A few observations from the peanut gallery are in order around the decision on next steps on Syria. This is a difficult decision with no clear-cut answer which will solve all problems. It is truly a “Catch 22” decision in many respects. So, it deserves the necessary amount of due diligence, so we and our allies who support us can agree that this is what we should do and here are the parameters on the authority granted. Also, what do we hope to accomplish and what are steps that we can take if Syria, Russia, etc. react a certain way needs much discussion? I certainly do not want this to be a political football as we tend to do in this country. Saying it another way, I do not want spin doctors trying to make a decision that is in the best interest of a political party. What is the best thing for our country and our allies?
I have already read comments from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Let me state the obvious in reaction, you of all people along with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove do not need to offer an opinion. Our credibility is in question because of your building a story of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Scooter Libby, one of Karl Rove’s lackeys went to jail because he outed a CIA agent to discredit her husband and former ambassador who called you on the carpet when you misused his reconnaissance to build this story. American and allied troops died because of this fabrication. This is why the rest of the world is skeptical. Thank you gentlemen for sullying our honor.
Mr. President, you cannot escape either, as your continuation of the NSA spying set-up under Bush makes us look poor. While I support your decision to seek Congressional approval, it does not build credibility when you are answering questions about reading emails of leaders of other countries. We have got to get back to better footing permitting surveillance, but respecting the rights of people not under suspicion. We must have better governance over this and our drone program. We are not there and that is disappointing.
With all of that said, Assad is a war criminal equal to that of Saddam Hussein. It is pretty obvious to recognize that Assad gassed his own people. There are many dead on Assad’s hands, but when he gasses innocent kids, he is the worst of the worst. The evidence looks very compelling and shows that Assad is an evil person that needs to be stopped in some manner. If no one stops him, he will accept inaction as free license and will do it again. He has the backing of a Russia, where Putin is a classically trained KGB hood. From this old fart’s chair, it is apparent that Assad and Putin will push as much as they can to see what they can get away with.
No one wants to do what needs to be done. Yet, I think the world is at a point that someone needs to stand up to bullies and say you cannot do this. This is why if we decide to act, we better be darn sure what we intend to do and know how to handle possible reactions. Russia will not support a UN Security Council vote. If Russia and China had stepped and done the honorable thing two years ago, coordinated action could have been taken earlier. Yet, given the WMD error noted above, we better be darn sure we have it right. If we don’t, then the President should be fired. This is too important to screw up. And, I do agree with the President – it is not just his credibility, it is our nation’s as we cannot lie to our allies and the rest of the world. We have to climb out of the WMD and NSA holes.
So, I hope our Congress does its due diligence and asks all the right questions. We deserve an informed choice not a political one. I hope the President speaks to us citizens and our allies more. If we need to act and, we may need to, to stop this war criminal, we need to do so with seriousness of purpose. As an example, getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the easiest part of Iraq. Making the country governable is the hardest. Let’s remember that lesson. I wish the wisdom of Solomon for all of our legislators and those in other countries.