The Brody File has come up with a new word: "Syriacare." Just like Obamacare, it's complicated and a mess and President Obama is pushing a plan that more than half of the country disagrees with it.
Where does The Brody File begin with Syria? This is like a seven-layer cake. There are so many layers to tear through but how about we start with this: Why exactly would we get involved in a conflict when it’s bad guys vs. bad guys? I’m not a rocket scientist but I’m thinking the bad guys are going to win.
Seriously, it’s hard to make the moral argument against Assad when the other bad guys could very well get their grubby hands on Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons. It’s one thing to argue that we’re eradicating evil and effecting positive change for the good. But where is the “knight in shining armor” here exactly?
That’s right. There is none. We could end up doing the “right thing” by striking Assad’s regime of chemical weapons and actually make things a whole lot worse for women, children, and everyone else!
Also, if President Obama is going to make the moral outrage argument, where was the call to action over a year ago when tens of thousands of Syrians were being brutally murdered by this tyrant? So let me get this straight: killing people with chemical weapons is worse than chopping their heads off one by one?
The last time I checked murder is murder is murder. Yes, Assad broke international “norms” on chemical weapons and that makes this decision difficult for sure. But don’t make the moral argument when it's filled with hypocrisy. That really doesn’t fly.
If you ARE going to make the moral argument, then a stronger case would be for boots on the ground where you decisively take control of the situation. Otherwise, lobbing a couple missiles just leads to organized chaos.
The larger question is this: What is the end game and where does all of this lead? The sad part is that nobody can answer that.
Another thing: This idea that America’s credibility will be severely damaged seems a bit exaggerated. The idea here is that America’s word won’t mean anything. Well, maybe the bad guys in Syria should Google the following names and see how it turned out for them: Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Uday Hussein, Qusay Hussein, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, etc. (the emphasis is on ETC.)
I mean, really please. Does anybody in the world really think America can’t take care of business when we really want to? The problem here is that America doesn’t really want to. Just check out any of the latest polling that shows Americans are NOT for this. The only word given here was by an American president who jumped the gun by speaking too soon.
Look, can we just cut to the chase here. This was a rookie mistake by a president who played the hypothetical, ‘what if” game and created the red line. He will be forced to act because of his own words. But he compounded the problem even further by going in front of the American people to say he has decided that the country must act…BUT I’m going to check with Congress first.
Why did he do that? The prudent political move would have been to go to Congress without formally announcing what you are personally for or against. With a “no vote” coming by Congress, the president has set up a situation where he now has to act against Congress and the will of the American people or not act and contradict himself. Good job. PR and political consulting is available for a fee.
It seems that President Obama was trying to be too cute by half here and is about to get seriously tripped up. I’m sure the political calculation was that the White House was hoping Congress would shoulder a lot of the blame here, too, if they didn’t approve this resolution against Assad (Does anybody really believe that President Obama thought he needed congressional approval?). But it’s not working out that way.
Why? Because the American people don’t want this. And if they don’t want this, then Congress is really just reflecting the will of the people. That’s not a bad thing. That’s democracy in action. This will leave President Obama on an island alone (and with the French for goodness sake). At that point, the ball will be in his court.
As Shakespeare might say, “To strike or not strike? That is the question.” At that point, after a “no vote” from Congress, whatever his answer is he will have already lost the political war.
So Obama’s answer may very well be to attack Syria with the blessing of the French, Saudis, and a few others…just not the American people.
That’s not a good place to be politically or really, for our country.