Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Little Less Syria-ous

It's still scary out there.

When the threats began to attack Syria, I was worried.  I was worried that we would go to war.  I was worried that the Syrian government would continue to kill more children.  I was worried that the President wouldn't go Congress.  I was worried that he would fail when he did.  I was worried that he would succeed.  And then it all changed...

The threat of attack from the strongest military nation seemed to have some effect or maybe it didn't. Before Congress could vote and because Obama refused to say if voted down on taking military action that it would or would not stop him from striking and a supposed off-hand comment by Secretary of State John Kerry also seemed to have an effect.  I don't know what happened but a combination of events that may or may not have been orchestrated caused a change.

Following Kerry's remark suddenly President of Russia Putin announced that Syria may be amenable to turning over their chemical weapons to Russia or maybe the UN.  Suddenly Syria who had denied it had WMDs announced they had them.  They still said they hadn't used them, and Putin tried to tell the world that the rebels or terrorists as he called them had used some they stole to blame al-Assad. But the point is suddenly we weren't going to strike, and we were at the negotiation table.  Syria was suddenly a signatory of the chemical weapons treaty.  The only ones really left out in the cold were the Syrian rebels.  Putin even started to get some credit...but wait...there is something just a little fishy in the way the politics played.

The vast majority of Americans didn't want to go to war.  But a few of the Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain actually seemed disappointed that we weren't going to strike.  Others grumbled that the President had made us look weak.  Really? You cannot announce we shouldn't attack and then complain we are weak when we don't.  You don't get to complain that the POTUS isn't going to Congress and then complain when he does.  The fact is that this is a demonstration that certain political folk oppose whatever Obama is for no matter how foolish it makes them and their group look.  To quote Kerry, "This isn't a game." Get real.

Then Putin wrote his open letter which was carefully placed by a New York promotional company in the New York Times.  In it he announces our intelligence is  wrong and goes on to berate our nation's tendency to use force and then attacks the idea of American exceptionalism announced by Obama even though Obama didn't use the term in his speech.  We also now know from UN inspectors that 1. Weapons grade chemical gas was used on the people and 2. it was delivered by Russian-made missiles that only al-Assad and his government have access to.  Russia has denounced the report as inaccurate. Hmmmmmm. I don't suppose Russia's interest in all this could be that if al-Assad falls they lose their only ally in the Middle East and access to the oil there and loss of all the weapons they've "sold" to the Syrian regime.  No, that couldn't be it. But Kerry also made the statement using the famous quote of  you are "entitled to [your] own opinion, but not [your] own facts."

But then there was this response to Putin's open letter.  The hate machine of Limbaugh
and others announced that they were unsure about Putin's claims on the attack. They don't trust Obama or Kerry, "Now, you know, Vladimir Putin is saying that Obama and Kerry are lying. And I don't know about you, but I find myself to be in a really curious situation. Who do I believe, Vladimir Putin or Barack Obama and John Kerry?" said Limbaugh following the letter's publication. This was followed by Ralph Peters on Fox News announcing, "I don't like Putin, but I respect that guy. He is tough. He delivers what he says he'll deliver. He knows his people. He presents himself as a real He-Man....But he lives up to it! Our president talks tough, but in the clinch he's gutless." Some have even endorsed the president of Russia as "leader of the free world" (this was actually tweeted by Matt Drudge). I even had a friend post a link to the letter announcing that Putin makes a lot of sense.

Really? You are going to trust the guy who wants to put people in jail for public displays of things like the rainbow flag and even rainbow suspenders, runs around shirtless like he's some kind of he-man, is about as dictatorial as it comes in his own country, has blocked any chance for reform in Syria in the UN, and was once the head of the KGB over the elected President of the United States?  Does anyone remember the meeting that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had with Adolf Hitler? He took Hitler's word that Germany was not going to invade past the Sudetenland.  He was conservative too, btw.  I think I will choose the side of a president over the ally of the country who attacked its own people with serin gas.

Don't get me wrong.  What is happening in Syria is a scary thing.  It needs to be solved and hopefully without violence.  I am just thinking that if folks want to play politics, this is one topic we need to be serious about. We

I will give Obama one thing even if he stumbled into a peaceful resolution.  Republicans were prepared to vote against a war.   It united the country against taking aggressive actions or being the "police for the world."  It caused great reflection by UN.  Syria has WMDs.  Putin is at least talking to us. And rather despite what some have stated, willingness to negotiate, bring a peaceful resolution, and possibly getting rid of a mad man's WMD does not make us look weak.  It makes us look like a leader.