Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mr. Obama’s Syrian Policy Falls Victim to America’s History in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan

And Victim to the Ignorance and Arrogance of the Administration in History and Politics

With the decision by President Obama to postpone any Congressional action on U. S. authority to take action in Syria, it is now probable that absent some new provocation by Syria  no such vote in the Congress will ever take place.  No one really wants a vote.  Opponents are not eager to undermine the President and supporters are not eager to take action which has no political support.  There may be a token effort by Syria to allow outside control of its chemical weapons, there may be a real response but that response is largely outside the influence or control of the United States.

Mr. Obama and his people may not know it but their failure here has its roots in the history of the last 65 years.  In that time frame America has intervened in wars in Korea and Vietnam and started  wars in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.   Korea can be called a modest success and Kuwait was a real success, thanks to the fact that George H. W. Bush was a lot smarter than his son, but  the others were abject failures resulting in huge loss of life and limb, huge outlays and huge weariness on the part of the American people to intervene militarily in conflicts which did not have direct American interests at stake.

Hindsight tells us that Vietnam was not necessary, and in fact was a total fabrication.  The American people were told that if North Vietnam took over South Vietnam the entire Southeast Asia region would fall to communism, and world wide domination by communists would result.  This was garbage.  The fallacy of the war in Iraq is still in the headlines today, where sectarian and political violence occurs on a regular basis.  And the idea that the U. S. could establish a working democracy in Afghanistan is ludicrous.  The U. S. cannot even establish an effective central government in that country.

And so with Syria the American people have reached their limit.  It is not that they accept chemical warfare, it is that they no longer trust the government in foreign military adventures.  America has reached its limits, and the people recognize this even as the political leaders do not.  George Bush in Iraq and Barack Obama in Afghanistan have left the American public with zero appetite for any foreign military activity. 

That this is not apparent to the administration and its supporters is bizarre.  These are supposed to be smart people, but it turns out they are both ignorant and arrogant, particularly of politics which they probably consider beneath them.   And Mr. Obama and his administration are now paying the political  price for that ignorance and arrogance.  And even worse, it is unlikely they will learn anything from the experience. 

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