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Obama and the Red Queen

September 11th, 2013 - 7:53 am

As the Red Queen once put it, “All have won and all must have prizes.”  As I listen to the debate over What To Do About Syria, it often seems that they’re all right.  They all make sense, from the all-out bombers to the total isolationists.  Those who say we’ve got no dog in the Syrian fight sound right, as do those who say doing nothing would be a disaster for the United States, along with those who say intervention would uphold the standards of civilization, and those who say American intervention risks unleashing even greater barbarism on the poor Syrians, and beyond.

Here are the sensible arguments I hear:

The use of chemical weapons should certainly be punished.  Otherwise, the long-established taboo against the awful things will be proven worthless, and Assad and others will keep using them.  Ergo, it’s right to punish Assad.

On the other hand, punishment might not be good enough.  The Syrian ruler presumably used the chemical weapons because he was afraid of being defeated.  He’d heard about the “red line,” and he did it anyway.  A limited strike that does not threaten Assad’s hold on power is unlikely to convince him to change course.  Ergo, he has to be punished in a big way, so that he learns his lesson.

On the other hand again, a big assault might threaten Assad’s regime.  Suppose he falls.  Will things get better?  Plenty of smart people say that things might very well get worse, because Syria might thereby be brought under the control of radical anti-Western fanatics, including elements of al-Qaeda.

Furthermore, both the Russians and the Iranians, both of whom have a lot invested in Assad’s survival, say they will respond to an attack.  What exactly does that mean?  It’s not altogether clear, but what if an American bomber were shot down by Russian or Iranian forces?  The consequences might be horrific (big war — world war, even?).  Ergo it’s best not to go down THAT road.

Furthermore again, what’s our national interest in the outcome of the war?  We don’t like Assad, but we don’t like a lot of those fighting him, either.  Ergo, it’s best to stay out, then try to sort things out afterwards.

On yet another hand, if we do nothing, it seriously undermines American credibility, and therefore American security.  No future “red line” is likely to deter anyone, anywhere.  Retreat now would encourage Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards to conclude that we won’t do anything in future confrontations.  Specifically, our “red line” on Iranian nukes would be erased.  Ergo we must act, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s strategically necessary.

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Top Rated Comments   
" They don’t need weapons or training; they need political support, probably some money, and good communications gear. "

I don't think I have ever read such an uninformed opinion as quoted above.

The Iranian freedom fighters need massive financial, military and tactical aid. They are facing one of the most well armed and motivated regimes in the world. The freedom fighters CAN win but not with half-hearted or feint hearted support.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michael, Michael, Michael ... How long has Obama been with us and still you do not know him?

What all your arguments, pro and con, leave out of their "calculus" is the leadership of the U.S. and its well known positions on the Middle East. Here are a few:

1) Negotiate with Iran no matter what ... whether fair or foul, the Mullahs must be negotiated with, and never challenged in a powerful way. (The game of sanctions did pinch the Iranian government, but that's about it. They can keep going and going even with these sanctions in place. The sanctions weren't powerful).

2) Support the Muslim Brotherhood and its clones.

3) Condemn and refuse to aid any Muslim group that befouls positions 1) or 2). So the Iranian opposition gets no help, and neither does the Military intervention in Egypt.

This is the way things are. Refactor your arguments so that every time there is a mention of DOING such-and-so, rewrite it so it reads "Obama does such-and-so."

Now how much sense do these pro-military action make?

Correct Answer: None at all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama's mentors past and present had favorite countries.

Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers loved the Communist ones and Valerie Jarrett loved the Puppet Master one and Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said loved another one, and Jeremiah Wright and his buddies at the Nation of Islam loved yet another group of countries.

What NONE of them loved...was America. They weren't "proud" of America and felt it needed to be "transformed" and that enemy actions were "chickens coming home to roost".

We might see this in action if we could ever get our hands on the tape being held hostage by the LA Times...a conspirator after the fact...if not during and before. Certainly there is NO investigative reporting going on about the subject.

We will NEVER attack Iran...directly or indirectly.

We will NEVER attack Russian or Iranian interests with any assertive force.


Therefore, we will make only symbolic gestures toward our real enemies...and deep bows to them as weakling sycophants.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the worldwide Communist collective have this administration's heart. Israel, America and much of the capitalist/democratic West do not.

The Red Queen has a REAL red line. And Obama will not cross it. You read it here first....but you will NOT read it...in the LA Times.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (28)
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All of this "what if THIS!" and "what if THAT" can be simplified if we abandon the treacherous waters of expediency for the solid rock of principle:

Syria is a sovereign nation. We have no legal or moral right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

Problem solved. If, at some point, Syria threatens the U.S., we turn it into a wasteland.

Problem solved.

And not only the Syria problem, but a whole host of problems we have created by messing in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.

We created Saddam, we created Bin Laden, and on and on and on the sad list goes. All because we think we must be meddling, and surely we know better than timeless principles, so we will decided when and where and how much to stick our nose in where it has no business.

Hmmm. "Business."

And how much of this meddling is driven by business concerns rather than legitimate national security issues?

Will we never learn?
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Iran
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only way to destroy Assad without boots on the ground is to commence an all out bombing campaign in Syria. Where do you think that will get us concerning moral authority? To nowhereville and probably an equally heinous assault on us. The militia concept in the US constitution would truly be put to the test. There are too many Americans that are too selfish and self absorbed to convince me that most would defend our country regardless of the risk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As long as folk like Daniel Pipes, and Conrad Black, shed light on the escapades that exact a toll on the credibility of those inside the beltway; fuel is added to the fire to alternatives to the status quo.

Michael, did you notice recently in the National Post, about assets of the Iranian government being identified? There are lawsuits that are proceeding in the courts in Canada & the US, launched by those harmed by the Iranian government. It is a start, and frankly straight talk, and straightforward deeds are the best way to reduce the status quo; which is an overly politicized swamp.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, well, well. Wouldn't you know it. This morning we learned that the Obama Administration eased sanctions on Iran in the hope of reigniting talks on its nuclear program.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Two comments:

1. "Sending messages" is improper use of the military. To send a message, use a telegram. Use the military to defeat the enemy. It is the responsibility of the politicians, who properly control our military, to clearly define who the enemy is--on that score, our politicians have earned the grade of "epic fail."

2. Muslim forces do not fight wars by "international standards." They fight using Islamic standards. They care not one whit about "long established taboos." The only taboo in Islamic warfare is "Muslims lose" (or, the "most pure Muslims lose", in the case of Muslim on Muslim warfare). As for what weapons may or may not be used, the only criterion is this--does the attack advance or impede the spread of Islam? If the former, then chemical weapons are just fine and dandy as far as Muslims are concerned--Allah alone decides who dies and how gruesomely--it is the Mohammedan's job to attack and to keep attacking the infidel by any means. So the strategy to stop chemical weapons use in the Middle East should be based on the following concept--we must make sure that Islam itself is tarred and feathered when the chemical weapons are used by any Muslim force. That association will "tarnish the image" of Islam, which will impede the spread of Islam, and thereby will cause the Muslims to switch to some other means of attack. Of course, they might switch to something even worse. So one must always be prepared for that possibility.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great post and comments. Really inspired richly varied insights into a tough mess. It is at times like this that I appreciate the potential of the Internet to enable broad public discussion. Thanks all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We have been told.

By the puppet master, the Red Queen, that "It takes a village".

So we commoners need only await the appeals from the Court of the Red Queen, heir to Camelot, to the village elders of that paragon of "fairness, equality and social justice", competence and restraint with other peoples' money the "United" Nations.

Among which honoured elders are these and simiilarly humane protagonists as Zimbabwe, Libya, China et al.

And be led by judgements and decisions of those village elders.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why, oh why, must we make time for this. Idiotic to fear because there is truly nothing to fear. And by that I mean NOTHING beyond our own borders. We have the most powerful military on the planet...and the most incompetent imbecile to sit on a transient throne. Still doesn't take away from what we have; and still can be taken away from the child if need be.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" They don’t need weapons or training; they need political support, probably some money, and good communications gear. "

I don't think I have ever read such an uninformed opinion as quoted above.

The Iranian freedom fighters need massive financial, military and tactical aid. They are facing one of the most well armed and motivated regimes in the world. The freedom fighters CAN win but not with half-hearted or feint hearted support.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hence it happened that all the armed prophets conquered, all the unarmed perished. .- Niccolo Machiavelli
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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