Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Red Line Problem

The issues surrounding the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria are intractable.  A he-said-she-said situation.  Some folks say it happened, others say it might not have.  Some say Syrian President Bashar Assad launched the attack, some say it could have been perpetrated by the rebels themselves.  Others go so far as to say that the Obama administration knew in advance that an attack was likely, or perhaps were even complicit in the attack.

The result?  A request for authority to attack Syria now sits in the hands of the congress.

I wouldn't wish this vote on anyone.

Vote for the attack and you may be improving the position of terrorist-aligned forces in the Middle East.  Vote against the attack and Obama is awarded one more issue to use in his persistent claims that the Republican congress is stonewalling the president's policies for partisan reasons.  And this "no" vote would be placed against the supposed murder of some 400 children.

How to escape?

Well, where does the impetus for the use of force originate?

Obama claims we have to respond to the gas attack or else the credibility of the nation is at stake and/or bad actors across the globe will believe they can use chemical weapons without fear of negative consequences from the only military force that matters.

But that isn't quite right.  The issue were in now exists because Obama pulled a remarkably juvenile stunt about a year ago.  A stunt that either demonstrates maniacally evil intent or the extreme naivete of his thinking on foreign policy.

He issued the red line statement.

This was a crucial mistake.

The pronouncement of a red line places the decision-making authority of when we will or will not use the American Military, the greatest military force the world has ever seen, in the hands of two bit dictators or three-bit-dictators-want-to-be.

If Assad gassed his own people, he initiated the use of force by America.

If the rebels forces in Syria used chemical weapons, they initiated the use of force by America.

If the Iranians, or the Russians, or some unknown terrorist offshoot group launched the chemical attack, then they issued the call to arms for America.

And that is ridiculous.  Only the United States decides when, if, and how we use our military.

Congress should vote against this authorization of force.  Obama needs to be held accountable for his misuse of the office of the presidency here.  Let him make the case that he should then go it alone, and set up possible impeachment.  Let him go to the microphones on a national whistle-stop campaign tour and besmirch the Republicans as baby killers.  The left does that yesterday, will do that today, and will do it again tomorrow, not for anything the Republicans have or might do, but just because the GOP is the opposition.

We do not let other nations decide when we go to war.

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