When you use military might to punish another country that is in the midst of a civil war, it is nonetheless an act of war. The American Congress has debated the issue and appears to be backing the President who threatens to punish Syria at his will. That willful act now has a timetable because Congress will give him 60-90 days to pull the trigger and to be done with it.
The trouble is, pulling the trigger once will not end our involvement. It will only be the beginning as we surely know from recent history.
America hasn’t the capacity to finish what it is starting with an incursion into Syria.
Marco Rubio was eloquent today in addressing the issue. He observed that had President Obama and Hillary Clinton been more timely in addressing the opportunity to engage the rebels, there would be more alternatives today than America bombing Syria.
This analyst believes that is true. President Obama is a procrastinator and is overly deliberate as if he controls the schedule. He doesn’t. Timeliness is not this president’s forte.
It is timely for Congress to back the President as he engages the G20. There he might obtain more support or some other ideas for how to deal with the situation. But that may just be hopeful thinking because we have missed the window for better options.
"Sen. Marco Rubio said that because of U.S. inaction in Syria for the past two years, a desired scenario where President Bashar Assad is toppled and replaced with a stable government “may no longer be possible.”
“If he stays in power, that’s obviously bad because it empowers Iran and so forth, but if he falls, it’s also possible it could trigger a second civil war,” the Florida Republican told CNN on Tuesday. “So we are really in a bind here, and again, directly the result of the president’s mishandling of this entire situation.”
“To use a football analogy, if you’re down nine points with five seconds to go in the game, there’s not anything you can do to win the game, because there’s no such thing as a nine-point play in football,” he said. “I hate to keep going back to the same point, but we may have reached a point now where there is no good outcome possible in this conflict and again, it is the direct result of the mismanagement of this administration.”"
Touchdown, Marco Rubio.
Read the New Yorker today as they cover the subject from a historical perspective.
“Eisenhower’s calculated indecisiveness—what looked like spinelessness to those who wanted unequivocal action—in fact offers an excellent precedent for Obama. Like any President, Obama must know that a military strike against another country, whether a major attack or a shot across the bow—whether undertaken by one nation or by a coalition—is an act of war, just as if another country had fired on Washington. Ike’s hesitations went to the very heart of any military engagement. As Hagerty recorded in his diary, “The President said that if we were to put one combat soldier into Indochina, then our entire prestige would be at stake, not only in that area but throughout the world.”
Eisenhower understood, as Obama surely does, how America’s role can change indelibly in a moment: that sending a single air strike, or soldier or, as happened with later Administrations, thousands of soldiers, binds us to the outcome. The Eisenhower-era military did not have the capacity to launch a cruise missile from a Navy ship, but Eisenhower, a retired five-star general who could brush off political bullying, understood the consequences and purposes of war, the fragility of national prestige, and that, in the midst of emotions that can lead to ill-considered actions, indecisiveness may sometimes be the best first response.”