Intervening in Syria is not a popular idea at all, according to the latest Pew poll. The poll, released today, find that just 20% of Americans support US involvement in the civil war in which a brutal dictator squares off against al Qaeda-linked Islamists. Seventy percent oppose intervention, with 68% saying that they believe that the US military is currently overextended.
Obama has no base within his own party or anywhere else to support Syria intervention: 74% of independents, 71% of Republicans and 66% of Democrats oppose US involvement. Which is a no-brainer, really. US interests are not directly involved in the Syrian war, we have no nascent Thomas Jeffersons on the ground to rally around, but Russia’s and Iran’s involvement could turn it into a regional or even world war.
Just about the only strategic policy the US could pursue in Syria is to arm the rebels just enough so they can keep fighting Assad and his allies Hezbollah and Iran, weakening all of them and preventing any of them from achieving a decisive victory. But there is no reason to believe that the Obama administration is thinking deeply enough to do that. Among Obama’s top national security advisers are fiction writer Ben Rhodes and “erotic nights” reader Avril Haines. Obama apparently didn’t even think through his chemical weapons “red line” comments before uttering them, and those comments are forcing his hand to action now.
The timeline on Obama’s involvement in Syria looks like this: He made the ill-advised “game changer” comment back in March, then intelligence determined that Syria supposedly crossed the “red line,” and Obama did nothing until Bill Clinton challenged his manhood (Elvis deployed the phrase “total wuss” to describe Obama’s lack of a policy). After that, it’s game on. Because you just don’t mess with don of the Juicebox Mafia.