Irony

1933 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Angel...

1933 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Angell on exhibit to the public at the Imperial War Museum, London, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can’t you see
The irony?
Three men of peace:
Opposed the Iraq war
Nobel Peace Prize winner-Obama
Three Purple Hearts in Vietnam-Kerry
Secretary of Defense-Hagel
Now support war in Syria.
Best defense is
A good offense.
Syria is not a game.
Lives are at stake.
Cheney‘s 1% doctrine,
Bad then, worse now,
No longer applicable.
We cannot decide Syria’s fate.
France tried and failed.
Only Syrians can rule Syria.

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Up or down?

United States Capitol Building

United States Capitol Building (Photo credit: Jack’s LOST FILM)

President Obama did the right thing by submitting the Syria question to Congress. Now the question is will Congress do the right thing? I oppose bombing Syria, but beyond this single issue being decided rightly or wrongly, the more important question is can Congress live up to its responsibilities as the third branch of government? Or will Congress continue to live down to its current deserved reputation as dysfunctional? We will soon have a preliminary answer to that question.

Zinni on Syria

General Anthony Zinni, USMC

General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anthony Zinni is a retired US Marine General who was our Commander-in-Chief of CENTCOM in the Middle East from 1997 to 2000. Today he is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. He is also the author of a book entitled, The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpose which I recommend highly. If anyone knows the Middle East and can speak with authority about Syria, it is Tony Zinni. Many have commented on Syria recently and many more will comment in the coming days. Of all the comments I have heard, his make the most sense. He believes that now is a good time for a discussion of America’s future role in the world. Do we want to be the world’s policeman and are we able to fulfill that function?

Some of the reasons for intervening in Syria that I have heard include that it will shorten the civil war in Syria and save lives. I doubt that very much. Others believe that we must intervene so that our enemies will continue to fear us. I don’t buy that argument either. The US must intervene because we said that we would. The US has reneged on proposed and actual treaties in the past and probably will do so again in the future. Our national priorities do change over time.

As I see it, the principal danger of intervening in Syria is that it risks a wider war since both Iran and Russia support the Assad regime. Recently there was a change in leadership in Iran. I think that now may be a good time to improve relations with Iran. Attacking Syria now would destroy that chance for many years to come. Therefore, I oppose military intervention in Syria at this time unless it is a multi-national effort sanctioned by the UN.

ODS

English: President Barack Obama discusses his ...

English: President Barack Obama discusses his plan for health care reform in a speech delivered to a joint session of the 111th United States Congress on September 9, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) is alive and thriving in today’s GOP. Kimberley Strassel writing in the Wall Street Journal criticized President Obama for not going  to Congress before striking Libya and is now criticizing him for seeking approval from Congress before striking Syria. In his book, The Center Holds, Obama and his Enemies, Jonathan Alter blames ODS at the highest levels in the 2012 Romney campaign for Romney’s loss. Essentially the Romney campaign didn’t see the handwriting on the wall.

War crimes and punishment

English: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria . ...

English: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria . Original background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe that the US should seek a UN-sponsored solution to Syria‘s use of chemical weapons. If a trial of Assad is warranted for war crimes, then he should be indicted and tried. If Assad will not surrender to a trial, a UN-authorized raid under US leadership would follow to bring Assad to justice. The raid would be a multi-national version of the raid that killed bin Laden. I realize that a larger raid would be necessary and it could be costly in western lives, but that would be better than lobbing a few cruise missiles at targets in Syria that killed more civilians. After the Assad trial if he is found guilty and is punished, the UN should sponsor a peace conference to which all sides in Syria are invited.