Should Obama Attack Syria?

Brian Sussman on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 02:38

A conjoined question to stopping Syria from using chemical and nerve warfare, is the question of preempting Iran from using nuclear weapons.

Those are two closely allied countries, with both being 'friendly' with North Korea which is also developing nuclear weapons.

Currently, Iran has a more 'moderate' government than usual. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is more willing to negotiate Iran's plutonium production, and has a positive record in that regard.

But he has the religious 'Supreme Leader' Ali Khamenei as the final governmental authority on such matters and might push for developing nuclear bombs.

Am I correct to presume that those readers of my Posting, who want to do nothing about Syria's use of Nerve Gas on its own people, would also want to do nothing about Iran's development or use of nuclear weapons?

Am I correct to presume that those readers of my Posting, would want to do nothing about Syria's use of Nerve Gas or Iran's use of Nuclear Bombs on Israel or on our faithful NATO ally Turkey.

Aside from attacking the USA, what if any, is the true 'Red Line' that all the world should recognize as the event that would cause USA military intervention in another country?

Is that 'Red Line' consistent with USA military interventions in other countries since 1945?

I assure you, that most Israelis, and most Jews of all nationalities, are quite uncomfortable with the idea anyone using chemical warfare against civilians. The Nazis did just that to many Jews in the 1940's, and it will be remembered as long as Passover.

Israel is certainly expecting something to be done about Syria's use of Nerve Gas and would prefer that the USA will do it - the same thing is true with Iran developing Nuclear Bombs. Considering that the Islamic world considers Israel to be an USA satellite, is the USA actually better off having Israel remedy Syria's War Crimes than doing it better ourselves? In all cases here, I am referring to radar, aircraft, missiles as intervention and targets, not soldiers on the ground.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 16:07

Point of Order...

You wrote:

Those are two closely allied countries, with both being 'friendly' with North Korea which is also developing nuclear weapons.

You mean "developed", right?

North Korea has nuclear weapons and successfully tested them three times.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_MO1yp3doA

They have been testing missiles as well with the goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM that can reach the United States.

Mike Scully on Mon, 09/02/2013 - 15:10

The Syrian army is relocating troops and hardware into civilian buildings and neighborhoods. Eyewitnesses tell of busloads of soldiers arriving at University dormitories in Homs and Damascus, tanks being hidden in residential streets.

It looks like they took the White House leaked Cruise-misslle target list seriously.

And Clausewitz spins.

Congress comes back from vacation in 8 days. (God forbid we summon them any earlier than their full and complete month off). Our dithering, stumbling, incompetent Community Organizer President, who lost the backing of the Brits when they voted "No" on a resolution to take military action (first time voting this way against a Prime Minister since the 1700's) now awaits our own legislative body to give him the political cover for a decision he is totally unprepared to make by himself.

What a leader.

As "Operation: Nobel Peace Prize" waits for the Oval Office green light, Iran, Hezbollah, Assad, that pudgy mutant in North Korea, and Putin, sit in a stunned disbelief at their dream finally coming true:

An impotent U.S. Superpower guided by this narcissist apologizer of her past actions, who's more concerned with saving face, than dragging this country into a disaster.

Hope&Change, by God.

Congratulations.

Brian Sussman on Mon, 09/02/2013 - 22:46

Mike Scully -

Saul Alinsky? Don't forget to blame the space aliens and the Mayan calendar while you're at it. I'm glad you brought God into this too, as the whole Middle East problem is due to three religions that each take theselves a bit too seriously when trying to foist their 'precise' beliefs on others or even on themselves. But thanks for the laugh.

You could possibly make some reasonable point, if you'd raise arguments against policies rather than to make absurd personal attacks on our President.

Regarding UK Prime Minister Cameron's failure in the House of Commons, that reflects only on his own political weaknesses.

Regarding the UK and Syria, most Americans don't appreciate why sometimes it is the UK, and other times, it is France or Spain or Belgium that send in their militaries to clean up a mess in a Third World country. So I will explain.

These European countries tend to 'police' their own former colonies and 'protectorates'. After WWI, the UK and France took away most of Ottoman Turkey, and gave themselves 'protectorates' in the Middle East. France got Syria and Lebanon, while the UK got the rest. As such, it is France, not the UK, who is morally responsible for any mess in Syria since that country first existed since WWI. Likewise, Turkey has historic reasons to do something about the mass killings in Syria.

The USA had no colonies or protectorates in the Middle East, although we have 'adopted' Israel, which does have a large number of Americans living in it. Israel has occupied part of Syria since 1967, and is currently accepting Syrian refugees.

There are reasons the USA is about to get involved in Syria, including protecting the Syrian people, and protecting Syria's bordering nations such as Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and the Palestinians.

The other reason for the USA to do something about Syria's use of Nerve Gas and Mass Killings, is to send a strong message to Iran, North Korea and Egypt.

The USA, itself, has a poor history when it comes to genocide considering our racist history regarding Indian and Blacks.

The USA, itself, has a poor history when it comes to using weapons of Mass Destruction, considering our WWII Fire Bombings of Germany and Japan, our use of of A-Bombs on Japan,and our use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. But we would be doing the right thing to eliminate actual usage of Nerve Gas anywhere in the world.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 16:34

Brian,

You wrote:

There are reasons the USA is about to get involved in Syria, including protecting the Syrian people, and protecting Syria's bordering nations such as Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and the Palestinians.

The other reason for the USA to do something about Syria's use of Nerve Gas and Mass Killings, is to send a strong message to Iran, North Korea and Egypt.

Funny how when there is a Democrat in the White House, we hear a different tune from the supposed anti-war liberals.

So you supported the U.S. attacking Iraq after he gassed the Kurds in 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War? Which we did not do as we were allied with Iraq against Iran.

You supported the Gulf War when Saddam invaded Kuwait and threatened his neighbors and then actually fired Scud missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia?

And you supported the Coalition imposed no-fly zone over Iraq after that war to protect the Kurds and Shiites in the South?

And when Saddam defied the NFZ's and ordered his military to engage U.S., British and French fighter jets with anti-aircraft fire almost daily, you supported Coalition retaliation including Operation Desert Fox?

But I guess you did not support the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Isn't the logic used by Bush to invade Iraq pretty much the same that you are using to justify Obama attacking Syria?

And is there not a risk of a much wider war where Syria-Iran reassert control in Lebanon, fire missiles into Israel, at which point Israel attacks Syria at which point all hell breaks loose?

Saddam attacked rebels in a civil war in 1988 and gassed them

Saddam was attacking American allies in the Gulf War (Kuwait, Israel, Saudi Arabia).

Assad is attacking rebels in a civil war and gassed them.

We did not attack Iraq in 1988. So why should we attack Syria now?

I am interested to hear what you have to say but see if you can keep your analogies to modern times. I do not think what happened to Cherokee Indians in 1830 or slavery prior to the Civil War in 1861-65 is really relevant to how the United States should respond in Syria today.

For me, the issue is the question of the U.S. projecting power in the world.

Nature abhors a vacuum, as they say.

If we are not going to project power around the world then regional powers will in various corners of the world -- that means countries like Iran, North Korea, Russia, China and others stepping in to take out place.

We are living in the era of a Pax Americana.

If we pull back -- and Obama seems determined to do so -- we will all get to see whether all the evil in the world is really the result of the U.S. projecting power as Obama (and Brian) seem to think.

Mike Scully on Mon, 09/02/2013 - 23:14

Brian-

Your asinine commentary on "Brian Sussman's History of The World Part ll" is gonna' get your Junior United Nations Fan Club and Parking Lot Pass yanked, if you're not careful.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Brian Sussman on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 01:33

Mike Scully, you seem to realize the accuracy of my statements, which I appreciate. No doubt, if I was inaccurate in my reciting history, you would have pounced on my errors.

But it seems that you are so automatically against anything that President Obama or the UN proposes, or has done, that you appear to make personal attacks on Obama, the UN or anyone agreeing with them.

I am not putting you down as a person. Nor am I saying you are incapable of writing a factual statement supportive of your beliefs.

You come off, seeming to dislike certain persons or entities to the extent that you fail to make a strong case for your beliefs, or to cite supportive facts, and seem only interested in making insults as if an insult is the same thing as citing accurate, meaningful facts.

The UN has always been widely popular in the USA, but you seem to presume that most Americans dislike the UN.

Your arguments fall on deaf ears, especially in this region of the USA, when you personally insult the UN or our President or our Mayor, rather than focusing on whatever policies your are bothered by.

That style of 'debate' reminds me of FoxNews, which itself reminds me of a Junior High / Middle School playground. New Rochelle is an educated, enlightened, progressive community, where intellectual arguments are more likely to succeed than insults and misplaced assumptions.

Mike Scully on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 02:13

Hey Brian-

What planet are you from? The U.N is about as popular in the United States as an after-dinner fart in a packed elevator.

Your so called "facts" are as ridiculous as your progressive-liberal world view, and there isn't enough time to unpack them all and expose them to reality.

I didn't name you in my first post when I addressed myself to the question of Syria that's been proposed on this web site. I offered my comments to the community at large. However, you chose to personally name me, right off the bat.

What up, Brian? You looking to tangle with me, or something?

Or are you just one of those Obama sycophants who can't stand it when someone exposes Dear Leader for the incompetent boob that he is?

I eat leftist Democrats like you for a snack.

Take it to the U.N.

Brian Sussman on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 09:52

I just can't stand people posing their weird fantasies as fact. You don't even attempt using facts and reality to demonstrate your beliefs, but of course that would be as impossible as proving the world is flat. I am trying to encourage you to support your assumptions with facts.

The UN might be unpopular in the uneducated parts of the USA in the deep south and western areas and the lalaland or FoxNews, due to the poor educations and lack of interaction with the rest of the modern world, in those areas. Those are the same parts of the USA, where science and fact are frowned upon, where bigotry and ignorance reigns, where fantasy substitutes for reality.

But most of the USA knows better, and realizes the importance of science, of facts, of recognizing that the rest of the world has its own societies, cultures, opinions and histories, and of the need for the UN.

Reality is, the UN was created by the USA, a brilliant concept of one of our greatest Presidents FDR. The UN's headquarters are in the USA, in NYC one of the world's most international, and most tolerant cities in the history of human civilization.

The UN is largely an extension of USA policy. You are confused thinking the UN forces policies on the USA. The opposite is true, as the USA extends its own policies on the rest of the world via the UN.

The USA can always veto any decisions of the UN Security Council, so the UN cannot force its policies on the USA or on the other Permanent Members of the UN Security Council - but you certainly learned those facts in school.

If most Americans didn't believe in the UN, the USA would leave the UN. How come there has never been a serious movement to do so? You would be unable to name a Republican or Democratic nominated Presidential candidate since 1945 who advocated leaving the UN.

But the real question, is what would you consider a realistic basis for the USA to get into any future military action in a foreign country?

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 16:47

Brian,

I know you like facts. Here is one.

Over the last 10 years, Gallup reports that about one-third of Americans surveyed believe the UN is doing a "good job".

Gallup UN

Interesting to note that in the last 50 years there were two times when support for the UN moved above 50% -- Gulf War and Post 9-11.

As you can see from the polling data most Americans agree with Mike and generally have done so over the past few decades.

That's not to say that the UN serves no purpose but the idea that any country feels itself bound by the United Nations charter when it comes to war is absurd.

Read:

Does the U.N. ever actually go to war?http://theweek.com/article/index/248966/does-the-un-ever-actually-go-to-war

Brian Sussman on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 23:39

Barack Obama is the Head of State, Chief Executive of the USA, and the Commander-in-Chief of the entire USA military. But he was democratically elected, in a constitutional republic, and his authority is limited by the US Constitution, by Congress and by the Federal Courts. Therefore our President cannot dictate his power, but must rely on his authority under the laws of the USA. President Obama is seeking authority, from Congress, for the USA to attack Syria.

Therefore, the proper question is, should the United States attack Syria?

It is true that such fascist dictators as Egypt's Gen Sisi and Syria's Bashar Al-Assad are themselves the State, or as Louis XIV said "L'État, c'est moi".

New Rochelle was founded by the Huguenots, precisely because of France's King Louis XIV habit of massacring his own people due to differences in how he and a substantial portion of France’s population practiced Christianity.

For three years, Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad, likewise, has been massacring Syria’s population, most of whom are Sunni Muslims, whereas Assad and his gang of hoodlums practice the obscure Alawite sect of Islam The Assads and their gang, the Ba'ath Party, have been terrorizing the Syrian population since Bashar’s daddy, Hafez al-Assad and the Ba'ath Party, took over Syria in 1963. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was also a member of the Ba'ath Party, which is an essentially fascist organization. Since WWI, the main governments that have used poison gas on people, have all been fascists, such as Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Bashar Assad.

Personally I dislike war, and believe it is mostly unnecessary. The only major war in our history, that I am confident the USA should definitely have fought was WWII. All our enemies in WWII were fascists, who were intent on massacring vast quantities of civilians, and literally taking over the world.

Although I am uncomfortable with war, I believe we were correct in our limited engagements in Bosnia and Libya. Likewise, I believe we would be correct in a limited engagement in Syria, if no other realistic alternatives would be made available. Doing so, would have the benefit of sending strong messages to other dangerous dictators such as Egypt’s Gen Sisi and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, as well as to Iran, which currently has a democratically-elected President, President Hassan Rouhani. President Rouhani is relatively moderate by Iranian standards, but his country is to some extent ruled by ‘Supreme Leader’ Ali Khamenei who effectively is a religious dictator.

Basically, I think the USA military should destroy Syria’s radar, missiles and air force.

As an alternative, a solution would be for Bashar Assad’s best friend, Russian President Vladimir Putin to arrange for Assad to die ‘naturally’ in bed. Putin knows how to arrange this, as he used to be the USSR’s director of the KGB, their equivalent of the CIA. Perhaps Presidents Obama and Putin can discuss this next week, when Barack Obama will be in St Petersburg, Russia. I think the diplomatic way of phrasing his request, would be for President Obama to casually ask President Putin “won't someone rid me of this meddlesome President of Syria?”

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 23:28

Brian,

I posted a question. You don't get to answer by creating an entirely new question and then answering your own question.

Barack Obama is the Head of State, Chief Executive of the USA, and the Commander-in-Chief of the entire USA military. But he was democratically elected, in a constitutional republic, and his authority is limited by the US Constitution, by Congress and by the Federal Courts. Therefore our President cannot dictate his power, but must rely on his authority under the laws of the USA. President Obama is seeking authority, from Congress, for the USA to attack Syria.

Therefore, the proper question is, should the United States attack Syria?

I would dispute this construct.

Obama has already said that there is no Constitutional requirement that he obtain authority to attack Syria from the U.S. Congress. His entire cabinet and Congressional leadership have supported him on this point -- Democrats and Republicans.

I am sure you are well aware that the United States has engaged in a wide range of military actions without declaring war. In fact, the United States Congress has declared war just five times in its history: War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. The last time the Congress "declared war" was over 70 years ago.

Even if Congress were to vote to "authorize" an attack on Syria, it does not compel the President to attack Syria. The only person who can "pull the trigger" on such an attach is President Obama in his role as CINC.

So, the question remains: Should Obama Attack Syria?

John Imburgia on Mon, 09/02/2013 - 00:31

We don't need to get involved in any more wars. For once, let's mind our own business.

Brian Sussman on Mon, 09/02/2013 - 22:06

John Imburgia - I agree with you that we should never have gotten into the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, and that GW Bush was a fool for starting those wars, especially considering the length of those wars. And that the Korean and Vietnam wars could have and should have been avoided.

But when it comes to a country committing genocide or actually using weapons of mass destruction, such as nerve gas or nuclear bombs, it is best not to follow your implied suggestion of emulating Neville Chamberlain and ignoring a serious problem that can only become worse by not halting the crimes against humanity sooner than later.

If you are not simply being politically partisan, I presume, that you have protested, and still are protesting, our absurd wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.