With so many idiotic opinion pieces, penned by “experts” no less, hitting the presses, it’s difficult to choose where to begin commenting. Frederick Kagan, son of famous historian Donald Kagan, brother of Robert Kagan, brother-in-law of snarky Clinton State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland and husband of Kimberly Kagan, who heads the Institute for the Study of War (source of much of Syrian resistance “facts” swirling about) seems like a good choice. Frederick Kagan offers his expertise in a laughably titled Washington Post piece, “On Syria, a weak strike is better than none”. The title pretty much serves as a leitmotif for the leading-from-behind President. Yes, I admit it, I laughed at the idiocy of some “military expert” proposing that a “weak” response is better than none. What a clown!!! He fits perfectly with this President and bunch of fools. He rambles on about the morale of the Syrian resistance:
“Especially after this lengthy buildup and public debate, Syrian rebels and their supporters would view a U.S. failure to act as abandonment of their cause. In particular, the moderate Syrian opposition, which relies on support from the United States and its allies, would be devastated.”
Does this man realize that our military’s credibility and morale would be severely damaged by a half-assed, lame strike? We are still reaping the results of the “no boots on the ground” wimping out mentality from the Clinton years, which emboldened Al Qaeda and our adversaries since the 1990s. Lobbing some missiles to no real strategic purpose serves no purpose and unless you’re prepared to respond to the repercussions of a strike, you had better not start something you don’t have the guts to finish. Other people get to play their hand too when we start lobbing missiles outside our borders. Truly, does anyone believe this waffler in the White House will be able to act swiftly and forcefully if presented with an unforeseen challenge if his Syrian “not quite war” gambit blows a bit hotter than he intended? The success or failure of any strategy always relies on the strengths and weaknesses of the commanders in whose hands the plan takes life.
History is full of examples where the side with all the advantages lost, because of poor, indecisive leadership and we have the ultimate in indecisive leadership as our Commander-In-Chief. Yes, I consider him an embarrassment, who makes me wish the founding fathers had separated the roles of President and Commander-In-Chief into two separate offices (an idea considered at that time). In fact, for a long time I have thought we would be better served in a nuclear age with a Commander-In-Chief office, which would be held by a person with the military knowledge, background and expertise commensurate with the responsibility. We had President Clinton lose the nuclear codes for several months (ABC story here) This President’s total cluelessness on military affairs serves to highlight that perhaps a serious consideration of this Constitutional change would be a prudent step toward checking runaway executive power and curtail presidential military adventurism. And it sure would make me feel safer knowing we have someone with some military experience calling the shots and sparing us from some political hacks in the White House formulating half-baked military options.
This man’s wife, Kimberly Kagan, heads the Institute for the Study of War, which has been sending their senior analyst, Elizabeth O’Bagy (aka political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force) all over the TV cable news circuit to convince people that most of the Syrian rebel force is “moderates”. She is aided by GEN Jack Keane, who has, perhaps unwittingly, lent his good name to this Syrian resistance propaganda campaign
This think thank power couple gets paid top dollar for their expertise and several American generals have included them in their strategic planning (no wonder we end up with crap like “winning the hearts and minds of Afghans” as a serious strategic end game). Of course, his buddy, William Kristol, at the Weekly Standard penned a pro-strike piece, called, “The Right Vote“, where he implores Republicans to do the statesmanlike thing and vote “yes” for a strike. Mr. Kristol lambasted Glenn Beck for doubting the Arab Spring meant a new democratic rebirth in the Mid-East and he also embraced the “moderate-new-and-improved” Muslim Brotherhood pipe dream too. One might think that shame or at least reticence about proclaiming your expertise would kick in if every prediction you make about the Arab world turns out wrong, but that doesn’t seem to faze Mr. Kristol or these other punditry wunderkinds. Another one is Clifford May at National Review, whose assessments always turn out 180 degrees from ground truth- he offers, “Assad Must Pay“.
Laugh or cry…….. hard to decide at this point, but I can assure you that America’s credibility with this President bottomed out already, so whatever he decides will just bury him (and us) further. He isn’t even contemplating any sort of military action that could effectively achieve a true strategic objective that would improve America’s or his own image. He’s tossing around mushy milktoast, strategically short-sighted objectives, which will only further embolden our adversaries in the world. And, I, for one, don’t really want any parts of having the French covering my back and Gulf State Arab shieks bankrolling my country’s military actions. If this is the “coalition of the willing”, I choose to pass on this adventure.