I read a couple of days ago that only about nine percent of the American public wants us to get into a war over Syria. Count me in the other 93% on this one. It is easy to say that Americans are tired of war, and we are, but there also seems to be a no plan problem here. How does a Syrian intervention fit into our overall Middle Eastern Strategy? Oh, and by the way, what is out overall Middle Eastern Strategy?
According to Reuters, The United States made clear on Friday that it would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the “brutal and flagrant” chemical weapons attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week. What wasn’t made clear is that any punishing of Bashar al-Assad is really punishing someone else. By killing them, or trying to kill them.
If revenge is a dish best served cold, punishment is a dish best served hot. The longer we wait, the less it seems like there is a connection between what we are doing and what Syria did.
Obama said yesterday that we have to attack Assad, because our credibility is on the line. In other words, he is saying we are going to to destroy stuff in Syria and kill people in Syria for reasons that have nothing to do with Syria. It is now because our credibility is on the line. If our reason becomes about us, it really is not legitimate. The only legitimate reason for bombing Syria is to save Syrian lives and suffering. Bombing to save face isn’t bombing Syria to help its people.
It also seems to me that if we threaten to bomb somebody next time it, it would still be a threat even if we didn’t bomb this time. It still would depend on the circumstances.