the American people about our forthcoming not-at-all-a-war with Syria at a time when they would be paying maximum attention, President Obama went on tv on the Saturday of a holiday weekend.

In keeping with the Obama administration position that it is “indisputable” that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, he only spent a single sentence on proof, and the level of proof he offered was simply “Our intelligence shows...”

He never spoke about “punishing” Syria, but about “hold[ing] the Assad regime accountable.” He did not explain precisely how bombing a country produces accountability, nor why the Assad regime should be accountable to the United States (and France, I almost forgot about France).

He will ask Congressional authorization, which he totally doesn’t need, because “I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Also... moxie!

He asked a good question: “What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?” What message, indeed, oh wielder of the flying killer robots?

He asked another good question: “If we won’t enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules?” Says the man about to launch unilateral military strikes.

Finally, though, it’s all about the children: “We cannot raise our children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us.” So this is, what, a teachable moment? It’s about teaching our children the importance of cleaning up their rooms when they say they’re going to clean up their rooms?

“But I will ask those who care about the writ of the international community to stand publicly behind our action.” Our unilateral action in support of the writ of the international community, without asking for UN endorsement, because only the United States decides what constitutes the writ of the international community.

“And the American people have the good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in Syria with our military.” The American people can’t find Syria on a map.

“we’re not contemplating putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war.” Is he quoting Lyndon Johnson now?

Always end on a joke: “I ask you, members of Congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment.”

“And we lead with the belief that right makes might -- not the other way around.” But flying killer robots and cruise missiles help too.

(Incidentally, although he said he’s going to Congress for authorization, he didn’t say that, like Cameron, he’ll be bound by that vote).

And now, all over America, Republican congresscritters are preparing statements linking authorization to the repeal of Obamacare. Oh, you know they are.

Don't see comments? Click on the post title to view or post comments.


  1. The Nobel Committee made a good choice for the Peace Prize didn't they!

  2. Dick Cheney?