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Syria, the lose-lose situation
September 1, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
I marvel at how much President Obama both channeled previous presidents and went a whole new, and scary, way on Saturday with his speech to the Senate about what he’s going to do with Syria.
First off, let me say on a strictly personal level that I’m glad he’s at least waiting to debate/ignore/brow-beat Congress. I’m working the news desk today and I just don’t want the breaking news of cruise missile attacks screwing up my Sunday anymore than it already is.
But seriously, there was a bit of, dare I say it, Dubya in that speech. The parts about not tolerating the actions of despots who would attack their own people and ignore international law sounded absolutely like the whole “war on terror” without saying the words “war on terror.”
And they drew the exact same kind of “What the hell are you thinking” reaction in me that they did when Dubya uttered them. Just where do we draw the line?
And I’ll note that reaction from me came years before realizing that we got sold a bill of goods on a reason to go to war in the first place.
Oh, and the complaints about the U.N. being paralyzed seem to have been uttered in part at least by at least Dubya and maybe both Presidents Bush.
We did not immediately go after Saddam when he gassed his own population in the 1980s. Had he not invaded the sovereign territory of another nation, I venture we’d have stayed out of the Middle East’s biz much beyond support for Israel.
So, do we go after dictators and despots from North Korea to the Western Hemisphere? After all, inhumanity is inhumanity.
And how do we explain all those chemical weapons stockpiled in the U.S. arsenal?
Second, even Dubya waited for an international coalition. The lefties said nobody else was involved in our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it’s hard to deny when the British prince is fighting, isn’t it?
I seem to recall decrying that the U.S. put its forces under U.N. command in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, but at least there was some international involvement.
And I have to say that the GOP line about cruise missiles costing $1 million apiece rings true in a war-weary nation that cannot afford to rebuild all its substandard bridges and water systems.
I know the lefties will read enough of this to go ballistic and the righties will read enough of this to go ballistic, but my point is, neither side has any kind of moral high ground here.
Both sides stink.
Keep the cruise missiles parked and let’s really debate why the U.S. needs to do anything at all. At least with Egypt, there is the strategic interest of the Suez Canal at stake. Syria? Other than some biblical references, it's Syria.
Looking at Census Bureau stats, it looks like tea is the leading Syrian import to the U.S., with some stuff including cotton and artworks as the remaining leaders (over a couple million dollars worth on an annual basis) in 2012. Crude oil? 0. Fuel oil? 0.
There will be terrorists who attack us for doing nothing (the rebels already are decrying Obama's delay) and those who will attack us for doing something.
It’s a veritable lose-lose situation.
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