Syrian tanks blast civilians in Homs

posted at 9:15 am on February 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I recall when NATO considered it their business when Moammar Qaddafi threatened to do send tanks into the cities in Libya.  Bashar Assad has done so in Homs, pulverizing the city in order to dislodge a small force of rebels.  So far, NATO hasn’t even cleared its throat:

Syrian tanks pushed into a rebel stronghold in the battered city of Homs on Thursday and U.N.investigators accused President Bashar al-Assad’s government of crimes against humanity.

Rockets, shells and mortar rounds rained on the Baba Amrodistrict, where armed insurgents are holed up with terrified civilians, for the 20th day in a row, activists said. The Sunni Muslim quarters of Inshaat and Khalidiya also came under fire.

Homs-based activist Abu Imad said tanks had entered the Jobar area in the south of Baba Amro.

“Explosions are shaking the whole of Homs. God have mercy,” Abdallah al-Hadi said from the city, where more than 80 people, including two Western journalists and Syrian opposition citizen journalist Rami al-Sayed, were reported killed on Wednesday.

An American journalist, Marie Colvin, got killed in a bombardment earlier, as NBC reported yesterday:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thus far, the US response to this bombardment has been only to object to Colvin’s death and to hail the courage of war correspondents in the area. That’s a far cry from the interventionist reaction of Barack Obama to the outbreak of civil war in Libya, which was a nominal trading partner for some NATO countries and somewhat more cooperative with the West than Assad. If Obama felt the need to intervene in Libya under the concept of protecting civilians from massacre (remember the doctrine that the international community had a duty to intervene based on the “responsibility to protect“?), then why hasn’t Obama acted to stop Assad?  Colvin’s near-final words from Syria make it plain that a massacre is under way:

“It is shelling with impunity and merciless disregard of the civilians who cannot escape.”

Don’t get me wrong; I think we were too hasty to launch a war in Libya against Qaddafi and that we will end up regretting that action when the dust clears and we see who holds power.  But Assad is not only at least as brutal a dictator as Qaddafi, he’s also much more hostile to the West (and to Israel) than Qaddafi ever was.  Qaddafi didn’t ally himself with the mullahs in Tehran and run their Hezbollah and Hamas proxy armies as Assad does, and Qaddafi didn’t keep an iron grip on Lebanon as Assad does to this day, where UN “peacekeepers” still remain to prevent Hezbollah from launching yet another attack on Israel.

As Newt Gingrich said last night, the message from the inconsistencies in Obama’s foreign policy is that it’s much more dangerous to be an ally of the US than an enemy.


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Romney advocated we arm the rebels in last night debate….that is rich coming from someone who dodged the draft

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I smell another war coming on…sweet! /s

thedevilinside on February 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM

People who hate us killing people who hate us. What’s the downside of this?

Though I am well aware of the current propaganda and attempts to manipulate the American public into supporting the supply of weapons, money and possibly even boots on the ground. Screw them!

Socmodfiscon on February 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Tough call, Assad helped kill plenty of US troops and Iraqi’s in his quest to destabilize the nascent Iraqi government, on the other hand Syrian collapse will result in a regional war with chemical weapons among other things floating about.

rob verdi on February 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

then why hasn’t Obama acted to stop Assad?

Because the Syrians will fight back and that will show Obama is just an empty suit…if there aren’t enough examples already.

TulsAmerican on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Obama will only go after those he presumes as weak. He doesn’t have an ounce of courage or compassion in him.

Vince on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

People who hate us killing people who hate us. What’s the downside of this?

Though I am well aware of the current propaganda and attempts to manipulate the American public into supporting the supply of weapons, money and possibly even boots on the ground. Screw them!

Socmodfiscon on February 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM

al-qaeda supports the rebels Romney wants to arm…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

NPR is reporting that members of Al Qaeda are fighting on behalf of the people who are being bombed, way to go UN.

NoDonkey on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

What’s Obama to do? First he acted hastily providing air cover for the rebels in Libya, and now he’s shirking his responsibilities by not acting against the Syrian leadership. So, which one is it? Fighting against a murderous dictator or withdrawing support for those who are being systematically slaughtered by one? The fact is, we won’t pour our resources into the fray unless there is overwhelming evidence that we will be victorious. It’s the cowardly way out by not standing on principle first, but what would anybody expect after being engaged in two losing wars of late? Get the hell out of Afghanistan and start focusing on supporting the only democracy in the Mid East: Israel. And stop getting sucked into this garbage about Iran getting the bomb.

HiJack on February 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Because the Syrians will fight back and that will show Obama is just an empty suit…if there aren’t enough examples already.

TulsAmerican on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

There is no win-win in this Syrian stuff for the US, we need to stay out.

On one side you have Assad and Iran, on the other side you have al-Qaeda and the rebels. US has has no vested interested in this fight. Each side hates us. STAY OUT!. I strongly disagree with ROmneys position of arming the al-Qaeda backed rebels

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

al-qaeda supports the rebels Romney wants to arm…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

So that should make you a Romney supporter correct? Seeing as how it was your side’s lawyers who did everything in their power to illegally assist enemies of this country?

Oh, and I demand a reply or be banned.

ClassicCon on February 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Don’t get me wrong;

Ed was for it before he was against it…

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

It’s another place where it’s easy to find the monsters, but it’s harder to find the “good leaders.”

RBMN on February 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Arming and committing US mercenaries to aid al-Qaeda is already where the insanity of interventionist “preemptive” warfare has taken America:
Self Destruction.

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

al-qaeda supports the rebels Romney wants to arm…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Yeah lib it’s your side that’s trying to gin up support for armament.

Oh I know they’ll just keep telling us about all the children that are dying, all the pooooor innocent civilians. Guess what not buying it. I am perfectly fine with them killing each other. The more than better even. Not one drop of American blood should be shed. We can deal with the winners.

Socmodfiscon on February 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Lord help us and I pray for the people of Homs.

ted c on February 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Al Qaeda are fighting on behalf of the people who are being bombed,

those being al-Qaeda.

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Romney advocated we arm the rebels in last night debate….that is rich coming from someone who dodged the draft

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

You dodged a brain!

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Iranian ships moored in Syrian ports ought to be sunk where they are and the port facilities destroyed with the simultaneous warning to pull out of Homs or the next targets will be all key government facilities and tank laager sites.

ted c on February 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

There is no win-win in this Syrian stuff for the US, we need to stay out.

On one side you have Assad and Iran, on the other side you have al-Qaeda and the rebels. US has has no vested interested in this fight. Each side hates us. STAY OUT!. I strongly disagree with ROmneys position of arming the al-Qaeda backed rebels

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Why is it we got involved in Lybia again!
Who do you think was involved in the Arab Spring… Mr. Kissinger?

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

When will Obama stop the genocide?

faraway on February 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Romney advocated we arm the rebels in last night debate….that is rich coming from someone who dodged the draft

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

What unit did Obama serve in again?

And didn’t your President arm the Libyan rebels (according to his cheerleaders)? Were you concerned with Obama’s lack of military service then?

Of course you weren’t. Because being a partisan hack means never having to be consistent.

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Why is it we got involved in Lybia again!
Who do you think was involved in the Arab Spring… Mr. Kissinger?

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

There was no proof the rebels were backed by al-Qaeda in Libya. There is huge proof of that in Syria…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

al-qaeda supports the rebels Romney wants to arm…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

(I think the Hot Air State Department may have a head explosion.)

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Muslims killing Muslims. I understand that Mullah Obama is concerned, but why should we? I say sell ‘em more cheap weapons and let ‘em have at each other.

Archivarix on February 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM

If we intervene we’re hated for being interventionist and if we do nothing we’re hated for being indifferent.

Pick your poison.

Yakko77 on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

There was no proof the rebels were backed by al-Qaeda in Libya. There is huge proof of that in Syria…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

What unit did Obama serve in?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I read all the arguments for, and against. If ever there was a conflict we need to stay out of, this is it. This is Russia and iran vs. Islamists. The civilians caught in the crossfire didn’t have a problem when they did the same to Lebanon, or Iraq. Its next door to Europe, and they aren’t doing anything.

And, whoever wins will not be a friend of the US.

cozmo on February 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

What unit did Obama serve in?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Iranian female ninja squad?

Archivarix on February 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

For those that aren’t aware, this is how wars are fought. Well, not by us, not any more. Not since we actually committed to winning. Not that I’m advocating for or against our involvement.

AlexJ on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

What unit did Obama serve in?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I will tell you after you tell me which unit Romneys 5 boys belong to…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

If we intervene we’re hated for being interventionist and if we do nothing we’re hated for being indifferent.

Pick your poison.

Yakko77 on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Exactly, and liberals will scream either way as long as it’s politically expedient for their commander in chief.

Tim Zank on February 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I will tell you after you tell me which unit Romneys 5 boys belong to…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

So, you prefer Palin?

faraway on February 23, 2012 at 9:51 AM

There was no proof the rebels were backed by al-Qaeda in Libya. There is huge proof of that in Syria…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Who says or said there is no proof?

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM

actually committed

actually quit being committed

Proof reading should be my friend

AlexJ on February 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I will tell you after you tell me which unit Romneys 5 boys belong to…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

So Obama didn’t serve in the military, then?

Huh. For some reason, his lack of any military experience didn’t seem to raise an eyebrow from you when he ordered the arming rebels in various Muslim countries to topple their governments that are just as bad now as they were when they had their dictators in place.

See, you’re the “antiwar” side. You can’t then switch 180-degrees on a dime and be pro-war and pro-intervention just because your President is the guy in charge.

Funny how that consistency thing works, isn’t it?

So what unit did Obama serve in that speaks to his military expertise in these matters?

You asked the question of “the other guy” – surely it’s fair to ask you the same about your guy.

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Syrian rebels themselves have pointed out that US intervention would only make matters worse. I too am distraught at what is taking place in Homs, but I also realize that US involvement would create unnecessary blowback in yet another Middle East country against the US.

Louisvillian on February 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I will tell you after you tell me which unit Romneys 5 boys belong to…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Is there a draft going on?

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Zero still serves, libtards against America!

angrymike on February 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Dare I say it, liberal4life is being a bit of a death-mongering chickenhawk here. For no other reason than the letter after the President’s last name is (D).

Who knew that the liberals during the Bush years were secretly pro-war when they were screaming and lecturing everyone about the evils of war?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Or like is it progtards against America?
The libs change their name every time America catches on.

angrymike on February 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

So far, NATO hasn’t even cleared its throat:

NATO hasn’t cleared it’s throat because an attack on Syria would be considered an Attack on Russia, it really is that simple.

SWalker on February 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Just like Lybia both sides are evil.

Democrats installed Al Quida in Lybia, but here Syria already is our enemy so Democrats can’t figure out which is more dangerous. Once Obama figures out who the Muslim Brotherhood supports then we move to help them…watch.

GardenGnome on February 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM

It happens every time they are in control.

Cannot remember the actors name that was upset the military took part in the Clinton inaugural parade. During his rant, a friend turned to him and said something to the effect “its our military now”.

cozmo on February 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM

If we intervene we’re hated for being interventionist and if we do nothing we’re hated for being indifferent.

Pick your poison.

Yakko77 on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Well, that is easy, let’s go with indifferent and hope the last standing Muslim is a righteous one.

BL@KBIRD on February 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Headlines like this will explain why seemingly normal folks will take special pleasure in frying tankers in their own grease when the tables get turned a bit.

dockywocky on February 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM

No risk of getting rid of someone who stabalizes the Middle East. So, Obama clearly has very little interest in this..

As all the candidates said last night, Syria is just a puppet of Iran, and we can deal a blow to Iran by getting rid of Assad. Why would Obama be interested in that?

milcus on February 23, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Spring is in the air.

vcferlita on February 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Whatever or whomever replaces the current Syrian dictator will be worse as history shows. I don’t want Americans dying for another state of the growing al Qaeda caliphate.

Urban Infidel on February 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

The socialists in the White house and the EU pissed and moaned about Bush going to Iraq with the chant “no blood for oil” meanwhile everybody knows the only reason we went to Libya is because of their oil sales to EU.
Too bad for the Syrians they have none.
Hypocrites….

ouldbollix on February 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Oh you thilly goothe, Ed, Barack Hussein Obama posses a magic Re-set Button. He only pulls it out though when it’s to his advantage. And how did that work out with the Яooskees? I mean besides the initial embarrassment.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Homs

Syria’s third largest city, industrialized Homs is also the central link between the interior cities and the Mediterranean coast.

Homs revolted against its nation’s government.

Consider well the treatment that Lincoln and Sherman dealt those American States and Citizens who attempted constitutionally to succeed from the Union.

Exactly what do we making comments here know of anything, even if more than our corrupt politicians bother to learn before their votes are cast to set into stone horrible US international policies. Hell, our Congress doesn’t even bother reading its own (or writing its own) legislation prior to voting (or not even voting) to make and have signed into law the comprehensively unaffordable Obama Affordable Health Care Program, for example.

It would be wise to go figure wtf before getting involved in any way with determining the downfall of any other nation’s government. As if we’d appreciate Syrians determining the outcome of our own political elections or government policy. No. Saudi Arabia already does that, to our massive detriment.

Here’s such a segmented blast from the past to review below.

<a href="

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/87jun/yaari.htm“>Behind the Terror

A little-publicized group led by Christians eager for Syria to dominate the Middle East is reponsible for many highly publicized terrorist acts

by Ehud Ya’ari

The Atlantic Monthly | June 1987

…..

To inspire his troops to seek martyrdom, the Ayatollah Khomeini promises them a room next to his in paradise. The suicide bombers of the Hizballah (Party of God), whose terrorist arm is better known as the Islamic Jihad, look forward to everlasting life in the bosom of the merciful Allah. But there is a more bizarre growth spreading in the landscape of international terrorism: a party whose members go knowingly and willingly to their deaths without the comfort of a hereafter, out of pure conviction, in the service of an idea. It is a party whose leaders, men approaching their seventies, send pregnant teenagers on suicide missions in booby-trapped cars. And it is a party whose members, mostly Christians from churchgoing families, dream of resuming the war of the ancient Canaanites against Joshua and the Children of Israel. They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, “Greetings to You, Syria,” to the strains of “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion.

These are the hallmarks of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the oldest terrorist organization in existence today and one of the most secret and deadly. Despite its long history of violence, Western security organs were recently taken by surprise when they learned that a well-camouflaged arm of the SSNP had succeeded in setting up a large terror network in Western Europe—complete with safe houses, weapons caches, and forged passports—and that it was the SSNP that had set off a series of deadly explosions in the heart of Paris, to gain the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. The United States, too, has felt the effects of the SSNP. The explosion aboard a TWA flight nearing Athens in April of 1986, which cost the lives of four passengers—one of them an infant—has been traced to May Mansur, of Tripoli, a veteran member of the SSNP, who debarked at a previous stopover after placing a bomb under her seat.

Dedicated to the principle of establishing Greater Syria—which extends from the Euphrates to the Nile, an area that today includes Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and southeastern Turkey—the SSNP has little in common with the Shiite religious zealots of the Hizballah, who, operating from Iran to Lebanon, are trying to bring the kingdom of heaven down to earth, or with members of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who seek the redemption of their lost homeland at the end of a trail of blood. Although the SSNP may align itself with these groups for the sake of expediency, it regards them all as fighting for the sectarian interests of pseudo-national communities that are misguided in their failure to identify with the broader “Syrian nation.” If the Islamic Jihad or the PLO indirectly or even inadvertently advances the “Syrian cause,” the SSNP is glad to collaborate. But it will not support the Hizballah in its aim of founding an Islamic republic in Lebanon or help the PLO work toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, for these goals clash head-on with the SSNP’s goal of a secular Syrian state. And while it supports the present Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad as the fulcrum of power in Syria, the SSNP is wary of the regime’s sectarian (Alawi) and socialist leanings and its support of pan-Arabism, which calls for an Arab state (as opposed to the Syrian state called for by the SSNP) spanning the area between the Atlantic Ocean and the Persian Gulf. Since the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptian leader, pan-Arabism has become more a sentiment than a political movement.

The SSNP has an independent tradition of more than fifty years of violence, and some of the decisive events in the modern history of the Middle East have been triggered by its expertise in political assassination. For example, the murder of Colonel Adnan Maliki, the Syrian deputy chief of staff, in 1955, which led almost directly to Soviet influence over Syria, and the murder of Lebanon’s President-elect Bashir Gemayel, in September of 1982, which sparked the massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps and prompted the collapse of Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon’s plans to change the face of the Middle East, can both be traced directly to the SSNP.

Since March of 1985 the SSNP has sent about half a dozen suicide drivers in booby-trapped vehicles, or “torches,” toward Israel from Lebanon, killing about thirty civilians in the explosions. This style of terrorism was inspired by the success of the Shiite fanatics who blew themselves up in the camps of the American Marines and the French troops in Beirut. The man currently responsible for training these suicide bombers, a stocky, bearded fellow in his mid-thirties named Assad Khardan, has created something of a cult around the suicide attacks. Khardan, who earned himself the position of SSNP commissioner of security in part by forcing his predecessor to jump to his death from a third story balcony, has been known to spend months preparing candidates for suicide missions. He is especially fond of using attractive young women from indigent families, and has already sent four such martyrs to their deaths. The feminine gender is not a sine qua non, however; four men have blown themselves up inside vehicles packed with half a ton of explosives each. All successfully negotiated their way up to one of the roadblocks just outside the Israeli security zone (which extends about seven and a half miles into Lebanon) and activated the detonator when they were stopped for the standard search and check of documents. Unlike the Shiites of the Islamic Jihad, the SSNP does not have to send out a backup team with a remote-control detonator in case its emissaries get cold feet at the last minute.

Archival documents published in recent years reveal that Sa’adeh and his immediate successors received aid from Western intelligence services. French intelligence in the Levant utilized the SSNP almost from its inception, to undermine the pan-Arab movement in Syria and keep Christian youngsters out of its ranks. The SSNP secretly received money and, occasionally, small arms from the Deuxième Bureau, which also persuaded the French authorities to turn a blind eye to the party’s violent actions. In the 1950s the CIA adopted this approach, viewing the SSNP as dubious but nonetheless deserving of support, because it adamantly opposed the vision of Arab unity being promoted by Nasser and it fought leftist movements. Moreover, the SSNP supported the programs then being promoted by the West to forge the unity of the Fertile Crescent as a barrier against Soviet penetration. Thus the SSNP in Lebanon was accorded generous aid in maintaining an armed Militia, and this fought alongside the other pro-Western groups in the 1958 Lebanese civil war, which climaxed with the landing of the Marines on the shores of Beirut. In effect, this militia—sporting uniforms similar to those of Nazi storm troopers—prospered with the help of covert American encouragement. It is the forebear of the terrorist cells operating today.

When the Israel Defence Forces captured much of Beirut, in 1982, Ariel Sharon neglected to order a search for SSNP activists, and in recent years the party’s militia has gotten back on its feet. Armed with Soviet weapons (courtesy of the Syrians), its members underwent their baptism by fire in the battles waged by Syria against Arafat’s forces in Tripoli, in 1983, and against the Phalangist troops in the Shouf Mountains, in 1984. The SSNP also played a role in instigating terrorist actions against the Marines in Beirut, though the actual bombing was perpetrated by Shiites from the Hizballah. The SSNP militia is not a very large one. According to Israeli intelligence, it boasts a total of a few thousand fighters, some of whom are reservists called up only in emergencies. But it has one great advantage over rivals and allies alike: as Christians, its members enjoy greater freedom of movement both in Lebanon and beyond than Moslems do. Moreover, in contrast to other terrorist forces, it is structured on a rigid hierarchy and exercises iron discipline.

Because of its unparalleled control over its members, the SSNP has become Syria’s most reliable instrument of terror, and it is employed for particularly sensitive and dangerous operations that are beyond the capabilities of the Palestinian terror groups headquartered in Damascus.

Through the SSNP, Syrian intelligence is also penetrating the large concentrations of Lebanese emigrés in locations from West Africa to Detroit, exploiting the party’s fund-raising and propaganda activities to scout out new recruits. In this way the Syrians are hoping to break free of their dependence on the Palestinian terrorist organizations, which have declined into a state of incessant squabbling and in any case have yet to recover from the disaster following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Arafat’s expulsion from Jordan and Tunis, and the split within the PLO.

In an era when the pan-Arab vision has fallen into eclipse and the doctrine of Arab socialism seems bankrupt, the SSNP offers a formula that sounds both fresh and promising: We are all Syrians, and the remedy for our ills lies not in pan-Arabism or social revolution but in strengthening Syria and extending its borders. In the past few years the SSNP’s call has been attended by Lebanese resigned to the loss of their national independence, Palestinians who have despaired of realizing Arafat’s slogans, and people from an assortment of sects and minorities in the Middle East. Even some Shiites are turning away from Khomeini’s preachings, about an Islamic revolution to seek refuge in the SSNP, as the Israeli army discovered while contending with the guerrillas in South Lebanon.

This present cooperation with other sects and causes notwithstanding, the heads of the SSNP do not wholly trust Hafez al-Assad (and Assad does not wholly trust them). But they welcome the alliance as an opportunity to work up momentum and gain freedom of action. It matters little that their efforts may not bear fruit for many years to come. Theirs is a movement distinguished by inordinate patience, and they measure its success in historical terms, not by today’s headlines.

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Who knew that the liberals during the Bush years were secretly pro-war when they were screaming and lecturing everyone about the evils of war?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM

The anti-war movement is, and has always been, just a trojan horse for liberalism. They’ve already seized the white house, so now it’s time to get hawkish, forget about the economy, cheer on Obama while kills some bad guys, talk about how great he is and reelect him. That’s how they play the game.

The Count on February 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I’m all for the US staying out of this squabble – providing that it also stays out of Israel’s way when it decides to glaze Iran.

OldEnglish on February 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

-
How many do you think will take the time to read your column? Suggestion: make your point, and keep it short.

diogenes on February 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Well, that is easy, let’s go with indifferent and hope the last standing Muslim is a righteous one.

BL@KBIRD on February 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM

It may speak poorly about my character but I wouldn’t lose any sleep if that happened. We’re arming the Arabs and the Russians and Chinese are arming the Persians. Let’em duke it out….

Yakko77 on February 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Romney advocated we arm the rebels in last night debate….that is rich coming from someone who dodged the draft

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

To put it bluntly, your side long ago abandoned the high ground on this one, when you elected a draft dodger to be President.

And that President, Clinton, went into Bosnia.

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Looks like most of the mid-East death-to-America & Israel Muslims are headed for more chaos, destruction & poverty. Millions of them are ready to go at each other’s throats if they are not already. This is bad news? I say we should stay out of this carnage and just watch the destruction they wish on us.

Chessplayer on February 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM

diogenes on February 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM

My concise point preceded the linked quotes.

Aside from pointing out how ignorant Americans are regarding history and/or the Middle East, those fanning the flames of war are not helping humanity.

Had you bothered to follow the link, you’d have noticed that the length I quoted was miniscule to the body of that article.

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM

IMO, this is one really stupid way to conduct a civil war; unarmed prostesters rushing into the streets where government armed troops and tanks are ready and willing to shoot them down.
It’s time for the protesters to regroup, find some armaments and be more savvy about their goals and how to gain them.

srdem65 on February 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM

blockquote>Romney advocated we arm the rebels in last night debate….that is rich coming from someone who dodged the draft

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

You mean like Bill Clinton did?
Since FDR (who had no military experience) only 2 Presidents have had zero military experience – Clinton and Obama. Both of them have ordered our military into war zones.
Romney got a draft deferment as a Mormon missionary – so what? Why do Clinton and Obama get a pass on their lack of military service? Did you vote for McCain then? If you have a problem with Romney then you should also have a problem with Clinton and Obama.

dentarthurdent on February 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM

However – I disagree with Romney on this one. I am personally against us getting involved in Syria in any way – just like we should not have gotten involved in Libya. In both cases we may very well have to deal with a government that is more hostile and terrorist oriented than the current or prior dictators. Let them fight it out and then we deal with whoever wins.

dentarthurdent on February 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Nonetheless, in order to augment the military personnel required to conduct warfare throughout the Middle East, don’t be surprised when our G-D Congress and the next draft dodger POTUS renews the Draft.

Romney has never studied warfare beyond a high school LDS class overview of the Mormon War and subsequent Mormon Battalion.

Like Gingrich and Santorum, Romney will beat the war drums because that sound attracts his own constituency of neoconservatives. But none of those three have served in war. Of those three, at least Gingrich has educated himself in military strategy and tactics.

It would be of interest to read a short column from the Four GOP POTUS Candidates regarding a “most significant” lesson from our nation’s wars that they consider imperative to bear in mind as our nation’s CinC. I’ve read Ron Paul’s assessments.

maverick muse on February 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM

“I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action,” Mr. Obama said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/world/africa/29prexy.html?pagewanted=all

Would these be the inconsistencies that Gingrich keeps talking about?

The only thing that seems consistent is:
Carter & the Shah
Obama & Mubarek

sgmstv on February 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Sometimes I feel like we should use a Syrian style response to the OWS crowd….. not entirely / sarc

dentarthurdent on February 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Coming Soon to a US City near you…

trs on February 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

If Obama felt the need to intervene in Libya under the concept of protecting civilians from massacre (remember the doctrine that the international community had a duty to intervene based on the “responsibility to protect“?), then why hasn’t Obama acted to stop Assad?

Because bringing down Assad will most likely help the Israelis. Currently, Israel is under assault from three separate Iranian supported groups: Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria. By removing Assad, Syria might stop being an Iranian client and move into the Sunni camp. While the Sunni are no less murderously inclined toward Israel than Iran, Syria might no longer receive arms, money and other support from Iran, thus throttling back the immediate danger to Israel. Keeping Israel under seige and preventing her from attempting to take out Iran’s nuclear capability is much higher on the jug-eared moron’s agenda than protecting Syrian civilians.

catsandbooks on February 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Not to worry, our mighty Commander in chief -the one who, without congressional approval, attacked a sovereign nation (Libya)to remove who he considered a scoundrel (unlike that Saddam guy he liked)
Now any “shoot from the hip” President like that will surely ignore tose pesky Hezballoh, Iranian, and Soviet (Russia)threats and do what those poor Arab Spring revolutionaries need -provide military help and assistance.Perhaps our friends in socialist Europe (the Greeks?) will help – maybe slip them some guns though our Mexican border? He already has the structure in place (fast and furious)and that might even provide some shovel-ready jobs.

Don L on February 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Leave them alone. Helping Syria will pull Iran into a direct confrontation. Let God sort them out.

AH_C on February 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

The only question that should be asked and answered is whether it is in the national security interest of the United States to intervene. In this case I believe the answer is a clear no. There is nothing in Syria that we need, they are not and have not traditionally been our allies and there is little prospect that a change in government will be beneficial to us or our allies.

No doubt there are innocent civilians getting killed. That happens in war or revolution. Unless we believe that we have a moral responsibility to protect non-US civilians anywhere anytime there is just no reason to get involved. (Some years ago I did listen to a senior (4-star) Army general make an impassioned argument that we did have such a moral responsibility. In this case he was talking about Rwanda, but made it clear that he felt we had an obligation to intervene to protect civilian lives regardless of nationality.

SoonerMarine on February 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Who knew that the liberals during the Bush years were secretly pro-war when they were screaming and lecturing everyone about the evils of war?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM

The anti-war movement is, and has always been, just a trojan horse for liberalism. They’ve already seized the white house, so now it’s time to get hawkish, forget about the economy, cheer on Obama while kills some bad guys, talk about how great he is and reelect him. That’s how they play the game.

The Count on February 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I recall reading an article that claimed Bill Clinton used our military 44 times -which seems an exaggeration.(I recall Haiti and Bosnea only…)
Anyone have any info on that.

Don L on February 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Where is Samantha Powers??

Ben Hur on February 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM

People who hate us killing people who hate us. What’s the downside of this?

Socmodfiscon on February 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Advocating genocide. This is what passes for intelligent commentary on Hot Air this week?

Absolutely reprehensible.

bifidis on February 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM

The muzzo Gordon knot

In other words let them slaughter each other for as long as they can

Just make sure the wells aren’t allowed to immigrate anywhere western

Only one thing could make this more fun, bandages laced with disease and dropped on syria

Sonosam on February 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Zero still serves, libtards against America!

angrymike on February 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Making fun of mentally disabled people. Nice move.

bifidis on February 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Absolutely reprehensible.
bifidis on February 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Absolutely the correct approach

I prefer our culture and think Darwinism should be allowed to blossom in sub-primate world

Sonosam on February 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Turkey is already arming the rebels, all we need to do is quietly ask the Turks if there is anything they can’t supply and help them out wherever we can.

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Stop all Muslim immigration to this counrty. Christians should be allowed in from the Mid East as refugees like the Jews were from the Soviet Union. Also Hindus, Bhuddists etc.
We had no problem descriminating against Europeans in the 1960′s so this should be no problem. Also observant Muslim europeans need not apply.
Kemalist Turks should also be welcomed along with the Kurds.
Sounds crazy racist even? Deal with it. Some people can adopt to living in a pluralistic democratic Republic. Other wil not. Just look around and be honest.

Thicklugdonkey on February 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Hey, let Obummer just give the decision to Hillary. Then when that goes bad, because liberals cannot weild power properly and effectively, he can throw her under the bus and put the psychotic Jarrett in her place. And that is a good thing because Rahm will be recalled to duty for the re-election. I think.

jake49 on February 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Germans were killing German and non-German civilians for years before we got involved in WWII.

Even after we got involved, Allied command made a conscientious choice to avoid specifically attacking the support structure of the murderous Nazi apparatus.

Why?

Because they figured out that the best way to STOP that and save American lives was to defeat the military arm.

It is indeed terrible when civilians get caught in the crossfire, however it IS NOT and SHOULD NOT be used as a basis for intervention. Especially when we cannot be certain that the outcome would favor our interests.

As a Catholic, I weep for the dead civilians but the logical part of my brain would rather weep for dead I don’t know than bury dead military friends I DO know should we intervene.

SgtSVJones on February 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Don’t get me wrong; I think we were too hasty to launch a war in Libya against Qaddafi and that we will end up regretting that action when the dust clears and we see who holds power.

Are you serious? Well you’ll be even more disappointed when you realize the full degree to which Iraq evolves into a Shitte proxy of Iran.

bayam on February 23, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Qaddafi didn’t ally himself with the mullahs in Tehran and run their Hezbollah and Hamas proxy armies as Assad does, and Qaddafi didn’t keep an iron grip on Lebanon as Assad does to this day, where UN “peacekeepers” still remain to prevent Hezbollah from launching yet another attack on Israel.

I’m not sure that’s entirely correct, Ed. Ghadaffi hopped in bed with Ayatollah Khomeini from time to time; if memory serves (and it probably doesn’t, but here we are anyway), he was one of two notable Arab heads of state to publicly support Iran over Iraq. The other was Assad Sr.

I would agree that Libya’s distance from the Levant and the Gulf made any of the Tripolitan Tyrant’s ambitions in those regions somewhat incidental, and his anti-Western sentiment came and went with the tide, unlike Assad’s more trenchant hostility to Western states and leaders. That said, Ghadaffi thought it was hilarious to send weapons to the IRA to help that wretched organization in its little adventures in Northern Ireland and provide sanctuary for other non-state charmers.

Grunchy Cranola on February 23, 2012 at 1:23 PM

There was no proof the rebels were backed by al-Qaeda in Libya. There is huge proof of that in Syria…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

This is an absolute lie.
There were many reports by the BBC and the Telegraph about the al-qaeda links as well as other jihadist links to the rebels.
It was also well known that a large majority of the al-qaeda recruitments that made it to Iraq were from Libya.

I could light up this thread with many links and news stories to back this up but lib4life doesn’t let facts get in the way of her pathetic liberal talking points.

Liberals can spin all they want…but the world is watching Obama stand on the sidelines while massacres are taking place, right after starting a war without Congressional approval in the name of the very same humanitarian reasons.
The difference is that Qaddafi was a burned out dictator without an army, who spent his time getting high and chasing Hooters girls across the desert…..easy pickings.

Syria…..not easy pickings…cannot be won just from the sky and has the backing of other powerful countries…..thus Obama is on the sidelines.

How pathetic…..

Baxter Greene on February 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

The Arab League had better get its act together in protecting civilians during these civil wars and unrest. The petroleum wealth that these nations hoard should be used by them on behalf of their own people.

onlineanalyst on February 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Andy McCarthy had several threads yesterday about the role that John McCain and Lindsey Graham are playing to stir up support for our involvement. They are blatantly unaware of how much AlQaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and the spread of the caliphate are behind the unrest in this inaptly named Arab Spring in Libya, Egypt, and Syria. Fools!

In addition, they are working behind the scenes with the WH finagling to provide further aid to the Palestinians via UNESCO, contrary to the conditions set by Bush. Weasels!

onlineanalyst on February 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM

If our President had acted in Syria when this conflict was just starting there’d be some difference between the aggressors and the populace of that country, now, picking out the good guys is like browsing Democrat file cabinets its impossible to differentiate the sh!t from the shinola.

Mr unready, un-competent F’d this opportunity up beyond all recognition, literally.

Speakup on February 23, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Advocating genocide. This is what passes for intelligent commentary on Hot Air this week?

Absolutely reprehensible.

bifidis on February 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM

You know what tool. Why don’t you head on over there and help ‘em out if you feel so passionately for these people that were dancing in the streets on 9/11.

You and your kind are what are reprehensible. You and your kind are the worst kind of lowlife scum. You’re nothing but cowardly zealots so eager to volunteer others to die for YOUR inane causes of conscience. Genocide? Really? Screw you hypocrite! Your stupidity offends me.

Socmodfiscon on February 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Well, NATO has given a discreet, behind-the-hand golf-cough. NATO ships are reportedly now patrolling East Med, which is more than they were doing before. The US is flying UAVs over Syria.

Unfortunately, this mainly means that the US and Turkey are doing stuff. The UAVs are flying out of Turkey, and it’s the Turkish navy that is patrolling East Med. This is the opposite of reassuring to Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, and Israel.

It’s like Obama unerringly knows to do the dumbest, most destabilizing thing possible.

J.E. Dyer on February 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Romney advocated we arm the rebels in last night debate….that is rich coming from someone who dodged the draft

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

“Liberal” for life.

What makes me think that you would have also dodged the draft if it came to that. Maybe you did? I dunno.

But a liberal who’s against war and would probably have dodged the draft if it was them, has no business accussing or even suggesting that anyone else has done that.

Lawrence on February 23, 2012 at 3:02 PM

It’s like Obama unerringly knows to do the dumbest, most destabilizing thing possible.

J.E. Dyer on February 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Speaks volumes to Obama’s true agenda, does it not?

Lawrence on February 23, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Are you serious? Well you’ll be even more disappointed when you realize the full degree to which Iraq evolves into a Shitte proxy of Iran.
bayam on February 23, 2012 at 1:19 Pm

Total BS but expected

Iraq, though flawed, has a very good chance to make it and surpass Iran

They were just wrested free from saddam and have no desire to bend over for Iranian monkey mullahs

Sonosam on February 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

What unit did Obama serve in?

Good Lt on February 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I will tell you after you tell me which unit Romneys 5 boys belong to…

liberal4life on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Hell. lib…just tell us what unit YOU served in.

Solaratov on February 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I’m all for the US staying out of this squabble – providing that it also stays out of Israel’s way when it decides to glaze Iran.

OldEnglish on February 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I’m with you on this one.

-
How many do you think will take the time to read your column? Suggestion: make your point, and keep it short.

diogenes on February 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM

I took the time to read what maverickmuse copied and pasted. I probably would have bypassed the link otherwise.

These issues in the ME are vast and deep. The motivations for these conflicts are as varied as the nations involved and the sects of Islam. The tentacles into the West are very much a concern. Besides, we cannot ignore the role that Soviet expansion had played into our formation of allies over the past decades. The expediency of some of our alliances has ensnarled us blowback and grief in other ways.

onlineanalyst on February 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Thicklugdonkey on February 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Actually, that is not a bad idea.

What amazes me is that while Russia and China are arming the various factions in these ME uprisings, the blowback doesn’t seem to affect them to the degree that we in the US are perceived as the enemy.

onlineanalyst on February 23, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Didn’t see the “unconstitutional” tag attached to Libya in this HA article. There is no coherent op-for. There is no one to back. There is no way to differentiate peoples. There is no reason to go in, except the superficiality of it all. R2P and other bullscrap feel-good garbage.

If we have any part, and by god it better be declared by Congress, this will only be a downhill slide for everything in the future. Of course the ball-less and scumbag Republicans in Congress won’t call the President on non-declared attacks, they too wish to remake the world and be the daddy. Atleast the don’t flip-flop like Dems. It’s up to the peoples therein to remake what is.

This is basically warfare-welfare, we’ll do it for you. If they don’t strive for it, they won’t know how to value and cherish those gains.

John Kettlewell on February 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM