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Bryan Preston

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September 4, 2013 - 11:07 am
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Obama himself now insists that he never even set a “red line” in Syria, and is setting Congress up to take the fall if it decides against military action — action he even admits is unlikely to make any difference in the war. This is a man Americans should trust to involve us in yet another war in the Middle East? This is a man conservatives should support?

Barack Obama has approached Syria with none of the seriousness that such a grave decision deserves. He has failed to build a serious international coalition to back the U.S. He has failed to make the case for action to the American people. He is even today putting politics ahead of national security, huddling first with his former campaign officials and then with left-wing bloggers and columnists to sell the Syria war to his base. This is not leadership or statesmanship. It is mere salesmanship. Barack Obama is proving, so far, that he isn’t even very good at that, and needs Bill Clinton to save him.

I am very familiar with the history that Radosh and Stephens cite to persuade conservatives to support action. I don’t find it persuasive. It is not “isolationist” or being a “Taft Republican” or a “paleocon” to view Barack Obama, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel and the rest of this president’s advisers and lieutenants — Valerie Jarrett, James Clapper and so forth and so on — with deep suspicion and apprehension. None of them have shown consistent and knowledgeable opposition to the global jihad, its violent actions overseas or its stealthier actions here at home. None of them have shown the kind of resolute pro-American leadership that we will need if we choose the path of war. All of them have shown varying degrees of hostility to the American position in the world. None of them have earned America’s trust on this. They still may, but have not done so yet.

I consider myself an internationalist and usually favor American military action against our enemies, and Bashar Assad is an enemy of the United States. I served overseas in the United States Air Force and saw firsthand how the U.S. military’s global presence serves as the greatest force for global peace the world has ever seen. I supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am also chastened by the reality of those wars. American troops fight and die for others’ freedom, only to have Iraqis and Afghans write sharia law into their constitutions and Islamicize their institutions. Given the choice of freedom and pluralism for the first time in living memory, they freely reject it. We should learn from these experiences and apply what we learn to conflicts like Syria’s civil war. What will a half-hearted U.S. military intervention really accomplish?

The Middle East is undergoing what might be called a religious revival, but not in the Jonathan Edwards “Great Awakening” sense. The Middle East’s revival is Islamic and therefore Islamist, and jihad is on the march around the globe. In Syria, jihad is powering the rebellion against the Baathist thug Assad. Any American intervention will end up either doing nothing — in which case, what’s the point? — or it will aid the jihadist rebellion. Neither is in the American national interest. We cannot impose Jeffersonian democracy in the Middle East, not even with hundreds of thousands of troops — the “boots on the ground” that Obama is already ruling out for Syria.

I agree with Stanley Kurtz that President Obama drew his Syria “red line” in in the wrong place, at use instead of proliferation. The United States should not wage any military action based on that fundamental error. If Obama chooses military action, conservatives should not support him.

It is not “isolationist” to mistrust the Obama government and to see where its adventure in Syria is likely to lead. It is not “isolationism” to see the Middle East for what it is. It is common sense.

With all due respect, Barack Obama has not earned conservative support for action in Syria and does not deserve it.

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Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” ― Sun Tzu

Military planning follows 3 connected steps...Strategic, Operational, and Tactical.

Launching cruise missiles (just because you can) in the absence of a strategy (desired end-state) logically connected to a concept of operations is nothing but a stand-alone act (tactic). And is by definition....illogical....a waste of resources.

Congresspersons voting for a tactic, without understanding or even asking about the underlying strategy, or in the absence of a strategy, are fools.

I note McCain, Boehner, and Cantor are supporting this exercise in futility. They too, are fools.

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
If supporting the Jefferson ideal of "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none" is isolationist, then by gawd, i'm an isolationist.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have no business supporting the insanity of Obama's love affair with the damn mooslim bruthahood that he calls "foreign policy". Obama is a menace, a liar, and a criminal; He's not a world leader. Ron Radosh insulted many conservatives by comparing us to commies like Henry Wallace; he was wayyyyy off base making that comparison.

Remember BENGHAZI!
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (82)
All Comments   (82)
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So Tolbert thinks we should have shipped arms to Nazi Germany, as Ron Paul seems to apply?

P.S. Bryan makes a very good non-isolationist case for not supporting the President. My general problem is that 9/11 was caused by Clinton's bug-out (as bin Ladin stated explicitly), and a lot of that was caused by carping by Republicans like myself. But in the case it's hard to argue with Bryan, althoguh I have yet to read Ron's column.

I have a personal reason not to want Obama to bomb. The standard Arab/Islamist response to being attacked by thre US is to shoot missles at Israeli civilians, and I live one minute from the Lebanese border, as the missile flies.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
imply
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. no. This article will convince you all we should bomb Syria.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/09/syria-mounts-human-shield-operation-with-help-from-international-activists/

Imagine, 1000 "activists" of the sort who make Code Pink look patriotic. All standing there, perfect targets.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
n the other hand, the real fate they deserve is to have them end up in the middle of the fighting, and to suffer the fate they are actively trying to bring about for me and my family:

“. And after the killing, the real fun began. The Arab way of war is to quite explicitly “feminize” the enemy. And in ’47-’48, the Aravim(*) castrated and mutilated, in ways that I will not describe here, the fallen or captured Jewish soldiers. Incidentally, the “portraits” of their Jewish victims both boys and girls were afterwards peddled in Arab Jerusalem. ”

http://zionism-israel.com/ezine/Arab_lie_1948.htm

And yet, I can’t wish this on them, although they certainly deserve it. I guess we should just go ahead with the saturation bombing after all.

(*) Arabs in Hebrew. No nasty name, nor did the soldier hear of one during the war or afterwards.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is simply a child playing with his toy soldiers, blithely unaware of the consequences of his actions. Its not that we shouldn't intervene in Syria, but that we should force the fool Obama to formulate a plan that would make a genuine difference. Our efforts need to be directed at destroying the chemical and biological weapons, some of which were shipped from Iraq, to prevent them from falling in the hands of Al Qaeda or Hezbollah. Sadly, there are no leaders left in Washington to lead us to a happy conclusion of this debacle.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too late for that. Had he not utter that foolish red line speech he would not need to have his ego involved. Helping the rebels is another foolishness. The Us has done a lot of stupid things in the last 40 years. Because the leadership never considered the endgame. Our frenemy Saudi Arabia is saying they will fund this adventure(yeah right). But in the end having these factions kill each other off is a best solution.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't care about Obama's color. I care about his judgement. And I fundamentally distrust it.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even when the country is in trouble there are people with their "Hate Obama" nonsense. Doesn't deserve Conservative support? When have Conservatives given the President any support either in domestic or foreign affairs matters? In fact, Conservatives have used every chance to savage this President with the American people collateral damage. The real question confronting the US is whether chemical warfare is a legitimate weapon to deploy against any civilians in the 21st Century. That is the President's dilemma. How can he get a Mad mans attention without totally destroying his ability to make peace with his adversaries. Tough call for the President. It's about Syria and the problem Assad poses. Not about ad hominems and support for Conservatives and their hate machine. American White males led the White House for 223 unbroken years. Perhaps you can allow the first non White a little latitude. USAF Retired
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look in the mirror and say "Bush" instead. Gee, kind'a sucks, doesn't it?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
You had a good argument going until you pulled out the race card.

That destroyed everything you said.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
That might be one of the most despicable comments I've seen posted on PJM. You think the President's race matters? You think we should cut our leaders slack when putting Americans in harm way? You think skin color matters when our bombs start falling? You know how no matter how careful we are innocent people are going to get killed, right? I kind of have trouble believing our are a retired Air Force guy. I don't have any trouble, though, believing you are a disgrace.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"American White males led the White House for 223 unbroken years. Perhaps you can allow the first non White a little latitude."

By your logic, we should allow Obama to start an international conflagration, because he is "non White"?

You embarrass every active duty, veteran, and retired military member with your racist BS.

USN Retired.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's half white. Why doesn't that DNA matter to you?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for your service.

You've performed another service with your post. Plenty of latitude available on these boards for disagreement. Go for it. But the 'Conservatives and their hate machine...' comment is false on its face. Ron Radosh calls himself a conservative and very often is. He is probably more eager than you to involve us in Syria. There are plenty of conservatives in his camp. I think they're wrong, not hateful, and I'm sure I don't hate them for disagreeing with me.
So, talk about ad hominems?

As to your last sentence, that "we [sic] can allow the first non White a little latitude," all I can say is, was that the standard that you met in the USAF?
Don't demean your service or yourself.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Don't demean your service or yourself. "

Too late!
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "country is in trouble" because of the lawless, imperious madman in the White House. The "real question confronting the US" is whether or not we can save the Constitution and the Republic from a Marxist Islamophile ideologue, who thinks that the totalitarian fascist Muslim Brotherhood are his friends, and who routinely orders our armed forces to fight as Janissaries on behalf of the Mohammedan Slave Empire. USAF retired.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
So correct.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The real question confronting the US is whether chemical warfare is a legitimate weapon to deploy against any civilians in the 21st Century. "

No, the real question is whether the U.S. should be expending it's blood and treasure in a another sovereign country's civil war in a way that benefits the folks who flew jetliners into our office buildings just twelve years ago.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your first assumption is that Assad is guilty of this war crime. The problem is, the rebels (Al Qaeda Sunnis) attacked and held a Syrian military depot last year. Guess what was stored at the depot?

Guess who has planted evidence, photo shopped pics and faked videos in past incidents with their enemies? Yes. Al Qaeda Sunnis would be the correct answer. The only additional evidence is provided by parties who have something to gain from 'proving' Assad's guilt in this incident. No, Assad is not a nice guy, but if we're gonna bust his chops, let's do it for a crime he committed, not one that he didn't commit.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh shutup with your race baiting claptrap. We don't care if the president is green or blue, but we care that he's an incompetent ideologue who routinely lies about his intentions.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
You must be an utter idiot or in denial. How can you be such a fool? I do not believe you are retired military. I should know, because I know both retired military and those in active service. Neither, of which I mention, support the stupid that currently runs this show. Why? Because anyone with half a brain know better.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't one of the arguments against term limits for Congress that we need all these really experienced statesmen up there. What a joke. We have people who have been up there since Vietnam and they still don't ask the basic questions any normal person would ask before committing the country to a military conflict.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The -current- primary reason for attacking Syria is that Assad used gas on the Syrian people. The evidence, however, is questionable, at best. The sources of that evidence are either not credible, to begin with, or else they each 'have a dog in this fight.' iow, they are not objective sources of intel.

The rationale and reasoning boils from 'do it for the children' to 'Assad's wife is a spendthrift' and everything in between. iow, the reasoning doesn't make any sense, to begin with.

The potential consequences of starting a region wide conflict - and possibly even a global conflict - with this strike cannot be readily dismissed or easily ignored, at least, not by any sane human being.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
which implies a hidden agenda...why its so important to get to the bottom of Benghazi....and to Mr. Radosh who wants to make historical comparisons; the comparisons are only accurate if your read on history as well as the present are accurate. Maybe the hidden agena is the pipeline, maybe the fate of the petrodollar, maybe a prepositioning for the inevitable global economic collapse...but it ceretainly isn't to maintain global respect (vanishing rapidly) or because of outrage over the death of children (which when it occurs on our watch is unfortunate collateral damage). The trouble with democrats is they are transparent in their LACK of forward thinking.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Islamic world, according to their standard doctrine, is attacking the West using total war--no rules, no borders, and no one is spared. Every country that has an Islamic constitution, or that otherwise uses Islam as the basis of its political system and/or legal system, is in a de facto state of war against the United States right now. It is a permanent jihad base.

We should respect the Muslim's choice to make war on us, and treat them accordingly. We should be isolating them totally--no foreign aid, no food, no medicine, no trade, and by all means, no weaponry or technology of any kind. A total quarantine on Dar al Islam "for the duration."

Their Muslim citizens (all, by their own reckoning,Soldiers of Allah) should not be permitted to set foot on our soil for any reason--they are enemy combatants. If they sneak in, they should be rounded up and shot as spies. Any act of aggression by their military or militia forces should be met with an overwhelming (i.e., NOT proportionate) response.

For instance, if they send out a ship to attack ours, we sink their navy. If they hit us with a big terror attack, we level 10 of their cities. If they kidnap one of our citizens, we bombard them continuously until they give them back, unharmed. If they kill the hostage, or burn down a church or temple, we level 1000 mosques, and so on.

We make sure that the Islamic world is kept as weak as possible, and make sure that they understand why we treat them that way. It's their own choice, and we are merely making sure that they reap what they sow.

That kind of isolation is what is needed. Make the Muslim world feel the consequences of their aggression, every day in every way.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know why we refuse to take them at their word.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is not isolationist to insist on using common sense in making foreign policy decisions.

I'm very sorry to report that Syria doesn't pass the smell test.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Now is not the time for armchair isolationism." - John Kerry
Now THAT statement by Kerry is pure provocation and is 100% on target with Obama's organizing rhetoric; it's been that way for years with the left and it's intended to mock the constitution in terms of our relationship with other countries ... "isolationism" has suddenly caught fire and has Conservatives all worried that the GOP might be damaged by it; politics even now in the face of a horrendous situation. WE have Commie agitators that are backing the Mooslim Bruthahood ... that's a fact Jack.
Congress AND the POTUS need to make the right decision ...
I hoipe that through this little episode that Obama's Muslim Bruthahood advisers are exposed for what they really are ... jihadists.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
And exactly what was John Kerry during the VietNam war, but an arch-isolationlist? What is it about Democrats that when they talk office they become a parody of their political opponents? What every crazy, wacked-out, deranged Leftist and Paulite thought George W was, that is what Obama IS. The result, I suppose, of being immune to media criticism.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
My comment to Radosh,
Here is what the GOP should do in the house. Call Obama out for being a LIAR!! Say it loud and on every channel.
Benghazi = lied
F&F = lied
IRS = lied
Green tech scandals = lied
Shovel Ready = lied
Obama-care = lied
Death Panels = lied
Rationing of medical care = lied
Speaking to the families of the Benghazi dead for Christ's sake!! = LIED!!

So Mr. President, until you come clean on these other issues we do not trust your judgment, nor your actions involving our military and going to war in Syria.
We do not believe you are telling us everything concerning Syria so we do not authorize the use of force.
At that point if Obama goes in = violates his Oath of office.

On top of that, why didn't the world do a thing when Iran and Iraq were gassing each other? The red line is Barry's make him eat it. He may be mesmerizing the press here - but not anywhere else on the planet. They know a light-weight when they hear one. Now it is the "worlds" red line. What a punk! Is anything his fault. Does he own any of the last 5 years of misery?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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