Obama: We have a moral obligation to end the slaughter and ensure a stable Syria

posted at 6:41 pm on May 7, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Greg Hengler, we’re a little late on the “ending the slaughter” part, no? As of last month, the death toll stood at 70,000 and counting. He says we’ve been “active.” What sort of body count would “inactive” have produced?

Needless to say, this is sonorous nonsense. We had no “moral obligation” to end the slaughter in Congo, even though the death toll is many, many, many times greater there than it is in Syria. O’s careful here too to lard up his “moral obligation” pronouncement with lots of qualifiers, from emphasizing that western intel has only perceived, not verified, chemical weapons attacks to noting that the U.S. has had unhappy experiences with wading into Middle Eastern sectarian disputes over iffy WMD claims. (Watch to the end or you’ll miss him boasting about Bin Laden and Qadaffi knowing that when he says something will get done, it gets done. Is that right? How are those Iranian nuclear negotiations coming?) If I had to guess, I’d bet that the next stage of our “moral” intervention in Syria is bribing various Islamist factions within the rebel ranks to unite behind some sort of quasi-secular leader so that the White House can claim that Syria’s on the “right track” and therefore it’s safe to start finally arming them in earnest. We got the same basic shtick during the Libyan intervention and you know how well that’s turned out. But hey, Qadaffi knows now that he meant business and that’s what’s important.

Exit question: What would a government that’s “representative of the Syrian people” even look like? Two-thirds Muslim Brotherhood, say, with a dollop of even nuttier Salafists? If so, we’re in luck — that’s roughly what the command structure of the rebel army looks like. Onward to victory.


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Wait and see about Syria. If we act now and eventually go to war the actions we take now need to be justifiable in prosecuting a war.

Capitalist Hog on May 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Can’t believe I’m agreeing with you on this, but…

Also, the reasons need to be something more than more Bush-wallah about supposed stocks of WMDs which will imminently be used against us. Last time we found out Saddam’s fellow terrorists didn’t even want his stash, much less use the stuff, they buried it the minute someone figured out where it had come from.

Isn’t it too bad the left cares squat for anti-war protesting when it doesn’t stand to harm a Republican?

MelonCollie on May 7, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Support Israel. Let them lead here.

alwaysfiredup on May 7, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Stability means defeating the jihadis. Syria was one of the most stable countries in the region until the jihadis that Obama wants to arm destabilized it.

OxyCon on May 7, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Sorry I’m late to the party tonight. In case no one has said it yet, let me be the first…WAG THE DOG.

txhsmom on May 7, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Getting in/involved will be much easier than getting out. I suppose if you have no sense of pride or self-respect or do not expect to be taken seriously in the future, it is easy to cut and run.

Russ808 on May 8, 2013 at 2:39 AM

Islamic countries are guaranteed failures since they follow a demented ideology.

There is no “moral obligation” to get in the middle of a lunatic asylum’s riot.

Whether that madhouse is called “Syria” or anything else.

profitsbeard on May 8, 2013 at 2:44 AM

We got the same basic shtick during the Libyan intervention and you know how well that’s turned out. But hey, Qadaffi knows now that he meant business and that’s what’s important.

Yeah. Qadaffi got it in the back end (pun intended) just like Obama is giving it to us on the backside of his 8-year tenure on Pennsylvania Avenue.

tpitman on May 8, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Sorry I’m late to the party tonight. In case no one has said it yet, let me be the first…WAG THE DOG.

txhsmom on May 7, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Yes it is.

WRKO reported this morning ( Kudos to Jeff Kuhner!) that help was only ONE HOUR AWAY from Benghazi. ONE HOUR.

As I said yesterday, a single f-16 strafing run would have stopped the attack cold. Even if we lost the plane. We are going to learn there were several ways those people could have been saved.

OUR PRESIDENT LET THEM DIE. HE DID NOTHING. He took his sorry ass to bed.

Any one of us would have moved everything at our disposal to help Americans being attacked by Al Qaeda, but not our pResident. Nope!

Gotta get his beauty sleep! Gotta campaign fundraiser in Vegas, baby, yeah! Hey Panetta! You deal with this.

dogsoldier on May 8, 2013 at 8:33 AM

If the U.S. gets involved with this it guarantees the ‘radical’ Muslims will take control of Syria. Not necessarily by overt design but because our government hasn’t a clue what Islam’s goal is.

TerryW on May 8, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Perhaps it’s been said, but really, where’s George Clooney the liberal sniffing Obama lover to protest the hypocrisy of this vs Darfour?

Badger40 on May 8, 2013 at 9:04 AM

We have a moral obligation to end the slaughter and ensure a stable Syria

No, we don’t. You might feel one, and if so you can resign your position and go start up a volunteer military unit somewhere and equip them and go there to do some fighting yourself. You have no cause to obligate other people’s sons and husbands and fathers to put themselves in harm’s way.

If it were to: threaten our strategic fuel (or other resource) needs, threaten our couple of solid allies in the region beyond their ability to resist, a strategic foe intervened in such a way as to threaten our interests, or one side or the other acts against our forces at home or abroad or commits other acts of war against us, then we would have some sort of obligation to respond. You know, like if someone were to, say, attack our embassy or consulate and kill an ambassador.

GWB on May 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Obama: We have a moral obligation to end the slaughter and ensure a stable Syria

Really? Did President Clinton have a moral obligation to end the slaughter in Rwanda, where far more people were killed than in Syria? Neither the Hutus nor the Tutsis were either our friends or our enemies, so we stayed out and let the United Nations settle it.

Assad is a Baathist clone of Saddam Hussein, no friend of the United States, but less dangerous. His internal enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, are also enemies of the United States. Why do we have a “moral obligation” to stop the slaughter of either side, when whoever wins would turn against us?

Our one true friend in that part of the world is Israel, and Israel’s intelligence service is miles ahead of our CIA, and knows what to do. We need to support Israel (morally, financially, and possibly supplying arms), and let Bibi decide what is in Israel’s best interest.

In the early 1980′s, the United States also supported a democratic, pluri-ethnic Lebanon, where Christians, Jews, and Muslims supposedly could live in peace, but even Ronaldus Maximus pulled our troops out after over 200 of them were blown up in Beirut. During the 1990′s, Syrian troops invaded Lebanon, and the United States did nothing to stop them.

If Assad is threatened in his own country, he has probably pulled his troops OUT of Lebanon to defend himself. This would be the perfect opportunity for Israel to move INTO Lebanon, chase out those lobbing missiles into Israel, and try to establish a peaceful buffer state in Lebanon between Israel and Syria. They could possibly be aided by France, which has close ties to the Lebanese Christians, although Socialist French President Hollande might not be as eager to intervene militarily as the conservative Sarkozy.

Bottom line: We don’t have a dog in this fight. If our enemies are killing each other, let’s stay out, and let our friends in the region profit from it.

Steve Z on May 8, 2013 at 10:54 AM

“To wage a war for a purely moral reason is as absurd as to ravish a woman for a purely moral reason.”
–H. L. Mencken

If the U.S. gets involved with this it guarantees the ‘radical’ Muslims will take control of Syria. Not necessarily by overt design but because our government hasn’t a clue what Islam’s goal is.

TerryW on May 8, 2013 at 8:36 AM

So what’s new? All of Bushbama’s wars have resulted in Islamicists taking over (not to mention the persecution of Christians in the ME).

Related: Johnny the Jihadi, or John McCain’s Peculiar Obsession
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/johnny-the-jihadi-or-john-mccains-peculiar-obsession/

Rae on May 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Obama: We have a moral obligation to end the slaughter and ensure a stable Syria

Let me fix this for you “in American abortion mills protected by progressive dhimocrapts.”

Old Country Boy on May 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Barry, you have a moral obligation to stop the daily lies and the corruption in the District of Criminals.

We owe Syria NOTHING. Not ONE thing. Not ONE drop of American blood for the terrorist nation.

Robert Jensen on May 8, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Both my husband’s direct ancestors and mine were here by 1665. That’s over 400 years ago – am I a native yet?

Anyway, this is such a bogus argument.

How’d that immigration thing work for the natives, hmm?

LibertyJane on May 8, 2013 at 10:04 PM

U.S. inaction in Syria is leading to the strenthening of al qaida in Syria. This is a repeat of what happened in Afghanistan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/08/free-syrian-army-rebels-defect-islamist-group

philrat on May 8, 2013 at 11:29 PM

What are you guys against? Obama in general? American foot soldiers on Syrian soil? Imposing a no-fly zone? Arming the rebels after doing some checkups on them to make sure weapons don’t flow to jihadis? Arming the rebels without doing those checkups first?

During the Bush years as a Bush supporter myself I saw the left was pretty reactionary in its rejection of “anything Bush”, which frustrated me to no end. Isn’t there some of it in this case too now, that “anything Obama” is bad by default? That that’s the beginning of the thought, and the rest is the rationalizing why it’s bad?

If Assad goes, some pretty important US national interests will be achieved by destroying Iran’s hub of weapons transfers to all their tentacles all over the Middle East.

If Assad goes, the slaughter of Syrians will stop or significantly slow down. The current rate is approximately 1000 dead per week (plus the maimed and injured, the displaced, the malnourished, the raped, etc.).

If Assad goes, even if an Egypt-style Muslim Brotherhood government is formed there in his stead it would be 100 times more sympathetic to the US and its interests than the current one.

What exactly is the resistance to among American conservatives?

AlexB on May 9, 2013 at 1:29 AM

Stop shipping weapons into Syria Barry, you’ve done enough damage to US relations with Turkey, Russia, Jordan, and Israel with your obstinate gun running to our sworn enemies.

And stay the hell out.

MarkT on May 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I’m sorry. We don’t have a moral obligation. No more than we have one to stop the drug killings in Mexico. These people are Muslims. Let them duke it out among themselves and hope for the best with whoever comes out on top and winds up in charge of the six daily calls to prayer.

kens on May 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

If Assad goes, some pretty important US national interests will be achieved by destroying Iran’s hub of weapons transfers to all their tentacles all over the Middle East.

If Assad goes, the slaughter of Syrians will stop or significantly slow down. The current rate is approximately 1000 dead per week (plus the maimed and injured, the displaced, the malnourished, the raped, etc.).

If Assad goes, even if an Egypt-style Muslim Brotherhood government is formed there in his stead it would be 100 times more sympathetic to the US and its interests than the current one.

What exactly is the resistance to among American conservatives?

AlexB on May 9, 2013 at 1:29 AM

I think the problem is that the three positive outcomes that you postulate are highly speculative and nobody has shown a clear reason to believe that any of them will come to pass.

An MB-type government would seem to be a step away from civilisation, not a step towards it.

The fighters presently pursuing their interpretation of Islam in Syria are unlikely to stop fighting if Assad is defeated; I’d expect them to move somewhere else — perhaps Kenya, Indonesia, Jordan or Thailand. Their numbers will be swelled by increasing popularity following victory, they will be more feared and garner more respect and influence, and they will likely have a fairly safe home base within Syria … not exactly a cosy prospect for the rest of us.

Iran has successfully been doing politics while surrounded by enemies since long before the USA existed; indeed acknowledging the facts that (a) Iran has the worst neighbours of any country on the planet and (b) that even nations with obnoxious leaders can have legitimate security concerns, might do more for the cause of peace than continually trying to isolate Iran.

YiZhangZhe on May 10, 2013 at 8:02 AM

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