"We hear one another, and understand the arguments but we don't agree. I don't agree with his arguments, he doesn't agree with mine," ---Russian President Vladimir Putin
It seems that a lot of people have been advising, pleading, even warning President Obama about Syria; but he seems hell-bent on having his way. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 6 out of 10 Americans oppose military strikes in Syria. And unless it caves in to pressure from the Obama Administration like it did on Obamacare, the Congress doesn't favor military intervention in Syria either.
What seems to be driving Obama's thinking can only be attributed to downright naivety or extreme hubris. Either way, if it turns out to be a mistake, the consequences for America would be huge. Haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan? So many lives lost and billions of dollars wasted to save face. And neither country has embraced fully the democratic principles we had hoped for them. America cannot impose its will on the world. It seems that the Middle Eastern countries closest to the atrocities in Syria should be the ones to intervene. But where are their voices?
The more Congress and public opinion seem not to want the President to risk getting involved in an ill-advised confrontation with Syria, the closer President Obama seems to calling out the troops. According to New York Times reporter Charlie Savage, the way forward for Obama and the Congress on the issue of military intervention in Syria is anything but clear:
On another level, the proposed strike is unlike anything that has come before — an attack inside the territory of a sovereign country, without its consent, without a self-defense rationale and without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council or even the participation of a multilateral treaty alliance like NATO, and for the purpose of punishing an alleged war crime that has already occurred rather than preventing an imminent disaster.
Does anybody really think that a few well aimed missiles will do the trick? Does anybody really think that boots will not end up on the ground? Does anybody really think that Syria and its allies (Russia, China, Iran, etc) will sit idly by and let the U.S. have its way in this Arab nation? No one with any common sense believes that will be the end of it. History assures us of this.
Everybody's talking but Obama isn't listening because he's caught up in his own personal brand of manifest destiny. Oddly enough, this excerpt from Obama's presidential victory speech seems to bear this out. Try replacing "we" with "I" in the speech:
That moment when we shed our fears and our doubts. When we don't settle for what the cynics tell us we have to accept. Because cynicism is a sorry sort of wisdom. When we instead join arm in arm and decide we are going to remake this country, block by block, precinct by precinct, county by county, state by state. That's what hope is. There's a moment in the life of every generation, when that spirit has to come through if we are to make our mark on history. And this is our moment. This is our time.
The world just isn't that afraid of the U.S. anymore. And President Obama is viewed by some as a weak president similarly to how former President Jimmy Carter was viewed during his White House tenure. Carter sent in a strike force to rescue the American hostages in Iran but failed miserably and embarrassed the country. Is history about to repeat itself? Failure in Syria could lead to something much worse --- some are even suggesting WWIII. That may be extreme (or not), but the point is there are bound to be consequences which will change America's fortunes on the world stage for the future.
The American people have a right to be concerned and they should be. Somebody's got to get to this President and make him listen. The world is watching and waiting to see if Obama's Syria will be the next Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan or some new uncharted sovereign land.
" Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God (1 Timothy 2:2 CEV)."
UPDATE: Prayer is an awesome game changer. Diplomacy may give the U.S. an opportunity to avert armed conflict with Syria. Let's pray that cooler heads will prevail and that God will aid the effort toward a peaceable outcome for all concerned parties.
LATEST UPDATE: Crisis averted in Syria. When God inserts Himself into the affairs of men, good things happen.