Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Libya Redeaux

The headlines today are filled with predictions of imminent attack on Syria. Once again we face the prospect of seeing American forces employed in a conflict in which no vital interest of the United States is apparent; a conflict in which the desired outcome has not been described for the American people, or even to Congress. No meaningful attempt has been made to persuade the American people towards any particular course of action in the Syrian conflict. Do we have any reason to believe that the Obama administration has any clearer picture of the reality on the ground in Syria than they did in Egypt, or Libya?

Whatever may be the desired changes in Syria, it is clear that this administration continues to pursue changes in American governance. One might call it, to borrow a phrase, "fundamental transformation". In the Libyan conflict, the administration set the precedent for a lack of need for Congressional involvement for employment of the armed forces of the United States. The President has made it clear that he does not intend to consult congress, or seek authorization for strikes on Syria. Tuesday evening, Whitehouse spokesman Jay Carney portrayed the administrations perspective thusly - "Allowing the use of chemical weapons on a significant scale to take place without a response would present a significant challenge to or threat to the United States' national security..."

How the use of chemical weapons in Syria poses a threat to the United States is anybody's guess, but this is the code speak needed for the President to bypass Congress to attack Syria. The time to correct the expectations that Obama could get away with such nonsense would have been when he attempted a similar gambit in Libya. Of course we know that didn't happen. Any complaints from Congress over this episode can hardly be expected to be taken seriously by an administration that has already seen Congress capitulate. It is almost as if Obama is daring Congress to take it's Constitutional duties seriously, with smug assurance that they won't.

The ball is in John Boehner's court. It remains to be seen if this will be Libya 2.0, or if some semblance of the rule of law will be pursued.

1 comment:

  1. There are two problems with intervening in Syria. The first is that there are no "good guys". Either side would turn on us in a heartbeat and there is plenty of evidence of atrocities from both of the parties involved. Oddly enough, the multitude of cases where the "rebels" commit violence against Christians in the region are never mentioned, by anyone.

    The second problem is that our current "leadership" (I use the term loosely) has no business intervening anywhere right now. The current administration has left disaster and debris in any situation that they have initiated. They clearly have no understanding of foreign policy, the nature of the situations they are involving us in, or the potential consequences of their actions. Even when there are consequences, there first response is to lie and try to cover up the truth or blame someone else.

    We should NOT be involved in Syria.