As we prepare to launch some sort of punishing strike against the Assad regime in Syria, the question of WMDs comes up again. We recall that 1) no significant WMDs were found in Iraq after Gulf2, and 2) that our military reported large convoys of trucks headed to Syria in the weeks before Gulf2 started with its ‘shock and awe’. Now we have evidence that Assad has used chemical WMDs – primarily the Sarin nerve gas – against both rebels and his own civilians.
What has been absent in the lamestream's coverage is the entire issue of how and when did Assad get the reported 1,000 tons of chemical WMDs that he has squirreled away across Syria. There have been no reports, especially by Israel, of such a massive infusion of these weapons from other suppliers since Gulf2. All we have is clear historical evidence that numerous convoys of Iraqi military trucks were observed heading for Syria before hostilities started.
The Left then gleefully reported the absence of Iraqi WMDs in their scourging of Bush2 for Gulf2. In these pages (see comment stream here) we offered the reasonable conjecture that Saddam shipped his WMDs to fellow Baathists in Syria in the ample time he had before we started our last mid-east war. Today this conjecture is again being picked up on sites like The Diplomad 2.0 (H/T to reader).
So now we are within hours of launching strikes whose only clear purpose is to risk American lives to deliver an inconclusive slap on Assad’s wrist. And the purpose of that slap? I believe it is only to extract Obama’s foot from his red-lined mouth. With the given assurances of no intended regime change, what other interest could this inanity possibly serve?
My own thoughts on the matter put a more comprehensive objective into play here as we await the return of Congress (now scheduled for 9 Sep). I would advise Congress to get back to DC right after Labor Day, debate the matter, and give conditional support for the strike provisioned on the following –
1. Make it not a pin prick with no threat of regime change, but a massive air/missile assault on all facets of Assad’s military infrastructure and fighting capability with the express intention that this action is intended to abet regime change.
2. Include the promise and schedule of material military support to the secular Syrian rebels to aid them in prevailing against both Assad and the out-country radical Islamic factions hoping to turn post-Assad Syria into an Islamic theocracy a la Iran.
3. State clearly that the US and its allies will support the new non-theocratic Syrian government against any remnant radical factions that intend to oppose such a new Syria.
4. Enlarge the overall authorization to include the principled message aimed at Iran, that the US and its allies view Iran’s accession to the nuclear club with equal animosity as it holds all nations employing WMDs against their own people.
[2sep13 update] Historian, classicist, and commentator Victor Davis Hanson is one today’s leading observers and interpreters of America’s fundamental transformation. A recent interview with him is featured in the WSJ’s Uncommon Knowledge video series (here). In it he discusses the role of human leadership at selected tipping points of history that reach back into antiquity, and bring us to the contemporary genesis of the Iraqi ‘surge’. The finale to this compelling 40+ minute dialogue is particularly vindicative (new word) of the ideas presented and debated on RR. Get yourself a cup of coffee and settle back for a stimulating interlude that is spot on relevant to what President Obama and his administration are going through now.
[9sep13 update] As President Obama puts on the full court press to convince the Congress and the nation that Syria should be pinpricked, we revisit the simplest explanation for understanding his actions now and over the past years. Recall that RR has maintained that his devastating policies for the country could always fall under the binary categories of being either inept outpourings from an incompetent administration, or purposeful in executing the promised fundamental transformation of America into a socialist state on par with the lost lambs of the EU. I have continue to believe that the caricatured ineptness of this administration serves to hide his true agenda for the US. Such incompetency is made more believable by the celebrations of his liberal constituency comprised of cynical elites, starry-eyed ideologues, and a plurality of the simply stupid.
Today in the 9sep13 WSJ neoconservative pundit and writer Norman Podhoretz offers ‘Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure’ that is an excellent summary of the president’s ineptness-as-camouflage foreign policy. Of the utter confusion and lame denials (“I didn’t set the red line, …”) that now issue daily from the White House, Podhoretz writes – “Yet if this is indeed the pass to which Mr. Obama has led us—and I think it is—let me suggest that it signifies not how incompetent and amateurish the president is, but how skillful. His foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish. The accomplishment would not have been possible if the intention had been too obvious. The skill lies in how effectively he has used rhetorical tricks to disguise it.”
As often opined here, Podhoretz concurs that Obama’s visible history with “anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright, unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, and the original ‘community organizer’ Saul Alinsky” laid the basis for his love of autocratic socialism that he sells under the rubric of “fairness” which can be attained only by dunning “the rich”. Not mincing his words, Podhoretz unambiguously concludes –
“As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country's power and influence.”