Cold Fury

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Slouching towards Armageddon

Saturday Syria Steyn:

I see the Obama “reset” is going so swimmingly that the president is now threatening to go to war against a dictator who gassed his own people. Don’t worry, this isn’t anything like the dictator who gassed his own people that the discredited warmonger Bush spent 2002 and early 2003 staggering ever more punchily around the country inveighing against. The 2003 dictator who gassed his own people was the leader of the Baath Party of Iraq. The 2013 dictator who gassed his own people is the leader of the Baath Party of Syria. Whole other ball of wax. The administration’s ingenious plan is to lose this war in far less time than we usually take. In the unimprovable formulation of an unnamed official speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the White House is carefully calibrating a military action “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

The problem with the American way of war is that, technologically, it can’t lose, but, in every other sense, it can’t win. No one in his right mind wants to get into a tank battle or a naval bombardment with the guys responsible for over 40 percent of the planet’s military expenditures. Which is why these days there aren’t a lot of tank battles. The consummate interventionist Robert Kagan wrote in his recent book that the American military “remains unmatched.” It’s unmatched in the sense that the only guy in town with a tennis racket isn’t going to be playing a lot of tennis matches. But the object of war, in Liddell Hart’s famous distillation, is not to destroy the enemy’s tanks (or Russian helicopters) but his will. And on that front America loses, always. The “unmatched” superpower cannot impose its will on Kabul kleptocrats, Pashtun goatherds, Egyptian generals, or Benghazi militia. There is no reason to believe Syria would be an exception to this rule. America’s inability to win ought to be a burning national question, but it’s not even being asked.

Making it even more complicated is that with Syria, we don’t even know what our “will” is. All we really know is that, as usual, pResident Gutsy Call no doubt feels it’s something that we need to be apologizing for.

It does mark another historic first for him, though: this will be the first time the country has been dragged into war merely to keep the Dimwit In Chief from looking bad because he couldn’t stop his big mouth from writing checks his dumb ass couldn’t cash.

Update! Campaigner Barky versus Emperor Barky:

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.

Just one of many such quotes popping up all over from various double-dealing, opportunistic, fork-tongued liberals. And lest we forget:

Remember how Barack Obama was going to unite the world and build coalitions and finally respect the authority of the UN?

Remember how going it alone in matters of war used to be a bad thing, even when you went it alone in a coalition of 40 countries?

Yeah the media doesn’t.

Well, hey, why should they? How does that help them do their job, which is propping up their stumbling, bumbling Dreamy Dreamy Dreamboat?

5 thoughts on “Slouching towards Armageddon

  1. A will towards a goal requires that you know where you are, where you’re going and how you’ll get there. We neither know where we are, where we are going nor how to get there. This is because we no longer know who we were, how we got to be who we are, and, despising both, we have no way forward.

    In my wasted youth I began every school day with the Pledge of Allegiance. During the course of those days I learned about the America that had been. An America that had fought and won a couple of world wars standing against the authoritarianism that threatened that America. We had no doubts about who we were in those days; we had the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to guide us. They were bedrock and foundational.

    The concept of a “living” document has cast the Constitution into a meaningless piece of paper. The Preamble of the Declaration of Independence, which we all had to memorize, has been openly depreciated.

    We fight wars against people and nations, not because of what they are fighting for, but because of how they fight. We cannot win a war against those enemies because they are fighting against the very thing we hate: ourselves.

  2. Here is how I see war;1) If you are not going to fight to win don’t fight 2) If you are not going to occupy the territory and abscond with the resources what is the fucking point ? 3) The dead are dead no matter how it happened, if you do not want dead people do not hold wars. There you go three simple rules for war for morons.

  3. Just for the record. I’ve been hearing a lot about the military and their obligation to disobey orders they believe to be un-Constitutional. The tempest seems to center around the military oath that states “I____will faithfully defend the Constitution…” Well, they have it wrong. Yes those that join the military take an oath and, yes, it requires them to defend and uphold the Constitution….but, it doesn’t stop there. What were you all thinking? Did you think that we could have a military made up of a couple of million individuals running around parsing the Constitution and comparing it to the commands given to them?

    The oath taken by our heros in uniform (NOT sarcasm) goes like this:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/whatsanoath.htm)

    If a member of the military refuses to obey a command issued by their chain of command they will be court-martialed. If they can defend the un-Constitutionality of the order they will be exonerated. The responsibilities of the Congress vice the President are sufficiently blurred that no serviceman is going to risk defending his Constitutional opinion in a courtroom. This point has legs vis-a-vis servicemen and servicewomen and what happened in New Orleans and what may happen again when our leaders decide to disarm another city.

    If this president, or any other, sends the military into battle expect them to go; Congressional fig-leaf or not.

  4. I would like to point out here (among other places) that Reagan had a bigger international coalition going into Grenada than Obama has for going into Syria. Not to mention an exit strategy after winning.

    And what happens if Syria decides to launch a few of those (Russian-supplied) anti-ship missiles at our ships in the Med? (Maybe not right away, but at our ships transiting through Suez, say.) The variant reportedly arriving in Syria has a range of 80-300 km and a 300kg warhead (enough to sink most small-to-medium ships)… (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-800_Oniks )

    Or, perhaps, at Israeli or other “friendly”/neutral shipping, just to prove a point? If he has nothing left to lose, go out with a bang, like Saddam did when he set Kuwaiti oilfields on fire.

    And, just to settle the question, which side are we supposed to be helping – the side that used the chemical weapons against civilians (Assad), or the Muslim Brotherhood?

  5. It’s only dumb if you accept the premise that our ends are the same as Obama’s. They aren’t.

    Our ends are (something like) to live a decent life and provide for our families so the kids’ lives will be improved. Obama’s is to serve the ruling class and get plunder for the cronies and attempt to get idiots to rally ’round the flag and expand government power. Another war is perfect for that. Doesn’t matter who wins.

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