OBAMA'S 'RED LINE' -- EVEN A BROKEN CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY
May 1, 2013
Every once in a while, President Obama does (or doesn't do) something that is prudent for America. Not invading Syria without all the facts is one such prudent decision.
Political metaphors may simplify or symbolize actual or anticipated events but take a toll on political responsibility and sincerity. Throughout history, including the "line in the dirt" challenge of Colonel William Travis in March 1836 at the Alamo, lines have been drawn in the sand as indicators of intentions or actions. Individuals since Julius Caesar, who in January 49 B.C. violated the rule that Roman generals were forbidden to bring their troops into the territory of the Roman Empire and invaded with his army from the area of Gaul, have taken decisive action and crossed the Rubicon.
The most recent metaphor in American politics is the "red line," supposedly a stronger warning than these other metaphors that an action or behavior will not be tolerated. A "line" is more definite and durable than "sand" or the flowing Rubicon, and has an analogy with a geographical line. The present dilemma for President Barack Obama, and to a lesser extent for Hillary Clinton, who in August 2012 similarly spoke of a red line but now is no longer secretary of state, stems from his use of this metaphor on a number occasions regarding Syria.
The problem for Obama is that in August 2012 he unequivocally said the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be a "red line for us.... There would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculus, or calculations, significantly."
Of course one can appreciate, as Obama said to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, that though information has filtered out in Syria, "we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened... I think having the facts before you act is very important." This was clearly a not very subtle reference to the actions of President George W. Bush in justifying the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 because of the information of supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the country, information that turned out to be inaccurate or not corroborated.
It is understandable that no imminent attack is envisaged or that quick military action against Syria is improbable, or perhaps has never been contemplated by Obama. Yet, I see that I am in the Libertarian camp now, of agreeing to not rush into Syria. (Where I differ from Libertarians is that I would only send troops in if there is an imminent threat to the United States - not after the fact).
I personally believe that Obama is not falling for the bait, so to speak. I believe he may have a very good reason in not rushing to act on signs that Syria has used chemical weapons. He is not ready to invade Syria. Plan and simple. The Military Industrial Complex, the United Nations and Globalists near and far are quite possibly livid with the President. After all, war means more money in the pockets of the most powerful.
Obama's prudence shows that he is not wanting to be dragged into a war in which Israel is pulling the strings.
The reason I say this is because shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, he came back to inform the US that Syria's Assad "has used chemical weapons" (siren gas to be exact). So, Obama asked for proof that the siren was used on Assad's enemies. I think Obama is afraid of being dragged into another war. The left is happy with that position, even if it is for a totally different reason.
In the day of the iPhone and the Smartphone, there should be footage that siren gas is being used. There isn't. This would be a big story and someone would have recorded it. I believe we are being lied to and Obama is not falling for it.
As has been exhibited in the past, there are dangerous elements in this world which are trying to drag the United States into another war in another Arab country.
When Saddam Hussein used Siren gas on the Kurd in northern Iraq, there were horrible pictures released to U.S. officials and this was before the iPhone. These photos came out many years after there was a clamoring for George W. Bush's head for supposedly lying about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction but failing to produce any. But this merely reopens a wound from the Iraq war we don't want to deal with.
Obama has said there is a line. We won't get involved until it is crossed. He defined the red line as the use of weapons of mass destruction. This, he said, would be a game changer and would prompt a forceful American response. As of this writing, he doesn't know if they were used, when they were used or how they were used. It is possible that a can of siren fell over in a facility somewhere and it was picked up by satellite photographs.
What is clear is that Israel is trying to pull some strings, and he is being pushed into using American military might by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the leaders from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates as well as the Saudi Foreign Minister. They want to push him into war against Assad. Remember, the only big country that is supporting Assad right now is Russia and Vladimir Putin is saying "Don't you dare invade."
Let's say that Assad did use chemical weapons on its people. Is it the United States' problem? What should we do and why should we do anything? Maybe somebody else should do something.
It is true that Assad is a monster, but so are the rebels fighting him. So which monster would we rather have in power? The monster we know, or Al Qaeda with its large weapon stores and earnest desire to kill Americans.
One thing remains true: If Assad is toppled, Iran is enabled. Iran has almost acquired Iraq, especially since the American presence has left. Iran now wants Syria, and thus the old Persian borders can be restored from the time of the Babylonian invasion in 538 B.C. Only this time, their borders would come complete with heavy weaponry which may include a nuclear arsenal.
It is possible, like so many conservative columnists say, that Obama doesn't care to get involved and as a result his dovishness makes him weak. Maybe the President is placating his far-left base by not wanting to start a war, any war for not purpose whatsoever, even if it makes the most evil of dictators one step closer to having nuclear weapons.
After leaving office, Ronald Reagan stated that "the worst mistake of my presidency was the of his decision to put Marines into the middle of Lebanon's civil war." Why? Because 241 died in a suicide bombing of their barracks. He shouldn't have gotten involved.
Pat Buchanan goes on to note that if Barack Obama plunges into Syria's civil war, it could consume his presidency, even as Iraq consumed the presidency of George W. Bush.
Iran and Russia are aiding Damascus. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are aiding the Islamists. The United States, Jordan and Turkey are aiding the secularists. Syria could come apart, and a sectarian and ethnic war of all against all erupt across the region.
Do we really want the U.S. military in the middle of this?
For now, score one for President Obama. But when the proof comes in, he should consult the American people, and call for aid from other nations in the region and not merely send in troops while England, France, Turkey and our other allies sit on the sidelines and watch.
We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.