“Say no to a feckless Syria strike”
Those opposed to a Syrian strike had me at “John McCain and Lindsay Graham think it’s a swell idea!”
Mark Thiessen, WaPo:
The Libyan war gave us the doctrine of “leading from behind.” Now, in Syria, we are about to see the birth of a new Obama Doctrine: military action “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”
That’s how one U.S. official described President Obama’s plans for a strike against the Assad regime. This is far worse than leading from behind. At least in Libya, Obama’s reluctant intervention led to the toppling of the dictator. In Syria, administration officials say their goal is to strike the regime without dramatically altering the country’s balance of power. This is nonsensical. The very purpose of military action is to “alter the balance of power” in a conflict. If that is not your objective, you should not use military power.
So what is Obama’s objective in Syria? In an interview with PBS, Obama said it would be to fire a “shot across the bow” of the Syrian regime. Huh? A “shot across the bow” is a warning shot. It is designed to send a message that a far more devastating response will follow if the target does not alter its behavior. But Obama has already ruled out broader military action. “I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria,” he said last week. “I assure you nobody ends up being more war-weary than me.”
In other words, he’s just planning to blow some stuff up.
Maybe that’s why Obama has not been able to build a coalition to join him in Syria. It seems no one (save the French) wants to participate in an attack “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he sees “no NATO role in an international reaction to the [Syrian] regime.” The British Parliament has rejected the use of force in Syria. None of the Middle Eastern nations seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are backing Obama either, because, as The Post reported this weekend, they are concerned that “limited strikes could actually work in Assad’s favor.”
They are right. When you say that your objective is to do just enough “not to get mocked,” you are projecting weakness — and weakness is provocative.
We’ve discussed this here plenty, but let’s just flesh it out one more time: Obama is a faculty lounge president steeped in leftist “intellectualism” which is, at its base, nothing more than an attempt to control reality by convincing people that all truths are contingent, that they are man-made, and that meaningful consensus is the font from which we must draw our policy prescriptions. That such consensus can be bought, manipulated, and controlled through language, coalition-building, threats of violence, and propaganda — that’s a plus for those who have far too routinely let on how much they admire the Chinese system of government.
Progressives are authoritarians who wish to control what they want us to perceive is still a free country.
Obama is more than just a progressive. He’s an academic leftist and Marxist. And so his ideology is built on the belief that he can control reality elsewhere to the same extent the left has been able to do so here, as we’ve relaxed and let our guard down, comfortable in our standard of living and willing to give in to the demands of interest groups, etc., until at long last we look up and find that we are subjects rather than citizens, controlled by a coalition of manufactured consent — one in which people believe (and have been taught to believe) that they have a “right” to the labor of others. He believes in transnational progressivism, which is no more than the world-march of leftist totalitarianism to be sold and run as an egalitarian Utopia by pampered bureaucrats, its edifice protected by the sting of a million regulatory paper cuts.
The only problem is, sometimes reality fights back, and Obama in this instance is dealing with the inanity of the whole anti-foundationalist, post-structuralist worldview. He can’t manipulate world perception here. He can’t straddle the line and still save face, and thus far, the statements about the planned strike have been, as Thiessen points out, surreal: it is a meta-show of force that everyone knows is a ruse, because it is undercut by the admission that no real force will be used. And all so Obama can show he’s “acted” — that he’s serious, but not necessarily belligerent, that he’s muscular enough that, should he need to, he’d send out additional warning shots before assuring his base that he isn’t interested in regime change.
Either Obama is completely out of his depth — and he has signaled that to the Syrian leadership and other world leaders; or else he is actively interested in aiding the rebels, among whom is insinuated al Qaeda.
Which means that, like in Egypt, Obama seems interested in helping the enemies of the west take over entire countries, presumably under the assumption that he and his fellow progressives can then tame the brutes and keep them as permanent clients, much like they do with minorities here at home.
Typical arrogant failing of the left: they always believe they are more respected, more liked, and more admired then they really are. That’s a danger of creating your own reality: it has a tendency to convince you to believe your own hype, only to learn that the smell of your bullshit — while a few voters missed it — wasn’t lost on reality itself.