The war drums are currently beating for an attack on Syria as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people. In contrast to the way that the progressive media responded to the invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush, today's media are wholeheartedly supporting President Obama's decision to go forth and offer a military response to the situation in Syria. The media are not asking critical questions that need to be asked of any military venture by U.S. forces. Consequently, they are seeking to coerce the American public into believing that this is something which must be done, a moral crusade for which George W. Bush was excoriated. Certainly, we can all agree that a chemical attack is a serious situation, but does that give the United States and its allies justification for launching missiles against a nation that has not invaded one of its neighbors and has not upset the political balance of the region? Regardless of one's views about whether or not the Iraq invasion was necessary or justified, at least in that situation Saddam Hussein had threatened the delicate political balance by invading another country. In regard to Syria, it seems that the only premise for an American assault is that we have a moral obligation to punish those who have utilized chemical weapons against their own people. Interestingly, this is the type of moral campaigning that Democrats have criticized for decades but are now embracing under the presidency of Barack Obama. Suddenly, it is perfectly acceptable or even morally imperative that the United States take a moral stand for the good of humanity.
Were Mitt Romney the president of the United States and were he to follow the same steps that the Obama administration is taking with Syria, the media would be hitting the president with some very tough questions. They would ask why approval from Congress was not being sought before taking action. They would denounce such aggressive action as yet another attempt by America to impose its ideology on another country. They would warn that we are making more enemies than friends by seeking a military approach to a situation that warrants a diplomatic solution. They would caution that a unilateral attack on Syria would be disrespectful to the community of nations and would undermine our status. They would ask whether the president was trying to deflect attention away from his domestic troubles by creating an enemy that does not exist. They would implore the administration to refrain from launching an offensive that might result in the deaths of women and children. They would suggest that the United Nations inspectors be given all the time they need to ensure that the evidence supports the accusation. In many cases these questions are appropriate and necessary, but they should be asked of any president who is taking it upon himself to attack another country that has not threatened the interests or the security of the United States, particularly this president whose own administration praised Syrian president Bashar Assad as a reformer just a year ago.
The Los Angeles Times reports that, "The barrage could begin in days, officials said, and probably would last only a few days. The attacks would not target Assad or seek to overturn his government or end the civil war that has raged since early 2011. Those carrying out the attacks also would try to avoid hitting chemical weapons depots for fear of releasing toxins and causing more victims, or opening the sites to looters." This leads one to wonder why we are attacking Syria in the first place? If we are not seeking to overturn the government, not intervening in the civil war, and not wiping out their chemical weapons facilities, then is this anything more than an attempt by President Obama to appear decisive and authoritative, even presidential, during a time when his domestic and foreign policies are unpopular and his image as president is considered weak? Out of all the questions that should be asked of this president, perhaps this is the one that truly gets to the crux of the situation. Moreover, it's the only theory that is plausible when one considers that the president, Democrats in Congress, and the leftist media are violating the very principles upon which they stood when tearing down President George W. Bush.