Can Obama Control Syrian Outcomes?

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Obama is speaking of a “limited, narrow act”. The fact is, however, that he has no control over the short-term and long-term responses of the Syrians, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Russians, Israel, and the Iranians. He has no control over current and future terrorists. He may imagine that he is executing a tit for tat or a surgical strike, but the other players need not accept that way of looking at a cruise missile attack. In all probability, their memories and histories suggest that they are not going to consider this attack an isolated event. They will surely connect it to the entire history of U.S. actions in the past, especially those of the past 10 years.

I have to wonder who is advising the President at this juncture. I have to question their judgment in utmost seriousness. I find what they are contemplating as unbelievably imprudent and rash. The red line statement a year ago was already a very bad idea, and now this. There are no gains from bombing that even come close to the risks and uncertain outcomes that such an act causes. There is ample time in the future to mount a crusade against chemical weapons, if that is what Obama and Kerry want, when the political environment is less dangerous. There is simply no urgency to respond right away and none to do so via an attack on Syria. There is not going to be a domino effect with other nations suddenly reneging on the Chemical Weapons Convention. Bombing Syria has no connection with the voluntary movement of nations away from chemical weapons.

3:38 pm on August 30, 2013