How can we not talk about Syria?
But what can we say about Syria?
I am no expert. But like millions of others I lived through Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraqi and I don't see how involvement in a civil war a) makes Syria better in the end b) avenges the horror of a tyrant who slaughters innocents or c) serves our national interest.
That said, I am totally sympathetic to the president's desire to "do something" in behalf of human decency and a world that is shocked and offended, but unwilling to act.
If the U.N. were functional, and not dysfunctional, it would be the job of the U.N. to intervene in behalf of humanity. But the U.N. is totally useless.
"Why us?" people ask.
There is no one else.
What is Obama thinking?
He is thinking of the holocaust.
Once the world said, "never again."
Now -- think of Uganda, Rwanda, Tibet, and now Syria, to name just a few -- the world shrugs and says "whatever."
But it is very hard, politically, to make a case for a military intervention based on humanitarian considerations. Especially when there seems to be no plan: Who are we going to bomb and to what end? If someone has a plan to take out Assad, I think military authorization sails through Congress. Or if someone knows where to find the command officer who ordered the slaughter of women and children with nerve gas. But "symbolic" bombing to send a message of displeasure? If that is what we are talking about, that's jive and unworthy of this president and a war-weary nation.
As for taking this thing to Congress, that part is politically, geo-politically, and constitutionally smart
When I think of Syria, I think of Kitty Genovese.
When she was murdered in Brooklyn in 1964, there were many witnesses who heard her cry for help but no one got involved.
Today, Syria is being murdered by two different assailants--the Assad regime and rebel forces.
Both are bloodthirsty, sociopathic thugs who have total contempt for human decency.
President Obama has heard Syria's cries for help and has decided the best course of action is to side with one of the thugs.
Does this make sense?
OK, so President Obama wants to "do something".
And everyone from the rebels to Assad's troops know that whatever that "something" is won't mean a damn bit of difference.
The President knows that too -- otherwise he would have acted by now without congressional approval.
So here we are, Obama is trying to sell us something even he doesn't believe will work. As a salesman, you have to believe in what your selling. No wonder this isn't going anywhere