POTUS Obama has boxed himself into a no-win geopolitical mess in Syria. From what I’ve read, the warning to Syria’s dictator Assad that using chemical weapons in their ongoing civil war would “cross a red line” was off-the-cuff. That’s just remarkably inept, amateurish, and egotistical. The POTUS should never issue a “red line” warning without consulting his cabinet, the DOD, and State Department, and that’s just for starters. There are probabilities to estimated and risks to be weighed, but no, he just walked right into Mordor.
I’m guessing he was, once again, playing at being presidential, just like he’s seen past presidents do. It’s worth noting that those “red lines” have a mixed track record; note that POTUS W issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, and Hussein doubted its sincerity and so tried to call that bluff. The difference was that W was no wishy-washy warm-n-fuzzy Bill Clinton; W had issued the ultimatum to placate wishy-washy allies rather than to try to get Hussein to fall in line; what’s more, W had correctly assumed that Hussein would ignore the warning and so we were prepared for that eventuality, but had Hussein caved then we would have gotten our way with just words – a geopolitical win-win for the U.S.
The dilemma for POTUS Obama is that we don’t want either side to prevail. Syria’s Assad is a monster, and the insurgents are mostly Al-Qaeda monsters, so it’s better that they kill off as many of each other as possible in this meatgrinder of a bloodbath war. As for the innocent casualties of this war, I have, at best, a moderate sympathy for the anti-American anti-Jew Syrian civilian population – sort-of a combination of the mild sensation of “that’s a shame” which is overshadowed by a chin-jutting angryfaced “screw them!”
POTUS Obama’s threat was ill-considered and he was unprepared for the eventuality of his bluff being called, even though he’s had a year to man-up and consult with wiser minds. Granted that the State Department is staffed almost entirely by liberal world citizens and socialist policy-wonks who are as useless and stupid as Obama, but had he consulted the Joint Chiefs of Staff beforehand he would probably have been advised that the extent to which POTUS Obama was willing to punish Syria would probably not be sufficient to act as a deterrent. Assad, fighting a devastating 2-year long civil war, might welcome a limited airstrike. It might ignite a regional firestorm, as Iran has threatened it will; that would draw fighters out of Syria and into Lebanon, shifting the conflict in Syria’s favor. Alternatively, it might garner sympathy and support from anti-American a-holes from around the world – the usual a-hole countries, like Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba, the Norks, and so on. The downside is that there might be more airstrikes if he uses chemical arms again – maybe, and then again maybe not. All things considered, it’s not a bad bet for Assad.
The best bet for Assad would be to call POTUS Obama’s bluff, and make no mistake, that was Assad’s intent – he ordered the attack to coincide with the very day of the one-year anniversary of the red-line threat. With no serious repercussions he would be free to use chemical weapons (provided his soldiers actually carry out those orders), and that would tilt the conflict in Syria’s favor. As it’s shaping up, POTUS Obama, unable to parlay his smart diplomacy and personal charm into a coalition of the willing, is now in the position of having to back up his threat using U.S. warpower alone, which is a loss of face for Obama and America. It’s also a rebuke to the dumbass Liberals who elected him, who are apparently too stupid to experience the cognitive dissonance which should have them screaming themselves to sleep every night. Going to war, without Congressional approval, without U.N. approval, against an enemy that is posing no threat to the United States, again. Remember Libya, folks? Again.
Still, we have to make a token effort, something that will inflict a stinging punishment but not a crippling blow. We can do that, and we must in order to preserve the credibility of POTUS-issued “red line” threats.