‘In voting to authorize force against Syria, Congress will be hoping for a short and inconsequential war; Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, however, will all get to vote on what kind of war we actually have.’
Worth a read.
There is a very strong current of isolationism and war-weariness in American life right now. Public opinion is really not in favor of a war. Combine this with a deep and general mistrust of our elected officials as well, and Obama’s managed to split the difference and unite many anti-war progressive democrats and usually more pro-war Republicans stronger on national defense against involvement in Syria.
That’s quite a feat.
His domestic base must feel he’s turned on them, because after all, the civil rights crowd, the 60’s idealists, the progressives, the anti-war movement and the peaceniks, the human rights crowd etc. are not overtly interested in a war (where are the protests?). There is, however, a group of liberal internationalist realpolitikers, liberal hawks, realists and a more general group of established policymakers who realize how serious the stakes are, especially with the use of chemical weapons on the line.
Those on the right that I’ve spoken with pretty much don’t trust the President at all. After all, they’re pretty much bitter clingers to him, assaulted daily as he’s politicking against them, sometimes in bad faith. As with the liberal interventionists though, there are establishment Republicans, realists, and others who may not like having the military be guided by Obama nor his ideals, but also realize how much is at stake, and see the end game with Iran very much in play.
A pretty damned good overview of Syria for the non-initiated, including what’s been going on since 2011 and the backstory at the thehowardbealeshow. Recommended. Really.
A liberal managerial difference-splitter with a further Left base? Who is this guy, and what assurance do we have that he’ll do what’s necessary to define a mission, and see a war through?
He couldn’t possibly still be thinking he’s read the Arab Spring correctly, could he?
Addition: James Taranto:
‘This column favors military action against Syria if it is backed by a strategic purpose and resolute leadership. But Obama, Kerry and McCain all come across as desperate men who feel they have something to prove. That emotional state is a further reason to be cautious about entrusting them with lethal weapons.’
Bonus: We’ve always had to take sides, especially during the Cold War:
Addition: Should we now?
Addition: Foreign Affairs has good coverage. What are our options?
Related On This Site: …From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’
Michael Totten’s piece that revisits a Robert Kaplan piece from 1993, which is prescient: “A Writhing Ghost Of A Would-Be Nation”. It was always a patchwork of minority tribes, remnants of the Ottoman Empire
Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’…Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill
Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’…Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’…Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others…