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Bryan Preston

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September 5, 2013 - 2:32 pm
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Indeed, this is how a serious debate should be conducted. Invective-free.

I’ll take Ron’s latest arguments in order.

1. John Kerry has not changed. He remains the leftist “international test” advocate that he has always been. He publicly identified with Code Pink’s ideals when they disrupted his unconvincing, self-contradictory testimony in the Senate this week. His advocacy for striking Syria may be based on Islamist disinformation, about which I’ll have more to say shortly. Suffice it to say that he is carrying out the policy of his boss, whatever that policy is, in the job he has openly and lustfully sought for years and would never resign on any principle, and knows which buttons to push (“indispensable nation”) to make hawks pay attention to him. Lingo does not hide the fact that he is still the same man who smeared American troops then fighting in Vietnam and then built his career on that, and the same man who opposed the 1991 intervention in Iraq. The case for action then was much stronger than the case for action now. Should he not take a few minutes to explain his evolution in thought before asking us to just trust him? Is he wiser now, or merely older?

2. Failure to act decisively may be worse than not acting at all. The Iranians are watching, as are the North Koreans, etc. There’s a popular saying these days — “go big or go home.” That saying would get realized, in my judgement, if we strike Assad but do not kill him or remove him. After the symbolic, mostly meaningless strikes that Obama promises, Assad will emerge from the smoke as if he has been hardened in combat, stand on some rubble in a MacArthur pose, and announce that he “defeated” us. It will be absurd, but that’s how Middle East despots react when they’re bombed but not killed or face invasion. Obama’s “just muscular enough not to be mocked” strike invites mockery. Obama has already told Assad that he is not a target and that the strikes will be so limited as to be militarily meaningless. Iran will be watching that, too. Assad is probably already having soot smeared on his face and rehearsing his post-bombing lines. We know that Obama won’t go big. So in my view he should stay home — not strike.

3. The nature of the rebellion is not what John Kerry says it is. The pro-moderate source Ron cites, Elizabeth O’Bagy, is dubious and may be involved in a disinformation campaign to sell the “moderate” face of an Islamist insurgency. She appeared on Fox again today and played word games about her role with the Syrian Emergency Task Force — she is their political director, and they have Islamist ties. In my mind, this discredits everything she says about the “moderate” forces in Syria. The New York Times reported on the rebels’ brutality today. It also should matter that even when America does put hundreds of thousands of pairs of boots on the ground to kick out evil dictators like Assad (Saddam was pretty much his clone), the people don’t automatically love us and they don’t choose freedom. They tend to choose Islamism. They write sharia into their constitutions. They enforce anti-blasphemy laws. They elect the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Obama administration plays along. It may be that a strong dose of radicalism convinces people in the Middle East to swing back toward civilization, as has apparently happened in Egypt. Should the U.S. military be used in Syria to drive Assad out and start that Islamism-t0-civilization cycle? It’s risky, and Obama isn’t selling that. He’s playing Hamlet and promising to prick Assad so shallowly that he won’t even bleed.

In addition to all that, what is a “moderate” in the context of the Middle East? It’s not the kind of sit-on-the fence Maine Republican we tend to think of in our context. We desperately need to understand Middle East politics on its own terms.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Let me say it, with all the due respect to all the Authors who participate in this debate:

12 years after September Eleven we allow a President whose middle name (simple fact !) is Hussein to cause America to debate if we should or should not go to war to support an insurgency largely made of alqaedists.

This is folly.

We shouldn't be debating this.

We should be debating why Benghazi.
We should be debating why Barak Hussein Obama supported and supports the muslim brotherhood in Egypt and did not support the riots in Iran.

I am sorry but not only the President, nor only the "opposition" are a problem.
We are a problem.
We allow dark forces to determine what we debate and what we think about.

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is time for America "to call a spade a spade". America's integrity IS NOT on the line here, our fumbling, bumbling, man-child president's integrity is on the line....by his own doing. The entire world still knows the truth of how formidable a pissed-off America can be when provoked, REGARDLESS of "leader." We have NO business providing arms, much less armed combatants, in support of the SAME TERRORISTS WHO WANT TO KILL US. The Mooslim Bruthahood is the definition of our "foreign policy" - whatever benefits them is what we do. No more - our president has been exposed to the world for what he truly is, but OUR MEDIA will sweep it under the rug so our own people never see the news. NO INTERVENTION IN SYRIA - LET ALLAH SORT THEM OUT!!

Remember BENGHAZI!
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Preston for the win.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (86)
All Comments   (86)
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32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Radosh is finally showing his true colors. He says that Dianna West's book is full of untruths when it is not. And he backs our Muslim-in-Chief. What more is there to say!
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with this article. to sum up we dont know who the 'good' guy/bad guy ' roles belong to thats even assuming there *is* a good guy to begin with. even assuming there is a need for us to go (that puts aside alot of facts to the contrary), obama/Kerry is no where near qualified to lead us into this and per their past history, has no reason to assume they wants America to win. I would sooner put a fresh out of boot soldier in charge of this than either one of those 2
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is going to be the first American to die to save al-Qaeda head choppers?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Dems always resort to "for the children." That is their go to in every situation that they want to go their way. Now we have to go to Syria because Assad killed all those children, but the Dems aren't bothered by the number of children killed by Planned Parenthood every day. How come?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, yeah, for the children.


Yeah, that. Hmmm.

And what about the millions of children they slaughter in America's abortion mills?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which of our sons or daughters should die for Obama's credibility?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I’ve read all 4 articles (Preston/Radosh) this morning, and all the comments thus far. My thoughts:

1. Mr Preston’s reasons are rooted in the current situation, backed by verifiable facts, wrapped together in sound analysis.

2.Mr Radosh’s reasons are rooted in comparisons to a situation over 50 years ago, when the country generally agreed that communism was an existential threat.
The Obama White House does not recognize Islam as an existential threat, and its recent foreign policy actions in several countries have actually increased that threat.

3. Mr Preston’s analysis is specific. Mr Radosh’s analysis could be used to justify force in an unacceptably broad range of situations, which makes the logic behind it suspect.

4. Mr Preston’s concerns seem to center on the good of the country. Mr Radosh’s concerns seem to center over the future of the Republican party.

5. Cfbleachers continues to write astute, concise, and critically excellent commentary, over a sustained period of time, and should be seriously considered for a journalistic position at PJM.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I signed in specifically to give your comment a thumbs up. In addition, if this Mr. Radosh is the same one who has been attacking Diane West's book on the infiltration of communist sympathizers into US politics, education and administrations, I would hesitate to trust his analysis even more.
On the other hand, because of Ms. West's book and other trusted thought leaders' research and opinions as well as my own living of the history of a large part of that time period, I would also caution against allowing Vladimir Putin to further influence US politics.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agree on points 1 through 4 and second the 5th point wholeheartedly.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
As Bismark said about the Balkans, "There is nothing there worth the life of one Prussian Grenadier." The same holds true for the U.S. and Syria.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Right on Bryan. Please keep it up.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
excellent article. First, what is a moderate Muslim? Ever since 9/11 I have been reading all I can about Islam, none of it good. I have read books by women that have escaped from these barbaric nations. Nonie Darwish does a wonderful job in her books telling it like it is about Islam and I can not see anything moderate about Islam. There goals are to make the world all Islamic. You are so right about having these Countries remaining Islamic. We should leave them to their own devises and fight among the tribes and kill as many of each other. This concern about all the people being killed. I read or hear next to nothing about all the Christians that have been murdered and Churches destroyed. These people are barbarians they can decide their own destiny.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've made the mistake of reading Muslim books that were meant to be read by Muslims. San Iago Matamoros, help us.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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