Most Americans are fed up with war. We had no choice but to invade Afghanistan and kill as many of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as possible. Looking back, our invading force should probably have been somewhat smaller and more special forces oriented, but after being attacked, our basic instinct was to just go after those who came after us. Iraq was a different story and a major mistake. Fighting a two front war wore out our troops and the American people fighting wars which lasted longer than WWII.
Now that Syria has erupted into civil war, and it's dictator Assad utilizing chemical weapons, the idea is for America, once again, to take the lead role and help the rebels. It is a tough question to consider since we are war weary, and you can never be 100 per cent sure of just who these rebels are. As the world's leading superpower which is supposed to stand for freedom, assisting the rebels to defeat such a crude little man with too many weapons and too little respect for human life, seems like the right thing to do. Should his eventual ouster come to fruition, it would be a sensible move to be on their side. In the end, the Arab Spring is really about a majority of the Mideast people wanting the kind of freedom they never had. We should try, with other nations, to help in that effort, even though it's a dicey proposition.
President Obama may have seemed weak for not going in alone to bomb strategic targets in Syria, but for too long, the House of Representatives, and other extreme right-wing Republicans, have done what they could to defeat Obama at every twist and turn. Always mouthing off against his ideas, but never really offering any solutions (other than more tax cuts and repealing Obamacare), this group of hacks who have an approval rating which lies somewhere below sea level, need to stand up for something. Let them voice their opinion, and their vote. This group which was behind everything George W. Bush did in the name of freedom and liberty (two words overused & abused during his two terms) now realizes attacking a tyrant may be a bridge too far. Maybe freedom and liberty are for those who the Republicans deem eligible. Nobody is for another all out war, just some help to defeat a creep.Keep in mind, before we invaded Iraq, the no-fly zone (used by Clinton) kept Saddam Hussein in check (for about a $1 billion a year).We need to see if all these new weapons work properly anyway. The real fighting and winning will have to come from the Syrian people. A barrage of cruise missiles aimed at the right targets could help turn the tide.The rebels have made some inroads so far without our help. This push may also help deflate Iran which lately seems more willing to talk with America. Iran was strengthened by our invasion of Iraq, something the Bush administration never counted on, but then again, it was the always moronic Dick Cheney who surmised we would be welcomed as liberators there.
So let congress stand up and be counted, what have they got to lose...more approval ratings? No matter what President Obama will do or could have done so far would have resulted in massive verbal attacks from right-wing Republicans. For once, Speaker John Boehner stood up for something he actually believes and wasn't just a puppet for his Tea Party clients in congress. That's a mild step forward for a man who seems to stand for nothing except what is put out by those Tea Party types. America needs to focus greater attention on itself. The Great Recession, to use an over-used line was a game changer. The ability to bounce back from that economic tragedy is tougher than past recessions because there's a different world out there now: greater global competition, industries which have been forced to do more with less, and a job market simply reduced in size that may never appear as it was when the economy was over-sized. The absurdly surging housing market a few years back was not based in any long term reality: when it went bust, it took a serious slice into the middle class, many of whom may never totally recover. I think the economic rebound-although slow moving, is still an accomplishment when you consider just how long it took to recover from the Great Depression (over 10 years & a World War).
Obama may take some charges of appearing weak because he wasn't "man enough" to just go and invade Syria, but we had a President like that a few years ago, and we'ere still fighting back from the mess he left behind. That calamity is something which is deep on the President's mind, and although he wants to help the Syrian people, he's aiming to do it right, if that's even possible. Let's help the Syrian people find a new way of life, but keep our eyes on helping Americans get back to work, and rebuilding lives shattered by economic devastation. It may be a second term where events can propel any presidential administration off track, but as our economy improves, it seems we're headed in the right direction domestically. Helping other nations find a way out of the dark can still be done without us becoming involved in an all out war. It takes planning, help from other nations, and some thought about who we are and how much help we and others can provide.The Arab Spring is about millions of people seeking a way out from dictatorships. We were once ruled by someone else and rebelled our way out to become the most powerful nation on earth. Helping others is a noble cause if done properly. It may just make the world a better place in the long run. Who can really argue with that?