Saturday, September 7

Tilting At Windmills

Since last Saturday when The Insufferable Airhorn spoke in the Rose Garden about the “crisis” in Syria, we have seen the political role reversals of hawks and doves.

Bill Kristol, whom I abandoned some time ago, suggested in his op-ed at The Weekly Standard that “using this resolution to cast a vote of no confidence against Obama would empower those abroad making the case against placing confidence in the United States. That would be damaging. And in the real world, a vote against Obama will be seen as a vote for Bashar al-Assad, and for Vladimir Putin, and for the regime in Iran.”

Kristol insists “the right vote” by Republicans, a party that for at least two generations has held the banner of American leadership and strength, should not cast a vote that obviously risks a damaging erosion of this country’s stature and credibility abroad.”

Kristol continues, “A Yes vote is in fact the easy vote. It’s actually close to risk-free. After all, it’s President Obama who is seeking the authorization to use force and who will order and preside over the use of force. It’s fundamentally his policy. Lots of Democrats voted in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war. When that war ran into trouble, it was President Bush and Republicans who paid the price. If the Syria effort goes badly, the public will blame President Obama, who dithered for two years, and who seems inclined to a halfhearted execution of any military campaign. If it goes well, Republicans can take credit for pushing him to act decisively, and for casting a tough vote supporting him when he asked for authorization to act.”

Kristol, to my way of thinking, is correct on one point:  President Bush and the Republicans did pay the price when the Iraq war effort went badly and if Syria goes badly the current Oval Office occupant will be evisorated.  Kristol’s only concern is about Republican senators and congressmen re-establishing their “anti-Obama credentials.”  Good grief, man.  Sending our men and women to another pesthole is all kinds of wrong.

Caught between Iraq and a hard place are two of our betters—Hollywood actors Ed Asner and Mike Farrell.  In a stunning revelation about the silence of Tinseltown and their disappointment in their idol’s penchant for military action Farrell said, "I'm frankly deeply disappointed in the president's foreign policy, war-making, his reliance on military rather than diplomatic responses, his use of drones, continued allowance of the Guantanamo prison. He's a disappointment to me and other people I know."

"I voted for him, but I'm not proud. He hasn't thrown himself on the funeral pyre. I wanted him to sacrifice himself. Instead, he has proved himself to be a corporatist, and as long as he's a corporatist, he's not my president," Asner said. "A lot of people have lost hope—with the betrayals, the NSA spying…People aren't getting active because 'Who gives a shit?' is essentially the bottom line."

Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist.  "A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama," he said.

What a magnificent example of cowardice.

Then there’s this.  District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) who has been a member of Congress since January 1991 confessed recently that if President McBombypants actually gets the votes he needs for the resolution “it’ll be because of loyalty of Democrats. They just don’t want to see him shamed and humiliated on the national stage."

On Thursday, September 5th, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus issued what is, in effect, a gag order asking members to “limit public comment”.  The request was designed to quiet dissent while “shoring up support for President Obama’s Syria strategy.”

That “red line” The Insufferable Airhorn has now disowned has gotten all over him, Hollywood and progressive activists.  It’s one big clusterfuck..

It reminds me of Don Quixote de la Mancha.  Quixote, as we all remember from our high school or college lit classes, was a victim of his delusions.  In Miguel de Cervantes’ novel, knight-errant Quixote tilts at windmills that he imagines to be giants:
“Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, ‘Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.’"  
"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.  
"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."  
"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
It is obvious to this observer that we have Don Quixote in the White House begging for lawmakers to unleash the dogs of war in a vicious snake pit of cannibalistic rebels and savage Islamic extremists.

I believe that America should stay out of Syria.  Let neighboring nations deal with the barbarians at their gate.  I am quite certain that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the spine of steel needed to protect his people.

"Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next," wrote General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, only one month ago. "Deeper involvement is hard to avoid."

We have learned in this decade via the Iranian Green Revolution in 2009 that barbarian elements in social revolutions cannot be harnessed.  Neda Agha-Soltan died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Her last moments—captured on a cell phone camera and shown around the world—catapulted her into the symbol of the postelection reform movement in Iran.

No one will say how many have died in Egypt’s coup against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Two years after the Arab Spring revolution that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi, and one year after the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others, Libya’s fragile government has little control over the nation’s security.

The whole of the Middle East is a powder keg and the blast wave that we invite by interfering in Syria may well involve America in a conflagration of tectonic proportions.

One final thought, the errand boy sent by grocery clerks is slated to speak to the nation this Tuesday on taking military action against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.  For the whole of his second term, this president and his apparatchiks have deflected and distracted through sleight-of-hand and carefully coordinated propaganda, not the least of which has been on the issue of Benghazi.  The lies are damnable. 

I think it’s important to note that Obama will use the eve of 9/11 (the World Trade Center attack and the Benghazi murders) to create an imagery and recount emotions meant to sway Congress.

As he feigns outrage, his argument for intervention is weak and this nation does not need to be thrown into the crucible he created.

While battling for reelection in August of 2012, he drew a “red line”.  Saying now, “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line,” is his desperate attempt to rescue his personal credibility from his hubristic foolishness.

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