Our flat on our back strategy

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!!!

12 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, Military, Politics

12 responses to “Our flat on our back strategy

  1. amccaig

    Hooaah! Well said.

    Sent from an electronic device

  2. Justin

    I noted your comment over on Diplomad’s site from the other day.

    Elizabeth (Bailey) O’Bagy

    http://ccas.georgetown.edu/story/1242708341083.html

    I’d suggest removing the apostrophe and searching for the surname, Obagy. “The Angry Arab News Service” has this to say, “On Elizabeth O’Bagy (the chief US groupie of the Fee Syrian Army) an American correspondent in the Middle East sent me this: “so what they don’t tell you is that she’s a senior member of the Syrian Emergency Task Force the pro-FSA lobbying group which took mccain to syria and is pushing for intervention, meaning she ’s paid by a pro-FSA group.”

    • Thanks for this information. You’d think that Institute for the Study of War think tank would include this conflict of interest to her objectivity on Syrian affairs and surely as a spokesperson for them on Fox news, it would be pertinent.

      • Justin

        Not necessarily. Remember they’ve got Keane.

        The conflict doesn’t bother me so much as (A Mrs. O’Bagys academic bona fides and “Expert” status – that she suddenly appears with articles only dating back to McCain’s visit & (B The media companies seem unaware “us plain folk” [with some qualifiers] can/know how to Search.

        I left you a reply awhile ago over there. You were nice to me when I first began hanging out there. Just I don’t much like leaving tracks. I have to visit too many sites that nice folks would never.

        You’re welcome to “moderate” this reply into the ether.

  3. Justin

    Replied again.

  4. Justin

    Today, the US admitted that US intelligence did not have intelligence about Syrian Arab Army preparations before the attack on 21 August. That flatly contradicts testimony presented to Congress this week.

    … The alleged incriminating information was reconstructed and converted into evidence of malevolent Syrian intent for the US Congress after the fact. The way that information was presented was at a minimum dishonest.

    http://www.kforcegov.com/Services/IS/NightWatch/NightWatch_13000191.aspx

    • Thanks Justin, I never saw this kforce site before – very interesting:-) Maybe Congress will wise up and vote no. I keep shaking my head in dismay when I see politicians and pundits alike opining about how US credibility is on the line, while the rest of the world long ago decided Obama has no credibility. Starting to lob cruise missiles to save face will only harm our credibility more. There’s no plan to back this, just a lot of wishful thinking that Assad and the rebels will fall in line for a negotiated settlement. Kerry talks about this like it’s a foregone conclusion, when nothing indicates any of the combatants want that.

  5. Thanks Justin, my friend, Gladius Maximus, gets most of the credit, because he read some stuff I wrote and encouraged me to start my own blog. As you can tell, I just speak my mind and don’t feel beholden to any political party. I considered myself Republican and during the Reagan years my political views matured and took shape, but in recent years my politics has veered toward a “none of the above” as far as party politics. If John McCain and Lindsey Graham are the face of the GOP, then I want no parts of it, because their brand of duplicitous, no moral compass brand of politics is as bad as the dems. I’m still learning with this blog, but I’m enjoying writing on a regular basis.

  6. Justin

    LibertyBelle?

    When I initiated commenting here my glance at your sidebar was admittedly cursory, though I did take note of STRATFOR (of which I am a member). I’ve already of course pointed you to NightWatch – whose author John McCreary … well:

    http://www.kforcegov.com/Solutions/IAO/NightWatch/JohnMcCrearysNightWatch.aspx

    & since I’m uncertain whether – but I rather think you likely did – note NW’s homepage:

    http://www.kforcegov.com/Solutions/IAO/NightWatch.aspx

    A couple more links (hope you don’t mind, as I’ve already placed links on Dip’s site for verification as to where my info – *note, I’m extremely careful to only post ‘open-source’ stuff ’cause I don’t wish to “visit” Gitmo) anyway, this first is military/strategy general purpose stuff – the second is primarily Navy specific.

    http://warontherocks.com/

    http://www.informationdissemination.net/

    (When you see articles authored by ‘Galrahn’ he’s a fellow Arkie – who for some time has been doing “security stuff” up in the NE [US]. ‘Galrahn’ being a pseudonym.)

    Hoping to be helpful.

  7. Pingback: Rerun of “Who will defend our castle?” | libertybelle diaries

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