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With a weary heart, I listen to more talk of war...

 Given the drivel that has dribbled from our Betters in Washington this last week in re Syria... where the long, slow slide to yet another adventure militant seems to be gathering steam...

As the Nobel Peace Prize holder is seemingly ready to send my brothers and sisters into a new breach, I quote a DWEM, a Dead White European Male (a group long held in contempt in academic circles) who knew something of war.

“No one starts a war--or rather, no one in his sense ought to do so--without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by the war and how he intends to conduct it.” ― Carl von Clausewitz

Jut sayin'

And remember - I was against Iraq, so don't blow smoke up my ass regarding hypocrisy if you don't know any better than that.  Don't make assumptions from the blog's graphics.

24 Comments

 I'm just glad he punted this to Congress.  It's as close as BO will ever get to admitting he made a mistake.
 
 A weak try to pull his chestnuts out of the fire. Would that he had some. Sigh.
 
About the only card he had left, really. Congress will disapprove and Bammer can say "See? I tried! I are a manly man...!"
 
The poser is caught but will no doubt slip out the mess he has casued himself.  I wonder how small Putin will make him seem this week at the G-20 meeting?  Note he will be out of town if Congress decides to consider this prior to Christmas.
 
 I was against Iraq, as many old cold warriors were. I was for Trashcanistan until they nailed Osama, now we need to get out. We need to come home and secure our borders and prohibit anymore of Mohammed's spiritual git from entering and expel any who are here that even look cross-eyed at us.

The chances of any of this happening? About as close to zero as you can get. I think the contry has gone insane politically.
 
So the next question is how strong is the stupid in congress.  Hopefully, not strong enough to continue down this path.  Write to your reps, everyone.
 
"Shut UP!," they explained...
 
JimC, Puti won't have to do a thing. I'd bet you dollars to donuts that the Syrian army is moving military equipment out of buildings they know are going to be hit and backloading them with school supplies, medical supplies and civilian manufacturing equipment. After the air strikes, they'll send out pictures of the schools, hospitals, and innocent factories we blew up. Same as they did to Bubba with the baby formula factory.
 
Any chance that the the sabre-rattling and the delay that may accompany waiting for Congress to reconvene will have the effect of causing dispersal of Syrian forces and change battlefield dynamics?  I concur that POTUS has made a bad situation worse, and might be looking for a face-saving way out of all of this.  That said, any chance there might be some limited benefit from having the Assad side looking over its shoulder for days on end? 
 
OBAMA WILL BE CRUSHING HIS ANTI-WAR POSITION completely, if he goes to war, or makes a military strike, on Syria. By Syria, I mean Syria's president + government + military. Most of his anti-war supporters will look like dupes too, if he makes  military strikes on Syria.

 Reason being: for the past 10 years, Obama + most of his anti-war Democrats have said:

 It is not a good enough reason for Pres. George W. Bush to start the War in Iraq, or do a strike on Saddam Hussein's Iraq, for Hussein's using deadly chemical weapons on his own people, and  Hussein's weapons attacks killing 50,000-100,000 in Iraq.

 Now,  a lot of the same Obama-supporting people don't say anything about Obama wanting to do military strikes to stop killings with chemical weapons.
 
 So, Obama says he [must] do a military strike on Syria, because Syria's President  killed a number of his own people, in the War in Syria.

 If Obama does any military attack on Syria, for Syria's government killing people with chemical weapons, Obama will be justifying George W. Bush's going to war in The War in Iraq, for Bush using the sole reason of: we must do military strikes/do a war to overthrow Hussein, for Hussein's killing people with chemical weapons.

 You can't be both for, and against, getting the U.S. into a war: to stop a Middle Eastern president from using killing civilians with deadly chemical weapons.

 I doubt that many of Obama's supporters will own up to that, but if Obama makes a strike for this reason, then the argument by people on the street will be like this:

 First talker: In 2013: USA going to war against Syria to stop Chemical weapons attacks on civilians = JUSTIFIED.

 Second talker: If that is true, then: In 2003, USA going to war against Iraq to stop Hussein's doing chemical weapons attacks on civilians = JUSTIFIED.

You have to be [for entering both of the wars], or [against entering both of the wars], in order to take a stand on doing these two [cases of] military strikes to stop chemical weapons attacks. You can't be for, and against, this tactic.


 
I admit my position has changed over the years, I originally thought going into Iraq was a good idea, although the implementation was bad. Now I think it was a bad idea from the get-go and going into Syria would be worse. For some reason I feel like Charlton Heston at the end of the original Planet of the Apes.
 
TR, I going to rain on your parade and advance a line of thinking that I wish I had been quick thinking enough (gutsy enough?) to mention in an ethics class a few years ago when my professor mentioned (probably stated categorically, if I recall correctly) that invading Iraq was immoral.
I would argue that invading Iraq was different from a possible attack on Syria in a few ways. Chiefly, we had never stopped being at war with Iraq from 1991--de facto; and it would have much better if Congress had have declared war on Iraq in 1990 or 1991. Then perhaps the legal status of the 2003 invasion would have been clearer, for one thing.
I would argue that we had a de facto state of siege around Iraq by means of the northern and southern no fly zones and the fairly strict (in theory) embargo on their trade. Recall, please, that there were shooting incidents in which Iraqi forces fired on patrolling Air Force or Navy (or coalition) aircraft and to which we responded with deadly force.
Furthermore, recall the monthly, if not weekly, news stories of the dire conditions inside Iraq for the civilians that depicted the shortages of necessities such as medicine, medical supplies, and fresh food. Recall that civilians always suffer in a siege.
Now, I am not suggesting that a country cannot be besieged to the extent a city could be-but, perhaps the dire conditions in Germany before the end of both world wars would suggest one could. I do not believe that things had reached anything like that state in Iraq. I am certain (without having proof in my hands) that there was a large amount of distortion in the news reports, but there was most likely some grain of truth in them.
I simply use the embargo and the no fly zones to say that things between the US (and its allies) and Iraq were not peaceful prior to our invasion of Iraq. I would have to turn my head a certain way and squint to say that our invasion was akin to an assault on a besieged city during the Hundred's Years War--a coup de grace, a certain mercy, although for the Kurds it may have been a relief.
As for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, this article from 2008 on MSNBC tells of the removal of old (prior to 1991) yellow cake (low concentration) uranium (oxide?): http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25546334/page/1/. More importantly, I think President Bush honestly believed that Iraq had one or more weapons programs. You see, I trusted him, which is probably the case for President Obama's supporters; they trust him.
Mostly, I'm just getting the aforesaid off my chest. I ain't saying by any means that I think that attacking Syria is a good idea. The current government isn't our friend; but would the people who would replace them be our friends? Admittedly, that is a simplistic criteria for determining if the US should attack Syria, but I think it's a good place to start. And yes, this is too long; thanks for sticking through it.
 
May I commend to your attention Laughing Wolf's post at Blackfive entitled "Cascade Effects": http://www.blackfive.net/main/2013/08/cascade-effects.html.
 
Hi CCO,

 Nope, I don't feel like you rained on my parade. I also think you have some good points in your post.

 I, personally,  feel that Obama is grabbing this "chemical weapons attack must be stopped" idea, because, long, long ago, he saw a terrible war in Syria + then bragged to the press something like: If the war gets too bad, such as if Syria's government starts using chemical weapons, then I will have to *insert a big egotistical swagger, swagger*... DO SOMETHING!

 Well, now that chemical weapons have been used, he has to do his promised "something", which sounds like it will be missile attacks, which no one knows will be enough to stop Assad, or even help Syria's people, or the USA, at all.

 Best of luck, during the [possible] missle attack, and after that, everyone. Incidentally, by everyone, I mean Syria, the USA, + the world's population. Good luck everyone.


 
 In a crisis, you hear everybody say "Don't just stand there,  DO SOMETHING!"  Really, what we need to hear is this, "DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING, stand there!" First, do your homework. What do we know, for sure, about either side? I think, in my view, it is their strategy to keep us involved in the Greater Middle East. We are looking at a war without end. Can we afford such a move?  What are the consequences? No smoke!

 
Valerie wrote "It's as close as BO will ever get to admitting he made a mistake. " 

I don't think so.  The best explanation I've heard for this about-face is that somebody pointed out that asking Congress for authorization is a way of passing the back and again giving himself an escape route.  If Congress votes yes, he gets what he wants and gets to look noble and powerful and leaderish.  If Congress votes no, he can make them the heavies. 

Armorer: I've picked up many bits and pieces of wisdom via Clausewitz quotes.  One of these days I have really got to make time to read all of On War.

Also, Donald Sensing points out that if Congress votes no and Barry orders a strike anyway, and the military obeys, then that rips a giant hole in the Constitution.  See http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2013/08/is-obama-setting-up-two-prong.html

Your thoughts?



 
I hope congress votes to authorize so King O will have to fish or cut bait.
 
Does anyone think it MIGHT make a difference who actually USED the chemical weapons in Syria?

http://www.examiner.com/article/syrian-rebels-admit-to-being-behind-chemical-weapons-attack
 
Mike47--Good goubly moubly; it should!
 
Mike47: looks like we gots ourselfs a real live example of "the fog of war:"

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/425981/Senior-Syrian-military-chiefs-tell-captain-fire-chemicals-or-be-shot

Damned if I know what to believe.

 
This is beginning to look like BOTH sides had access to the chemical weapons, and both sides may have used them.  If this be true, shooting at either side or both accomplishes nothing toward securing the weapons and resoring the peace.  I doubt this is in anyone's playbook.
 
Yah, the principles of war. The principle of The Objective is the most important one, and the most-often ignored.   Or, "Just exactly why are we fighting now, and what advantage will we gain from doing so?"

I blame Teh Wimminz, of course, as this seems like a classic case of "Let's you and him fight!"  (Jtg runss away, ducking and jinking and dodging fire)
 
JimC, imagine an arm-wrestling match between Vlad and Barry.  And then weep for The Republic.
 
This debate will go on for millennia, as will the war. How should we deal with it? Yes, Congress should debate our future in Syria. This debate should have all members present and voting, "Up or Down. This should not be a rubberstamp for Obama. We should take the "War Powers Act" and repeal it in no expansion of the powers of the President or Vice-President. We must remember that their powers were established in the Constitution of the United States, a document of war. Limited powers to be exercised in an event like 9/11, but a full "Declaration of War" would be required to continue. We would need to deal with the financial issues, either by selling bonds or raising taxes. Let's not make warfare our first choice. The civilian public needs to get involved with the sacrifices of war on both the short term and the long term viewpoints. I know this will not be popular among this crowd because all of us have sacrificed, already.