Peggy Noonan, who can be very good, talks about how Obama got us into this mess and the contortions in which he engage to save face.
Peter Wehner talks about just how bad this mess really is, even with Putin having given Obama an out.
A Politico article about the debacle in Washington and the apathy on American streets.
Jonah Goldberg brings his wry wit to the great communicator’s disastrous communication about Syria.
All I can think of is Hitler playing Neville Chamberlain. After that humiliating debacle, England managed to make a wonderful showing during WWII. Since then, however, she’s been a broken country, both morally and economically. In other words, she never recovered from Chamberlain’s naive inability to stop Hitler when it would still have made a difference.
While I’m waffling on about Syria, I’d like to excuse myself of hypocrisy when it comes to not wanting the war in Syria, while supporting the war in Iraq.
First of all, I wasn’t that interested in politics during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I didn’t have much of a position going in. Once we were in, though, I said what I’m saying now: Just showing up at a war is not enough. Instead, merely showing up without planning to win is terribly dangerous. Once in a war, you fight to win. If you don’t win, you’ve lost. It’s that binary. Kerry’s statement that any American action would be “unbelievably small” reveals what a disaster we were headed to. There is no “unbelievably small.” There is just win or lose. Bush may have underestimated Iraqi resistance, but his “shock and awe” approach had the right idea — you fight to win, especially in Arab lands, where the population is always drawn to the strong horse and willing to savage the weak horse.
Second, had I been more interested in the lead-up to the war in Iraq, I guess I would have felt that the proximity to 9/11 made a difference. From the beginning, Bush argued that Iraq was a direct threat to the United States. Whether that argument was correct is irrelevant here. That was the argument made, based upon the best available information about chemical weapons, Hussein’s known animosity to the United States, and his support for terrorism and terrorists. In the case of Syria, Obama hasn’t even tried to argue that the situation in Syria puts America at risk. Instead, he’s using the “responsibility to protect” doctrine that’s the brainchild of anti-semite Samantha Powers to say that Syria presents the only time America ever should go to war: when it’s a purely altruistic act that sees her expending blood and money without any benefit to the United States.
Third, Iraq was a population under a dictator’s heel. Bush bet — and correctly — that many Iraqi’s would see America as a liberator, not a conqueror. We were the good guys, fighting on behalf of the Iraqi people against the bad guy and his administration. In Syria, Obama is trying to drop America into one of the bloodiest civil wars in our lifetimes. Both sides are equally barbaric, unprincipled, immoral, and steeped in hatred for America. No good can come of sending American money and, as Obama’s mission creep illustrated, American troops into this bloodbath.
Fourth, I trusted Bush and I thought his advisers were intelligent men. Obama is a liar on a heroic scale, so I reflexively disbelieve everything that comes out of his mouth. Add to that the fact that he has assembled a collection of hacks, buffoons, racists, and antisemites to advise him, and that he pretty much refuses to talk to people with military expertise, and you can see that I don’t want to follow him into battle. Nor do I want America to follow him into battle.
Please feel free to call me on this (politely, of course), or to offer further distinctions between Then and Now.