Back in June I wrote a blog post about John McCain’s Arab democracy projects (The GOP policy maverick rides again unfortunately) where I mentioned:
“It’s way past time for the GOP to take away the megaphones from John McCain and Lindsey Graham. They spend more time being simultaneously for and against issues than John Kerry and that sure takes policy acrobatics to a whole new level. These two relish all the media attention and they hog the media spotlight to such an extent that President Obama gets a pass on these policy debacles, because Graham and McCain so generously stamp the GOP seal of approval all over these foreign policy disasters.”
I could lay claim to being psychic, but many others wrote about this same topic and in my June post I cited an Andrew McCarthy piece titled, “Syria: John McCain’s Next Libya“, it’s definitely worth your time to read this months’ old article, because it’s highlights, in McCarthy’s richly derisive prose, just how clueless John McCain really is on understanding the Arab world. Here’s the first few lines to give you a taste for what you’re in store for in his piece:
“Did you catch Senator John McCain’s much-heralded (by Senator McCain) trip to the Syrian civil war — by way of our NATO ally Turkey, the lifeline of the Hamas terrorist organization? Yeah, Senator McCain blew into town to prove that all of us dissenters from his latest adventure in “Democracy, Sharia Style” are wacko birds. Surely, the Forward March of Freedom can work just as well in Damascus as it has in Benghazi, Cairo, Baghdad, and Kabul.”
Time fluttered by and here we are months later and John McCain and Lindsey Graham stand ready to yank the blanket of responsibility out of President Obama’s hands. They will use it to smother any flames of resistance in the GOP ranks, like those pesky firebrands in the Tea Party ranks. Once again the GOP charges forth to allow this inept, Gumby President of ours to mold himself out of his own story and let the GOP take the fall when this Syria intervention ends up like all of his other foreign policy interventions. The British paper, The Independent, offered a special report on Libya yesterday: “Special report: We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin” (full story here). Quite the McCain/Obama success story there, maybe someone should ask them about that during these Syria deliberations.
Then we come to the humanitarian crowd, who lament that we have to step in when unconventional weaponry is used, because we must do something when people are gassed. No where in the Constitution does it state we must intervene in another country’s civil war. And for the historically-challenged, right at our country’s founding we had just such a foreign challenge and the likes of Thomas Jefferson wanted us to jump right in and help the French free themselves from the shackles of an oppressive monarch. Cooler heads, like George Washington, cautioned against getting embroiled in another country’s internal affairs. And as history showed, the French Revolution turned into a bloody, out-of-control mess where mindless murderous rampages took hold and we sure were better off not getting entangled in that debacle. And the bloody French Revolution did not lead to a better government for the French people. It led to Napoleon Bonaparte grasping the reins of power and embroiling the entire European continent and North Africa in a decades long war.
Saying we need to do something sometimes sets us on a worse course than if we hadn’t done anything at all. Throwing more weaponry into the mix escalates a conflict and it almost always provokes more responses. You had better be prepared that by attempting to “send a message” you don’t get an RSVP you didn’t plan for. Bill O’Reilly opined on the humanitarian thread last night and yes, Bill, it’s nice to believe we need to set the example, but a Gumby like this President will bend every which way to avoid taking responsibility and he certainly doesn’t have even a drop of courage to react if some other folks don’t like the “message” he’s sending. He is a vain, clueless wimp and all the other leaders who might be concerned with this Syria civil war figured that out long ago. And yet, people keep talking about him like he’s some noble leader because he holds the title of President of the United States. Well, let me point out that sometimes the American people are clueless idiots too and they elected this man to represent them, so when he waffles, dithers, or backs down once again don’t act surprised. I judge every person on personal character – regardless of what title he/she holds and for the Bill O’Reilly’s of the world: his being President isn’t going to improve his character, it only gives him way more power than he is fit to shoulder.
And back to the history lesson, we’re dealing with Arab men here – these are men who live and breath things like family honor and deals are still often done verbally by giving your word. They’re men who judge other men on character weakness or strength. President Obama’s adversaries in the Arab world already decided on his character and even Assad’s kid is calling President Obama a wimp.
An air strike, where the goals are severely limited and no boots on the ground is our “ground rule”, can only fail. Heck, even in Clark’s air war over Bosnia – they used decoy tanks to deceive our pilots and we ended up being laughed at. Once again we are defining the means we will use, before we have clearly defined a strategic mission. First you decide what your strategic objectives are, then you consider the means at your disposal and you decide which of them you will use to achieve your objectives. We get this part screwed up all the time and then we wonder why we end up twisted in endless strategic knots, where we accomplish nothing. Strategy first – state what your short-range, mid-range, long-range goals are. Now how hard is that? After you’ve ironed that out – then you can start defining the scope of your military assets you will employ to achieve these goals. We start cutting off our arms and legs and then we end up flat on our back strategically all the darned time. We have idiots formulating these missions!!!