Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, September 6, 2013

It's Tricky, This Syria Business

Just for old times' sake, I think I'll start my survey of what Republicans of some repute (of what repute, I shall refrain from elaborating) are saying about the upcoming Syria decision by looking at my former senator, Rick Santorum, who is very worried about that tyrant winning. You know. The one in the White House.

"An al Qaeda-run Syria is no better than an Assad-Iran-Hezbollah-run Syria," he says in the statement. "What is happening there is tragic, but it is not in the United States’ best interest to intervene with a military strike." 
In March 2012, when Santorum was battling Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, the former senator told TIME Magazine air strikes "would certainly be one of the things" he would consider as a strategy for taking out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. 
"Had President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acted then in support of pro-democracy forces when that rebellion was taking place, we could have removed Assad and helped usher in stability for that country," Santorum says in Thursday's statement. "But we have a very different situation today. After nearly two years, 100,000 people killed, a rebel force comprised of al Qaeda and a Syrian regime in a much stronger position, a military strike would no longer be in our national security interest."
I find that I actually have some overlap with respects to his negative view of what is currently capable of being accomplished by acting, while completely disagreeing with him regarding whether action ever would have brought about a positive result.  I don't actually forsee an "al Qaeda-run Syria" as the necessary result of missile strikes, but since the ultimate goal isn't supposed to be regime change, no better is still no better. I just seriously question whether US intervention ever seriously could have tipped the scales in the favor of "the rebellion"--as if it wouldn't have fragmented anyway, or ever really was that cohesive. I'm not saying I know better, just that I doubt he does. But I have to point out that if Santorum were to have won (hrmmffppf...mphff....giggle...bwahhahahahaha) both the GOP primary and the election, surely he'd had sprung into action no sooner than sometime in 2013, amirite? Which would have been--too late? And it is interesting, no, that the "red lines" that Santorum thinks are reckless now, are part of the Syria Accountability Act that Santorum supported? Right. Santorum is only half-right because he doesn't care for a Democrat in the White House, otherwise, I think he'd be capable of being all wrong.

But he's got nothin' on Smokin' Aces McCain. 

Now, that Johnny Mac was thinking that the Senate not voting with the resolution would be "catastrophic" was exactly what I would have expected. There's hardly a war or escalation thereof that I can recall that McCain hasn't favored. But he verily did outdo himself by deciding that he didn't care for this force resolution because, nope, it just wasn't war-like enough.  Because...I dunno. I guess he forgot that once the war-ball gets rolling, sometimes we do escalate if the situation dictates (or some brass asshole thinks it does) and the matter could get brought before Congress again because, like, it's not like Congress isn't always um, a thing we Constitutionally have, and all? Or maybe Senator Sorebottom just doesn't think the whippersnapper who kicked his ass five years ago should get a war resolution. Like I said, it's tricky.

You know who I wouldn't ask for his opinion on the Syria resolution, though? Don Rumsfeld.  You know, for one of the people a lot of us on The Left might like to see clapped into the Hague, he's weirdly not shutting up about how wars should go no matter how fail he was. So:

Savannah: Looming over this debate time and time again has been the specter of Iraq, most recently the UK parliament many members cited the failure of intelligence leading up to Iraq as the reason they won't take action now in Syria because they don't trust US intelligence. Do you personally take any responsibility for that or feel any responsibility for that?
Rumsfeld: Well I think the intelligence community turned out to be wrong, and the presentation made by Secretary of State Colin Powell proved out to be wrong. On the other hand you had a brutal dictator in Iraq who had used chemical weapons on his own people, used them against his neighbors rebuffed seventeen UN resolutions and President Bush went to the Congress, got the support of the congress, went to the UN, got the support of the UN and fashioned a very large coalition so it seems to me that all the appropriate steps were taken and the Congress, Democratic congress voted for regime change in Iraq.
I read that as: "It's okay if you lie your way into a war, so long as you are wildly successful at the lying part." And the problem is, the Obama team just aren't being good enough liars.  If they were better liars, the GOP would fall in line, no duh. The Defense Department under Rumsfeld using torture as an intelligence-gathering device shortly after the Afghan invasion is alleged to be a material part of the trumped-up case brought by Sec of State Powell during his "Diorama of Doom" presentation, but whevs. You go to war with the fake intelligence you have, not the real intelligence you only wish you had--unknown knowns, right? In today's example, we aren't questioning whether the chemicals weapons existed (we know they do) or were used (pretty good evidence, there), but whether it was definitely the Assad regime that used them, with a better than even odds that they did, as background for an effort I would call "not an invasion and nearly a decade of occupation" in the offing. So it's not really the same. I don't like it--but oh boy. I see a difference.

If there really is a credibility issue regarding US intelligence and military intervention--yes, Iraq was a factor, and yes, Rumsfeld should feel like he was a part of, let's call it "history", in that regard. The UN presentation had a lot less to do with the chem attack Saddam Hussein waged during the Reagan years (old news) than his current capability. They didn't try to sell that war on old news--they changed the justifications as they went along.

But you know, while Santorum, and McCain, and Rumsfeld, are all kind of exquisite in their own backhanded ways of slagging the Obama Administration for the kinds of crap they went along with and worse in the past, you know who I have to single out for especial ridicule?

That's right. The Nattering Nabob of Nepotism herself, Liz Cheney. 

Speaking to an enthralled crowd of 150 Jackson Hole Tea Party members Tuesday night in her first public appearance in Teton County, Cheney said she could not support military action against Syria because President Barack Obama has failed to develop a plan for intervention with defined goals. 
Obama has taken “an amateurish approach to national security and foreign policy,” including the developing conflict in Syria, she said.
“The press will try to portray this Syria debate as a battle between wings of the Republican Party,” she said. “Don’t believe them.” 
Cheney filled her 90-minute speech and question-and-answer session with red meat for the conservative crowd. She compared herself to Winston Churchill standing up to Adolf Hitler and suggested members of both parties in Congress are hiding information about Obamacare from the public. She wrote off the entire newspaper industry, but more specifically the Jackson Hole News&Guide.
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall to catch the Churchill/Hitler reference, you know, without actually being a fly and actually being able to understand what she was on about. But I do want to point out that there is a real movement that is anti-Syria intervention, as expressed by the Tea Party, who have put Mitch McConnell among others on notice that this whole show is a no-go. And there are also people who would rather more done, oh, like John McCain. So there very well might be a conflict, there. But you know, it's the "amateurish" slight against President Obama that rankles me.

He's got a resume over yon Cheney-spawn. He achieved his position. She assumed hers. And such a chip off the old man. A real "Dickette". And she hates the free press. Why? Do they tell the truth about her and her old man?

Sad. Stop sucking, Liz, and they might print something nice. She should soak her head. It couldn't soften it any, but it might clear the cobwebs. Then she might realize that her rigid defense of her old man's legacy is an embrace of a disaster. And not a popular one, at that. Not that there's anything else to recommend a fledgling pol who would throw her sisters' family under the bus, but still. Maybe she is capable of learning.

(What am I saying? If she knows better, she will bury the evidence.)

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