Monday, September 09, 2013

To Bomb or Not to Bomb

Yes, that is the question (and here my homage to Mr. Shakespeare ends).

Would a strike do any good? Would it send a message to Assad never to use chemical weapons again? How big of a strike will this be? How come the US is the only country willing to do this? Why do we always play world policeman? Why should we?

Those are the questions that come most immediately to mind when I try and figure out if what Obama is proposing is a good idea or not. And I have trouble because I can answer most of the above questions either way.

Will the strike do any good? I guess it depends on how you defend good in this questions. Will it stop the killing? I think that's an easy one. No. It won't stop the killing. But maybe Assad won't use chemical weapons again.

Then again if there are so many restrictions put on what Obama can do militarily the smart thing for Assad to do is just wait it out. Then go back and do exactly what he did in the past.

Many people are tired of the U.S. being the world's policeman. And we will be very much alone in conducting this strike. If chemical weapons are so terrible where is the rest of the world in helping prepare a strike on Syria for what they did.

Then again the rather round about way Obama is going about this operation might not scare anyone. It seems less and less likely that he will get Congress to pass the resolution. Once again Republicans who were for Obama doing something about Syria last year, have changed their minds now that Obama is actually going to do something about Syria. Good to see the Republicans continue to put party first over country.

The speech on Tuesday might be the make or break on this issue. Will it change enough minds in the House is hard to tell. A preview of it was seen on the weekend political shows:

The president’s arguments were previewed Sunday by his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, who used appearances on every major television network to make a case that appeared tailored to soothe skeptical liberals and foreign policy hawks alike — focusing on the human catastrophe of a mass chemical attack as well as the potential fallout for the United States and its allies if Assad goes unpunished.

McDonough referred repeatedly to graphic videos released Saturday showing what officials said was the aftermath of the Syrian poison gas attack in the Damascus suburbs. And he argued that the lack of a U.S. response would strengthen other American foes, including Iran.

This country is tired of war. It sees this strike as a possible way into another one. Obama's job is to convince people that this strike won't lead the United States into another one. He's got a big job ahead him.

It boils down to bomb or not to bomb. I don't think either option is a very good one.

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