"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Syria 12-Step Program

So, to sum up:

1. Obama accidentally announces a "redline" in Syria, stating that, if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons against its own people, there will be serious consequences.   Note that he does so in the course of the 2012 presidential campaign, when talking tough made him look good.

2. The Assad regime apparently uses chemical weapons against their own people.

3. Obama ignores for months.   Campaign over, too many tee times.

4. The Assad regime apparently uses chemical weapons again against their own people.   Images of dead bodies on TV gets end-of-summer media attention.   Chemical weapons story of 1,000 dead sells better than 99,000 previous dead in Syrian civil war, machete murders in Darfur, ongoing carnage in Congo, etc.   Gassed children = ratings.

5. Obama feigns outrage and threatens military action.

6. Obama, having campaigned for a decade against George W. Bush on the theory that American unilateral military action is always wrong and even immoral, and that America must always seek UN approval, assemble a broad coalition of allies, get Congressional approval and have the backing of American public opinion before entering into a military conflict (all of which Bush had done, but never mind), now says he doesn't need UN or Congressional approval or allies to act against Syria, and to heck with public opinion because they're just not as smart as he is.

7. Nevertheless, Obama decides at the last moment to seek Congressional approval and to go on six different TV networks and give an Oval Office address to the nation to build support for his position.

8. Congressional approval appears not to be forthcoming.   Polls show Americans are against action in Syria.   Doh!

9. So, on the eve of the vote (and after a G20 summit meeting with Russian majordomo Vladimir Putin), Secretary of State John Kerry "accidentally" floats a trial balloon that, if Syria would give up its chemical weapons to "international inspectors," that might obviate the necessity for military action by America, but that doing so is "impossible."

10. Russia immediately announces that it would be happy to broker a deal with Syria to "give up" its chemical weapons to Russian care.

11. Syria immediately announces that it would be happy to give up its chemical weapons to Russia (since, after all, Russia has been their patron for military hardware for 60 years and is a likely source of their chemical weapons program to begin with). 

12. Obama happily begins his climbdown from Defcon Five and awaits his second Nobel Peace Prize.  The fix is in.   Long live the fixers!

Man, this is not how a serious nation ought to behave.

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