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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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September 10, 2013 - 7:34 am
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Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly kicked off his Monday show badly misreading the situation in Syria. He opined that not striking Syria is “another great win for the war criminals” and that the U.S. should step in and “impose some justice on the planet” along with our allies. He concluded, making a pained face, that America is “too weak to even take care of a cheap thug like Assad.”

Military weakness isn’t the issue here. History is an issue, and trust is an issue. Alliances are an issue. Weakness isn’t, at least not as O’Reilly apparently means it.

Could the U.S. “take care of a cheap thug like Assad” if it was in our interests to do so? Of course. Assad is mini-Saddam, and Syria is mini-Iraq. If you could remove the jihadist element and there was no risk of Syria turning from bad to worse, we could take down the Syrian military and replace Assad with ease. Our military could do the job in a matter of weeks. Power isn’t the problem.

One problem with intervening in Syria is the possibility that war quickly spreads. Russia and China may sense that Barack Obama presents them their greatest opportunity to take the United States down a few pegs. They are allied with Syria, as is Iran. War could spread, quickly, far beyond Syria.

History is a problem. The world has seen what flows into vacuums of power in places where Islam is the dominant culture. Americans fight and die only to see Islamist states rise in our wake. Or, dictators fall and are replaced by failed states, which incubate Islamist terrorism. We win the wars but lose either way. Iraq has not turned out to be the model of freedom for the Middle East. Afghanistan is and probably always will be a basket case. Libya is a flailing state where Islamist terrorism is flourishing. No one in their right mind sees this, looks at Syria, and says “More, please!”

The American people see this and rightly conclude that with no good options on the horizon, it just doesn’t make sense to risk our blood and treasure for a fight in Syria. The Baathist thug would be followed by some form of Islamist government as surely as night follows day, unless we made the choice from the beginning to ruthlessly impose some better form of government across a long-term strategy. The current media environment doesn’t allow that, our current leadership would never do that, and it’s debatable whether the facts on the ground would ever follow that. Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt should have taught us something about people and cultures. I think they have, which explains the reluctance to intervene in Syria, a civil war with no good sides, that is not our fight.

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All Comments   (19)
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A better statement is that we have n interest in taking down assad on behalf of Al Queda.

Even if, (a mighty big if at that) Assad had used chemical weapons, who could blame him considering the opposition ?

Anyone in favor of intervening in Syria is an Al Queda supporter and shoud be treated as such.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
We could do in a nanosecond militarily. It's the will that's lacking. Can you picture Reagan going hat in hand to ask Congress if he could bomb Libya? Obama doesn't like American military power, doesn't want to pull the trigger on anyone but Republicans. Why should anyone expect him to diddly?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
What we have is a weak President, trying to use a NOT-weak military to do his personal bidding. He repeatedly refers to OUR military as "his."
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope the US Armed Forces know how to act in a situation like this.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I repeat that last comment here without so many typos.
The US has the deadliest military machine ever known to mankind. Comparably it is even more effective than the Roman armies were in ancient times. Fortunately that destructive force was until now under the command of a mostly benign government. US military has been used throughout history mostly to advance and sustain the US commercial prowess. Since 1900 or so with the emergence of radical Progressivism (as in Woodrow Wilson, FDR, JFK, LBJ and now BHO) in American politics, it has so happened that the pistol ends up occasionally under the control of a man not morally qualified to be Commander in Chief. In fact the emergence of Progressivism runs parallel with a continuous erosion of the moral fabric of the nation. Progressivism is a symptom of a deeper problem. Like all fevers it will run its course but it will be painful while it lasts. Our society has to heal and return to the old concepts of duty, honor, tradition, and integrity. Without those elements in our individual lives we shall not survive. Mr. O'Reilly may be right in his diagnosis --we may be indeed too weak to take down Mr. Assad-- but like most in the all-powerful media, Mr. O'Reilly is part of the problem because he is not using his powerful position to instill those noble traits in those who listen to him. Example: Fox is "conservative" but one of the Murdoch affiliates, DirecTV, is one of the largest distributors of pornography in the world. See the problem? The virus is everywhere. Yes we are too weak morally to take Assad down because our infirmity has rendered us unworthy of leading in any noble cause. Assad does not even amount to Hitler and BHO does not even amount to FDR--or to that Churchill that BHO's African father hated so much. We all chat here about military capabilities, political abilities, diplomatic influence and so forth but the root of the problem is in our own living-rooms: we have been raising children without character, without convictions or moral compass. BHO is one of them. Now wise Mother Nature is about to send us the bill for neglecting our duty. Let us begin today to rebuild in ourselves those concepts: first of all duty. Our power comes with a mission attached: we have the duty to be noble and wise. We have a duty to be good stewards of the riches and strength we still have. There is no other way to again find our backbone than to return to the God of our Forefathers, to His wise moral principles, and to the Constitution we were given by His grace. If we die doing that, we shall live but if we try to cowardly save our hides by forfeiting our moral obligations we will die a thousand deaths and we shall never have true peace or freedom. There is no peace for the wicked.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unrelated to Syria, but related to O'Reilly: there was a surreal moment a few months on O'Reilly's show that says it all. He was on camera with Laura Ingraham, and he asked her, "Do you believe that President Obama is a socialist?" She answered no in an evasive and incoherent way, and he agreed.

Both are a disgrace to the Irish race.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Joe Kennedy Sr. the Irish race has been quite dedicated to ruin the land that received them so well. One of my ancestors comes from Cork and I have no beef with the Irish, people I love and respect but buddy, the Kennedy clan takes the cake. It will take generations to undo the damage they've done.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've heard O'blarney say a lot of really stupid things and this ranks right down there with a typical Ed Schultz commentary.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment

Standing up to real military threats who CAN inflict significant damage to you is a show of strength. Slapping around a little country, regardless of how deserving, makes us look weaker, especially when the real threat is Iran, who vow to use nuclear weapons, and neither Blowhard O'Reilly nor Obama show an interest in proving we mean what we say to them.
It's good to know that I'm not the only person who O'Reilly drives nuts with his oversimplification of nearly everything. There's virtually no world problem he hasn't got a solution for that can't be solved in one loud sentence.
As you have pointed out, we could take this pipsqueak out in a couple of weeks. If that point wasn't driven home by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, a few missile launches aren't going to prove anything either. And there are a lot more important things about the situation to consider making sure a thug toes an artificially generated redline that Obama never expected anyone to bring up again.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've asked it before: Why are we currently the only country that's going around bombing third world countries whenever we like? Is that what being the "world's only superpower" means? I wonder what it means to people in other countries?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Syria has too much Islam and not enough oil to be worth the effort. The best actions President Obama could do would be to quit blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, allow drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to resume, and quit interfering with oil development in Alaska. Simply allow Red State oil projects to resume to reduce the importance of the Middle East. The main reason America gets involved in Middle East wars is to keep oil flowing into world markets.

We have 1228 days until the January 20, 2017 Presidential Inauguration. During that time the best we can hope for is total gridlock and no action of any kind by Barack Obama. He's truly worse than useless. There is almost no chance that Blue State Democrat Senators would vote for conviction so impeachment is a non-starter. People who voted for Obama are going to get what they wanted good and hard.

Best we can do is elect Senators in 2014 that will be reliable NO votes for Senate appointments. That means both defeating Democrats and defeating enough unreliable Republicans in the primaries to make the others fall in line.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Iraq proved anything, it was this:

Predominately Islamic countries are beyond our help, and there are no good choices in assistance.

We could demolish the thugs leading them in weeks if not days, but that not our way. On one side you've got brutal dictators, who treat their citizens harshly to keep the calm. On the other, you've got proponents of sharia - ravenous wolves kept in a den.

Neither are good choices. But given recent history, I say if these brutal tyrants keep it within their own borders, I don't see we need to intervene again, because I can guarantee you these sharia proponents have but two things in mind: (1) The establishment of a new Caliphate; (2) The destruction of Israel.

And they will not quit until they are utterly destroyed.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The establishment of a new Caliphate"

Yes, but let's be clear on what that means. It doesn't mean that they want to control the places they controlled at the height of their power in days gone by.


They won't settle for anything less than the entire planet, with no exceptions.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
When the debate devolves into name-calling, the name-callers have lost. I say good. Their recycled arguments lacked substance and were less than convincing. But what do I know. I'm a busy, out-of-touch with the political situation, blog reader according to the WH.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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