You were wondering when it would finally happen. Your heart raced when Secretary Kerry or WH Press Agent Jay Carney mentioned Syria. Your palms sweat even when the president denies involvement.
Well, liberal humanitarians and conservative imperalists, let us rally around the Stars and Stripes on our beloved Flag Day!
President Obama authorized direct U.S. military support to the Free Syrian Army yesterday after concluding that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own subjects:
“The president has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser. Rhodes said U.S. intelligence had determined with “high certainty” that Syrian government forces have “used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”
The United States will probably provide munitions, rifles, and other basic military supplies immediately, before coordinating further with Britain, France, and Russia at the G-8 conference in Northern Ireland next week. Mind you, we are engaging with these brutal rebels 25 months after the fighting began.
Does President Obama recall that we lost an ambassador on 9/11 because of such intervention, despite our position “behind” France and Britain?
That doesn’t seem to bother the ones itching for Syrian invasion; those who perceive America as the last great hope for papering over tribal differences with the Constitution.
Of course, the rebels can’t do too much with more arms and ammo; they want and probably need heavy arms, such as anti-aircraft missiles, to balance the sides:
Initial consignments are expected to consist of small arms and ammunition, which the rebel Free Syrian Army said on Friday would be largely “meaningless.” The Syrian Opposition Coalition called for “strategic and decisive” support.
This expert said it best for me:
“Supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels could get pretty messy and pretty weird,” said Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel. “There are hardly any secular democratic fighters on the ground anymore,” Spyer said.
Ah. This move is a component of a general preparation for the peace summit in Geneva next month coordinated with Russia; we need to balance Putin’s power as he threatens to sell air defense missiles to President Assad. Russia’s subsequent criticism of our redline policy as “unconvincing” displays this subtle diplomatic match further.
Okay, so what’s our game plan? Keep the peace? Regime change? Blow up the nerve gas and bolt? Or perhaps preventing our weapons from reaching radical Muslims, which could easily become a full-time job?
I don’t have to explain that we don’t have an exit strategy; our leaders never had one when we declared war on terror. Some liberals are willing to advance despite this: Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic describes the exit strategy argument as “demagoguery masquerading as prudence.”
The most ominous consequence of this president’s gradualist ambiguity in foreign policy is the tragedy in Benghazi. With the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens in our minds, let us demand a realistic reason for this imprudent maneuvering into a snake’s den.