Last week,thousands of political blogs and millions of reader comments sent a clear message to the Obama administration. No United States military intervention or retaliation in Syria!
President Barack Obama heard the message loud and clear, changing his tact as to solving the Syrian crises. The majority of U.S. citizens would no longer tolerate a G.W. Bush approach to foreign policy. There would be no unprovoked unilateral attack on a sovereign nation paid for with the tax dollars of a protesting people.
In 2003 despite the open street protest of an estimated 16 million Americans, then president George W. Bush opted for executive power and launched an unlimited assault on the sovereign nation of Iraq; all under the guise of a ' weapons of mass destruction' search and destroy mission. Bush claiming victory on the third day of a war that would rage for 9 years, left office in relative disgrace as the war escalated.
There would be no weapons of mass destruction discovered in Iraq . The reputation of the presidency as well as the United States government would forever be tarnished in the eyes of much of the world as the U.S. military pursued a mostly invisible ( terrorist) enemy on a world-wide battlefield.
In 2011, President Obama vowed to end military involvement in Iraq while gradually withdrawing troops from Afghanistan with a full troop withdrawal by early 2014. The American people will hold Obama to that promise.
As to Syria, the president was held accountable by his constituency. Big gun diplomacy would be set aside for a negotiated settlement; as a super power resolution to confiscate and destroy the chemical stockpile held by the Syrian National Forces materialized. On Wednesday,11 Speaker of the House Harry Reid announced that Congress would postpone voting on Obama's Syrian war initiative. It was further announced that Russia and France had produced proposals for the collection and destruction of Assad's chemical weapons hoard.
The president would entertain the possibility of a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crises and then backed off on his military force initiative.
In noting the time-line of events leading to President Obama’s ordering a forward advance of United States Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea, well within striking distance of Damascus, the blogosphere filled with messages of protest. No more, not this time!
The ebb and flow of news while sometimes tough to follow in this case was a very strong indicator of public discontent. While Obama is most arguably a humanitarian his “red-line in the sand” argument simply failed to compel the people of the U.S. and allies of the United States Federal Government, to engage in yet another endless Middle East conflict. Iraq had cost the United States tax payer $2 trillion and no fewer than 190,000 souls. The Afghanistan war has raged for a decade and is still killing U.S. military personnel on a daily basis, with no end in site.
With thousands of mentally and physically disabled military war veterans returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq 1&2, many of them jobless and some homeless, America has become painfully aware of the price paid for foreign war. And despite a very measurable human concern for the welfare of those held captive by a despot ruler in Syria, is no longer willing to pay for the policing of the planet with human sacrifice and the resulting economic downgrade of a debt burdened society, at the expense of current and future generations.
For many Americans Syria is not a political party issue, nor is it simply a question of humanitarian policy, it’s a matter of self-preservation; economic considerations and the review of an antiquated policy promoting the preservation of “ Democracy” and America’s responsibility to uphold “ good” in a perceived evil world.
Obama pulled the good and evil card yet failed to convince the majority as to the validity and urgency of his delivered message. The social media driven world wide web that sprung the ‘Arab Spring,’ the match that lit the fire under the Syrian Civil War, also served to fire a warning shot across the bow of the United States Navy.
Not this time!