The Syrian Shell Game

If you listened to what President Obama said last night without analyzing his statements, it sounded pretty good and reasonable.  Leave it to Chris Matthews to put it into perspective.  In essence, it is our job to stop Assad from killing his own people by US (meaning both “us” and the US) killing more of his own people. Bombs and missiles don’t hit their targets 100% of the time.  Bombs and missiles fall on innocent men, women, and children who have nothing to do with civil war and chemical warfare. This creates what is called collateral damage.  You know the videos of dead children and others Obama urged us to watch online last night? Matthews was correct in saying that after the bombs and missiles fall, the Assad regime will be posting videos of the dead bodies of all civilians who we killed with our errant armament.  How humanitarian will we look to the world then? How pissed off and frantic will the surviving, grieving Syrians be when they think that EVERYONE in the world is dropping bombs and missiles on them, that no one will save them, that they are totally and completely alone in their own country and there is not one damn thing they can do about it EXCEPT to fight everyone in the world, including rebels in their own country?

Obama is not the genius many people take him for if he hasn’t thought this through. Or maybe it’s just good ol’ American hubris on his part, perhaps being influenced by the hubris shown by his advisers.  Obama’s been giving bad advice by his financial advisers. No reason not to think the advice from his foreign relations and national security advisers is just as bad.  He’s even pulled out, dusted off, and given a makeover to the old Vietnam Domino Theory. The latest model?  It goes something  like this: “If we don’t stop Assad from using chemical weapons he will continue to use them which will embolden other terrorists and dictators all over the world to use them on their own people, on their enemies, and then finally on us.”

Lastly, Obama says he would hit “military targets”. Oh yeah? Which ones? And Mr. President, please explain how these attacks will prompt Assad to say he’s sorry and that he’ll never do it again.  To get an idea of how complex this whole issue of chemical weapons removal and dismantling of the facilities that make Assad’s chemical weapons cache, go here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/09/11/221337548/lessons-from-libya-on-how-to-destroy-chemical-weapons

People who are simplistic can only understand simple solutions.  This is who Obama is trying to sell his limited strike plan to.  Obama needs to address the entire complexity of the Syrian situation and specify and delineate exactly how and by whom all chemical weapons will be removed and how and by whom all chemical weapons producing factories will be closed down.  Much of Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal is mobile; tracking them all down will be like trying to follow hundreds of shell games—sometimes literally “shell” games. What is Obama’s plan for all of that?

Advertisements