Obama found out this last week that just setting a foreign policy isn’t the same as carrying it out. Obama long ago said that use of chemical weapons by Syria would be a “red line” – and then he did precisely nothing to garner domestic and international support for a course of action should Syria cross that red line. When it became alleged that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons (something I’m not at all convinced about – though, of course, the rat bastards who govern Syria are fully capable of such savagery), Obama found himself all alone. After blustering a bit about how we can go it alone and he doesn’t need Congressional authorization, Obama backed down – and passed the buck to Congress.
On the left this is being lauded as a brilliant move – it puts the onus, so it is claimed, on Congress. The idea is that Congress must authorize action – thus getting Obama off the hook for taking an ill-advised action – or bear the blame for refusing to act while Syria’s government murders children with poison gas (amazing how our liberals will still say its all “for the children” while they continue to back abortion which kills millions of children). In the liberal mind, either way this works out for Obama – we’ll either get the military action and Obama is a hero, or the Congress will look like heartless bastards, and the Democrats will put full blame on the GOP for being the leading heartless bastards. I don’t see it that way.
What Obama is asking for is permission to pointlessly lob a few missiles at sites which will be long-since cleared out of valuable targets by the time we act. Such strikes will not alter the course of the Syrian civil war, they will not stop the Syrian government from using chemical weapons and, indeed, will probably encourage further use (nothing encourages aggressors more than a weak response to aggression) and such strikes will do nothing to convince the world that America is a power to be feared. I’d rather take the alleged heat for being a heartless bastard for not acting than bear the odium of participating in a perfectly useless action. The Congressional GOP should vote this down.
If we vote for anything it should be an act which instructs the President to seek an international coalition for dealing with the Syrian crisis with a mind towards thwarting Iranian and al-Qaeda aims in Syria. In short, pass a resolution which calls for a rational foreign policy. In this resolution should be a general authority to use force in defense of the United States and our allies. Throw the ball right back in Obama’s court – he’s the one who made this foreign policy failure, and he should be stuck with trying to clean it up.
UPDATE: The case for war is made here – astonishingly at First Things, usually a place where first-rate thinking is displayed. You can read it, if you like, but the nutshell is that we’d better get a-killing Syrians lest President Obama be shown to be completely ineffectual. Heretofore, I had always rated The War of Jenkin’s Ear to be the most misbegotten war in human history, but this would displace it: we’re to go to war to make the world safe for poltroonery. Because Obama is afraid to lead and at his wit’s end (its a short walk, under the best of circumstances), we’re to send our best and bravest out to kill Syrians in an effort which is to be geared merely to avoid global mockery of Obama.