Administration's logic for attacking Syria doesn't hold water

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The possibility of U.S. military involvement in reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons is interesting to study.

I don’t think the discussions are problematic – it’s the support for missile response!

At least the president is allowing discussion instead of unilaterally attacking – so far, at least. That might change if a congressional vote doesn’t go his way.

THE MOTIVATION behind a possible launch of cruise-missile and air attacks against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is bizarre, as are many of the discussions taking place. Below are only a few of the faulty reasons given for an attack, although many more exist:

• Some people want to allow Obama to launch just because they want to support “their president.”

This surprisingly includes Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Many Republicans want to find common ground with Obama because they want to prove they are not racist by agreeing with the president on at least one subject.

I believe it’s in part because they want to show they can agree on something, because they come to a stalemate so often and nothing ever gets done. This lack of movement in Congress is one of the main reasons its approval numbers are so low! And you have to admit, some good ’ol boys are war hawks like McCain. This is a lousy reason to go to war.

• Some believe this president’s claims about a brutal dictator, convinced by the opinions of his experts, his military, his CIA and his Cabinet. Those same people – including Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden and many members of today’s Congress – rallied against the use of our military against a far more brutal dictator in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein’s regime used chemical weapons to kill more than 8,000 innocent men, women and children because of their religious beliefs. Why did these hypocrites oppose war against Iraq? It simply was because they personally hated President George W. Bush, who was in charge at that moment. When the Bush administration gathered worldwide and congressional support to go to war against Iraq, he did so with dozens of international allies.

When the Obama media machine went to work on Assad’s chemical attack victims with hundreds of video and photographic impressions over the recent weeks, it was great journalism in the eyes of those who want to start a war with Syria. When the Bush administration did the same thing regarding Saddam’s gassing of northern Iraq victims, it was called a flagrant and distasteful use of the shock factor. I suppose what is appropriate use of the media depends upon who is president at the time.

This president did not lift a finger to intervene when thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed and injured during a recent African civil war under his watch. Does it make sense that he allowed the casualties because the weapons used were merely guns and machetes? Either we are the world’s protector of the innocent, or we are not.

• Another dilemma is that almost no one who supported the “boots on the ground” war in Iraq and Afghanistan will concede that the United States would be better off if we had not engaged in those conflicts.

THOSE SUPPORTERS refuse to admit this because they think that to do so would somehow dishonor the brave, honorable and excellent service performed by our military. But that argument doesn’t hold water. I maintain a high level of respect and love for our war heroes and the job they performed, even though I now acknowledge that we should have scaled down our attack on those countries.

I believe that, 20 years from now, we’ll still be feeling the repercussions of our hasty entry into the Middle East. Discussions about the worthiness of a particular military conflict should be separated from our admiration and love for our military men and women.

Yet others, especially politicians who supported President Bush in that conflict, do not want to admit they were wrong. Not being able to admit that you erred is a poor trait, particularly for a leader.

How should we have reacted after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001? We should have sent clandestine strike teams under the radar or used proxy contractors to find and kill Osama bin Laden and everyone associated with his movement. Sadly, the left wing of the Democratic Party made such missions against the law back in the 1970s, to retaliate against former President Richard Nixon, whom they also personally hated.

• Finally, any logical reasoning in the arguments for attack fails when you consider that retaliating for the use of chemical weapons will kill more innocent men, women and children than Assad did. Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said the emergency rooms of Syria will be full of innocent children following our attacks, and such scenes will be on television the next day. It might be that Matthews is over his chill-bump stage of love and admiration for our president. Who still remembers when Matthews admitted that hearing the president speak gave him a thrill up his leg?

IN THE END, our failures to achieve the right outcomes from the Middle East by conventional war will continue. We have no business trying to help savage, tribal, developing-world people (some call them Third World) amid their civil wars. Let’s come together as a nation to preserve our military might and our resources for doing what we are pledged to do. We should be concerned primarily with protecting the only peace- and freedom-loving representative republic, First World nation in the area – Israel.

So far all we have accomplished is showing the entire world that our three top leaders are intellectually outflanked by all whom they oppose. We also have shown that our trio of blowhard elites are not very convincing to other world powers.

If we start shooting at Syria, we will be going alone. It is now proved that our president, our vice-president and our secretary of state are unbelievably poor leaders.

(The writer, a Martinez resident, is a former Richmond County Board of Education trustee; 2005 Small Business Person of the Year; owner of six local businesses since 1975; and a nationally recognized business coach.)

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deestafford 09/15/13 - 11:21 am
Much of what is written are good points; however, this

attitude that is starting to prevail more and more that we should not have gone into Iraq is troubling. Some people seem to be forgetting history and the situation at the time.

First off, the Iraq invasion had nothing to do with the Muslim attack on 9/11. It was a carry over from Saddam Hussein not living up to the agreements which we and other partners put into place, and were accepted by him, as part of the cease fire/armistice at the end of Desert Storm.

After his invasion of Kuwait we kicked his butt out of there and we were well on the road to putting an end to him and his reign of terror when George H. W. Bush lost his nerve when the US TV started showing the images of the Iraqi Army getting their butts kicked on the road to Bagdad.

Saddam was shooting at our planes daily in violation of the cease fire he had signed with us plus he had put a $25,000 reward to anyone who carried out a suicide bombing or terrorist attack on US facilities. This doesn't count the gassing of thousands of Kurds and the raping and murdering of Christians and other ethnics in Iraq. He was a mad man who wanted to take control of that region.

Our primary national interests in the Middle East is two fold. First, is to protect the free flow of oil at market prices. Second, it to protect Israel the only democracy in the area. As an aside, it is the only country in the Middle East culturally capable of democratic rule because all the others are Muslim which is incongruent with individual freedom and democratic government.

So, let's not let time change why we went into Iraq. I will grant that after the stunning success of GEN Tommy Frank's initial invasion the Bush administration let political correctness and politics play too much of a part in follow on actions. He should have looked at MacArthur's handling of post-war Japan as an example rather than listening to the squmish who want to "fight gently with limited force".

Darby 09/23/13 - 12:13 am
Jeff - Your column was a bit long and rambling,

but your closing was right on the money.

Our 44th POTUS will not be received well by historians. Not even the more liberal ones.

I'm talking twenty to twenty-five years down the line when affirmative action and liberal guilt are no longer motivating factors.

He'll be right up (down) there with Herbert Hoover, James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce.

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