UPDATED: We Can’t Afford a Military Operation in Syria, Can We?


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UPDATE:  Quite a bit of new information has surfaced just this morning.  There is no doubt we have a mess on our hands.  There is also no doubt the Syrian government forced it’s military to use the nerve gas.  We know that, now.  It does change the story. I’ve been reminded of the big picture. What happens if this gas makes its way to North Korea?  That’s the bad part of this.  The really bad part is John Boehner is acting like a jerk.

ORIGINAL POST:  One thing The Pink Flamingo must admit is the fact that Barack Obama certainly has courage. What good’s that going to do if he gets himself turned into an extremely lame duck?  David Cameron had his clock cleaned by Parliament.  Obama has shown the courage to take his chances and let Congress take a vote on the issue.  The way it’s going, I don’t give him a snow ball’s chance in hell of getting their approval.  In waiting for their approval, he puts himself at risk.  The GOP is itching to take him out, to destroy him in any way possible.

Would someone like to explain to The Pink Flamingo how we can afford even a token missile strike against Syria when our fighters here don’t have enough fuel to stay combat ready?  We don’t have enough money to keep the country going, let alone fight another war, even a little one. Where are we going to get the money?  We’re in sequestration.  The GOP is, thanks to the Koch Machine, getting ready to shut down the government and blame Obama for it. If they shut everything down, how the heck are we going to pay for anything, except for Eric Cantor’s million dollar travel schedule?

Right now, something like 20% of scientists here in the US are considering leaving the country due to budget cuts.  Come October, when the new budget kicks in, and real harm from Sequestration begins, things are going to get bad, very bad. Homeless shelters are closing.  They’re cutting back on SNAP, allowing women with small kids and children to go hungry.  In Texas, they’re plowing up the roads and putting gravel on them, because there is no money. Sequestration has been one of the great financial failures in this nation’s history.  People are suffering.

“…When the House decided not to fund food stamps recently, they guaranteed that 22 million children in poverty would experience that physical sensation of desiring food on a regular basis. Add to that the sequester cuts to Head Start, and it is evident that Republicans want to keep children hungry if they claim “we do not have the money, the revenue is not there.” These are the same so-called followers of Christ who adhere to the “sanctity of life” mantra, but it is a life of hunger and despair for millions of the poor that their religion’s namesake commanded his followers feed….”

It is absolutely tragic and heart-breaking that nearly five hundred children were killed in that gas attack.  BUT – due to sequestration, how many children in this country will be needlessly suffering?  How many senior citizens are going and will go without Meals on Wheels.  We all know if Obama is able to pull this one off, the tea parties are going to take it out on those who need help the most, by cutting even more from what little they have in the way of budgeting.

In order to do this fool’s errand, the Chuck Hagel must go begging for more money.  We’re talking about a far right, libertarian, Koch Whoring Congress who doesn’t mind seeing a couple of thousand people being kicked out of their homes due to sequestration. They don’t give a damn about senior citizens who are going hungry.  They don’t give a rip about schools, and are letting our once magnificent infrastructure fall apart.

I know I sound like a bleeding heart liberal, but I’m looking at the bleak reality of the situation.  You take care of your own before going out to help someone else.   The Postal Service is nearly dead.  The GOP is doing everything it can to implement the ALEC.  The National Institute of Health is dangerously underfunded with the real possibility that decades of research is now dead on arrival.  They’ve basically killed the space program.

Why the heck to we need this war?  Well…

“…Sen. Isakson has been pushing for action in Syria for two years. At a 2012 fundraiser, Isakson said, “Exactly how we do it and exactly when you pull that trigger is going to be a combination of a number of factors coming together.”

Campbell, John (R-CA)
Carper, Tom (D-DE)
Cohen, Steve (D-TN)
Fitzpatrick, Michael G (R-PA)
Hagan, Kay R (D-NC)
Hanna, Richard (R-NY)
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)
Kingston, Jack (R-GA)
Renacci, Jim (R-OH)
Upton, Fred (R-MI)

Rep. Fred Upton also supports an attack, but wants Congress to approve it, “The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians is atrocious and will not go unanswered by the international community. Anything beyond an expected multi-national effort to establish a no-fly zone over Syria must require the president to have prior approval of the House and Senate. It is certainly a critical area of the world containing massive U.S. interests, and a stern ‘red-line’ warning was given months ago.”…”

  • Oil prices will rise
  • We have too much oil right now
  • Oil speculators will make piles of money
  • Defense contractors will make up for lost money due to sequestration
  • Koch Industries will make money
  • OPEC will make money
  • Gold prices will go up
  • Gas prices will skyrocket

“…The report noted especially that Syria is among several “downstream countries that are becoming increasingly water scarce as their populations grow”, increasing a risk of conflict. Thus, although the RAND document fell far short of recognising the prospect of an ‘Arab Spring’, it illustrates that three years before the 2011 uprisings, US defence officials were alive to the region’s growing instabilities, and concerned by the potential consequences for stability of Gulf oil.

These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”

Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo – and earlier this year Iraq signed aframework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this – the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria – that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.

What is beyond doubt is that Assad is a war criminal whose government deserves to be overthrown. The question is by whom, and for what interests?…”

It is rather weird to see the far right talking machine against a military strike, primarily because Obama is for it, and the far left talking machine for a military strike, primarily because the Administration may want it.  Once again it is politics as usual, only this time, the far right, and the Tea Parties are dead set against any sort of military action.  People in this country are sick and tired of war.  Who cam blame them.  So am I.  The usual protest sources are gearing  up to protest.

I don’t mind admitting I find the actions of the far right, the gun-hoe bunch who always wanted a fight, kill ’em all, ‘patriots’ puzzling.  They are only interested in the fact that Obama appears to have suffered a major political blow over Syria.  True ‘patriots’ like Thomas Lifson are using the opportunity, not to support the country, but to promote their un-ending anti-Obama hate.  Paul Craig Roberts is using the moment to do as much harm to Obama as possible.

“...As I noted in an earlier column today, if Obama goes it alone, he will be harassed for the rest of his life as a war criminal who dares not leave the US. Indeed, a looming economic collapse could so alter the power and attitude of the United States that Obama could find himself brought to justice for his war crimes.  Regardless, the United States government has lost its credibility throughout the world and will never regain it, unless the Bush and Obama regimes are arrested and put on trial for their war crimes. …”

Now, let’s get out the scorecard. Roberts is basically a libertard.  One expects such nonsense from him.  At least he’s consistant.  But, now for Charles Krauthammer to come out against action is rather humorous.  It proves just how far this once great writer has fallen.  One must assume the position of FOX News is to be against any military action, as long as Obama deems it necessary.  In other words, FOX News is going to be against anything that might help Obama.   Let’s be honest here, the Tea Parties don’t give much of a damn about anything but humiliating Obama and doing the Koch Machine agenda.

Rand Paul is using it to promote his 2016 campaign.

“...The Tea Party’s early and vocal criticism on Syria strikes, Russo said, should help a Paul candidacy by attracting young voters who may have previously thought that “Republicans are always ready to support any military action anywhere.” Add the reluctance of many Democrats to criticize a sitting president of their party despite any personal misgivings they may have, he said, and Paul has become the leading political voice setting limits on U.S. military intervention….”

This is where it gets interesting.  Both Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are against any military action.    Hawk Jim Inhofe is against it.   Neither Lindsey nor John McCain will support limited strikes without a big picture scenario.  I guess, when I don’t know what decision to make, or what to think, I must trust Lindsey.  Bernie Sanders and Al Franken consider the use of nerve gas an atrocity.

Obama is playing massive politics here.  He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  The State Department says he’ll ignore Congress and go it alone, if needs to do so.  If so, it will ruin him.  He’d better be darn sure there’s a reason to ruin the rest of his Presidency.   It looks like the gas being used in Syria are those Iraqi WMDs that were not supposed to exist, that many of us thought Saddam had moved into Syria. There is nothing I would rather see than George W. Bush be exonerated of all those nasty accusations about lying about Iraqi WMD, when we all know they did exist.

David Cameron has ruined himself.  Right now Obama, in my humble opinion, is playing this one, badly. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to go into Syria.  If he does, and Bashar al-Assad is toppled, they say is brother is even worse.  We don’t want to kick him out of power, unless he takes his entire nasty family with him.  It’s rather obvious that no one, except the liberal media, and certain military contractors really want this thing to happen.

Either that – or Obama is a political genius.  This one could also go either way.  I don’t want to see Obama destroyed, which is what much of the GOP play book is all about, now.

There is one side of my argument that says that going into Syria is part of the continuing male pissing contest between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.  They can’t stand one another.  Putin is challenging the claim of the nerve gas attack.  At least we know he’s in it for the oil and the gas.    We hear one story out of the Obama Administration and another out of the UK.  I found this article in the BBC.


Contrast to…

“…The main findings of the unclassified US evidence state that: the attack killed 1,429 people, including 426 children

Syrian military chemical weapons personnel were operating in the area in the three days before the attack

Satellite evidence shows rockets launched from government-held areas 90 minutes before the first report of chemical attack

100 videos attributed to the attack show symptoms consistent with exposure to a nerve agent

Communications were intercepted involving a senior Damascus official who “confirmed chemical weapons were used” and was concerned about UN inspectors obtaining evidence..”

Well… if true, this doesn’t exactly back up what we’re hearing here in the US, but then, you can’t trust anything that comes out of the UN, right?  Something needs to be done, but what?

Why aren’t liberals protesting military action?

Barack Obama is playing a dangerous game.  The Pink Flamingo suspects one of the reasons he is doing this is to break Sequestration.  That’s a laudable idea.  I hope it doesn’t backfire.  We know the Koch Machine doesn’t want intervention Syria.  That alone, is enough to make me wonder why. They’re playing their own little dictatorial game of chicken with the tea parties and the libertarians, neither of which want any sort of military action.

Part of it is about Sequestration.  It’s also about the far right doing what it can to destroy Obama Care. The Koch Machine is determined to destroy the man, no matter what he does.  I don’t want to see the man destroyed.  He’s doing a great job with what he has to deal with – the Koch Whores in Congress.  No matter what he tries, they are going to oppose him. I suspect, if it were about fighting off an alien invasion, with the mother ship landing on the White House Lawn, if Obama wanted to fight them, the GOP would roll over and invite them to beam on down.

I’ve talked to so many people who have a really bad feeling about this one.  I’m still every bit the neocon that I’ve always been, but I keep wanting to say, let’s sit this one out, folks, until we know exactly what is going on here.  Something bothers me.  I just have a really bad feeling about this one.  There is something not right.  I think we all know what isn’t right, and it has something to do with the far right.

UPDATE:  Part of this post is playing devil’s advocate.  Part of my problem is trying to comprehend why the GOP is acting the way it is and the left is not acting the way it usually does.  The dynamics are fascinating. I am well aware that Assad needs to be stopped.  I am also well aware that the only way to do it is a dynastic change.  His brother is even worse.

That’s the bad part of this.

The good part, if there is a good part, George W. Bush was right!



6 thoughts on “UPDATED: We Can’t Afford a Military Operation in Syria, Can We?

  1. Under Article 2 of the US Constitution, the President does not need to go before congress to make a strike. The POTUS is still green with no real experience in foreign policy and he is coming across looking timid. In my opinion this is really a matter for the UN. The Assad regime has violated both International Law and the Geneva convention. We should not be handling this alone without any allies. This is what the UN is supposed to be for and if they can’t handle this, they need to shut down. Of course, the POTUS cannot count on any support from the Tea Party isolationists. These rookies were all quoted on Fox News yesterday as authorities on foreign policy. It was pathetic. They scare the living daylights out of me. And all of them are being mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2016. People should have learned by this time that we should choose a POTUS more carefully in the future, but I guess they never will.

  2. I’m of the belief that the GOP and the Dems are suffering both from an advanced case of schizophrenia (or at least bi-polar disorder).
    Seriously, I think the adults in both parties are having are more and more difficult time controlling the kiddies. Call it a battle of super ego vs. id for the heart and mind of our country — and unfortunately id seems to have the upper hand :/

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