Syria: just enough of a strike not to be “mocked”

posted at 10:41 am on August 29, 2013 by Bruce McQuain

The Hill is reporting something that has to go down as perhaps one of the worst justification for limiting a military mission or making an unprovoked attack on another country the world has ever seen:

A U.S. official briefed on the military options being considered by President Obama told the Los Angeles Times that the White House is seeking a strike on Syria “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

“They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” the official told the paper, giving credence to similar reports describing a limited military strike in the aftermath of last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack.

NBC News reported earlier this week that the administration would launch three days of missile strikes, while CNN cited a senior administration official saying that the White House wanted to conclude any action before the president departs for the G-20 summit next week.

If, before now, you had any doubt about ego being involved in the Syria mission, you shouldn’t anymore.  This is all about the ego of one man.  And he’s willing to put the men and women of our armed forces in harm’s way in order to service that ego.

Quite simply he shot off his mouth and made a threat, those at whom he aimed his words ignored him and allegedly did what he warned them against, and now he has to back up his threat or look weak.   But, being the political beast he is, he knows a “Bill Clinton and the aspirin factory” sort of response will bring condemnation and mockery.  So he’s decided that he’ll just do enough to escape that sort of mocking condemnation but not enough to actually accomplish his stated goals.  Apparently he thinks he won’t look weak if he does just enough to give the illusion of a real and substantial strike while knowing full well it’s a drop in the bucket of what would really be militarily necessary to back  up his threat or accomplish his goal of deterrence and degradation of Syria’s chemical weapons capability.  I can’t imagine a more unserious approach to this problem than this sort of response portends.

Of course, the reason he’s in the position to begin with is because of his lack of leadership on the world’s stage.  He’s single-handedly managed to reduce the United States to a country that was at least feared and respected by our potential enemies to “paper tiger” status.  Any weakness perceived is a direct result of his inability or refusal to lead.  And now, as his favorite preacher would say, the “chickens are coming home to roost.”  The pity is he’s playing with the lives of members of our armed forces in order to try to look tough.

And besides, he has important things to do.  He has to party down with the G-20 and he wants this distraction with Assad and Syria over by then.  He certainly doesn’t want an active military strike going on when he shows up there.  Think of the protests.  His fragile ego simply isn’t geared to be the focus of angry, sign-waving crowds calling him names.  Don’t forget, he’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

~McQ


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

ted c on August 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Mental illness covers it.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Obama raises the stakes to two aspirin factories!

RJL on August 29, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Would it be possible to substitute “Hail to the Chief” with something more appropriate?

This little number, maybe?

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 4:24 PM

As I posted to the headline this translates to, “We have no effing idea what’s going on in Syria.”

And Obozo is saying he’s concluded. So he’s going to fire some missiles even if they have no idea who is responsible. Zero is conducting a big pow wow tonight over this.

Congress needs to step up and threaten to impeach him.

Are these the actions of a sane person?

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 3:55 PM

“They are the actions of a not-too-bright foolish, petulant, and incompetent spoiled child who does not know how the world works and who is accustomed to having his way”, said Putin to Medvedev after he asked the same question. “Which is what I thought he was all along. Things are going as I planned Dimitri. Pour us both another vodka and let’s toast to America’s embarrassment.”

farsighted on August 29, 2013 at 4:32 PM

farsighted on August 29, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Said right before Putin drops trou and says, “Obama, reset this!”

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

This government is becoming a sick joke.

rplat on August 29, 2013 at 4:44 PM

“I have no earthly idea why they’re talking so much,” said retired Admiral William Fallon, the former head of the military’s Central Command. “It’s not leaking out; it’s coming out through a hose. It’s just a complete head-scratcher.”

J_Crater on August 29, 2013 at 5:13 PM

ted c on August 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Mental illness covers it.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 4:00 PM

I’m starting to believe that too. Actually some narcissist disorders can degenerate in really serious mental conditions…

jimver on August 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Congress needs to step up and threaten to impeach him.

Are these the actions of a sane person?

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 3:55 PM

How about our top brass? Is there anyone among our ‘brave’, umm, I mean sycophantic generals capable of standing up to our own version of Kim Jong-Un and tell this petulant child to grow up, and until he does, our armed forces won’t serve as a toy to stroke his ego or quell his tantrums…

jimver on August 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

It’s to the point now where I’m embarrassed to call myself an American. I feel like those New Orleans Saints fans from the 1980′s that wore bags over their heads.

Fazman on August 29, 2013 at 5:57 PM

jimver on August 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Under our Constitution, under our laws, pretty difficult for a general officer to stand up and refuse to carry out an order from the President…but the one option open, one that has rarely been used in recent times, is to publicly resign…and once no longer in uniform, go public with the reasons behind that resignation.

It has happened…not recently.

And that is little comfort.

If more than one or two generals/or admirals stand up together and tell the President to knock it off…to stop…can get complicated unless there is a large amount of sympathy among the rest of the senior ranks.

Again, of little comfort.

Anything other than that…well…ever read Seven Days in May?

All this nation needs is just one military coup…and everything changes forever.

And that is of little comfort, too.

Which leaves us Congress…

And, sad to say, I find very very little comfort there.

Why I loathe any who voted for Obama…to include a few family members…and will, for a long long time.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 5:59 PM

farsighted on August 29, 2013 at 4:32 PM

I dunno. Wanting to fire missiles without clear provocation IMHO goes way beyond dumb and ego centric into deep illness. A rational person wants to be as certain as possible before launching an attack like that.

Zero’s judgement is highly questionable.

jimver on August 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM
coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Soldiers may refuse an illegal order and launching missiles in this case may qualify.

Resigning is a less risky option than refusing on legal grounds.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I just got an alert from the Washington Times:

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron has lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes, a stunning defeat for a government which had seemed days away from joining the U.S. in possible attacks to punish Bashar Assad’s regime over an alleged chemical weapons attack.

Thursday evening’s vote was nonbinding, but in practice the rejection of military strikes means Cameron’s hands are tied. In a terse statement to Parliament, Cameron said it was clear to him that the British people did not want to see military action.

So if Zero presses ahead he will be alone.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I dont get it. Kill some of your own citizens, here we come.
Kill an ambassador? Yawn.

oprockwell on August 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Soldiers may refuse an illegal order and launching missiles in this case may qualify.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 6:27 PM

That necessary little gem was added to the UCMJ following My Lai…as well it should have been. Fine and necessary for the soldier. Was a major major classroom segment when I went through basic almost 4 decades ago.

When you get to the flag rank…not so easy to do…what exactly constitutes an unlawful order at the command to command level? Is a policy pronouncement an order? Is a phone call from a Tony Lake or a Samantha Power an order? Is an urging from the SecDef absent signed paper an order?

And for the general officer…at the point of refusal…is he/she merely replaced on the spot, and another steps in to carry out the unlawful order? Once relieved the general can no longer order anyone to do anything. Even to resist to follow what that now-relieved general considers an unlawful order.

The problem is within the culture…allowed to fester and atrophy over the years…duty, honor, country seem antiquated anymore.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 6:37 PM

The problem is within the culture…allowed to fester and atrophy over the years…duty, honor, country seem antiquated anymore.

coldwarrior on August 29, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Yeah you’re right about that. As an officer one refusing, deploying a missile (E.g. Tommahawk ) capable of mass destruction on a country we are not at war with is a violation of the constitution. That officer might be removed from duty and confined. Depends on their superior officers.

Remember the President must have specific authorization from congress to launch an attack. Any officer willfully complying with an illegal order may be charged with war crimes.

All military people must know when to refuse.

Or as you pointed out they can give up and resign.

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Once upon a time of the LBJ lies and fraud of a drunk on duty Commander In Chief, one “general officer” met with some under his command out on the flight line under the wings of a C-130 with all the motors running.

“OK you guys know the situation, we are getting lots of men in your unit killed and we have to find an effective way to do the job you have and seems those in higher command will not stand up to the President. So its is up to us and what we talk about today can not ever be talked about to anyone. We ,,, ””’, and ”” and ”’.
OK,

“OK” sir.

This will be oral orders only from here on out.

Loved that Gen. he saved many lives and put his whole life and job ect on the line.

Hope there are some like that left.

If not one more thing to add to the Liberty Amendments Mark Levin and We The People need to think over and pass.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM

They kill each other as they have for thousands of years.

Stay out of the line of fire.

Keep it simple.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 29, 2013 at 7:04 PM

“SYRIA IS NOT LIBYA” by Executive Editor John A. Tirpak
The Air Force Magazine, April 2012 issue
Don’t.Go.There.

“Testing Out”
The US must exercise caution before choosing new military operations.
By Adam J. Hebert, Editor in Chief
The Air Force Magazine, August 2013 issue
Time.To.Draw.Down.And.Go.Home.

maverick muse on August 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM

…the White House is seeking a strike on Syria “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

 

“I wish I had a father who was around and involved…”
 
President Barack H. Obama, March 2013

 
Us, too, Mr. President.
 
Us, too.

rogerb on August 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Back at mr stir things up on D.C..

“If you had a son and after you make an ass of yourself and end up backing down or doing something dumb as hell to cover your “Red Line” bull crap,,,,, he is going to have “hell week” on the play ground next week.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 29, 2013 at 7:13 PM

oops on the “is”

he would have “hell week”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 29, 2013 at 7:14 PM

FYI for those not following the other threads.

David Burge @iowahawkblog

Rambobama http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/30/us/politics/obama-syria.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=1& …
3:18 PM – 29 Aug 2013

dogsoldier on August 29, 2013 at 7:17 PM

“This is all about the ego of one man.”

Really? Not sh*t, Sherlock.

Every political move in the last five years have been all about that too. All fluff, no substance. Spineless, gutless, brainless, unwilling to tackle any tough issue. This is his true legacy.

Oh, yeah. That and being the first black president. Too bad Herman Cain couldn’t keep it in his pants. If he had been a liberal instead of conservative, it would have been a plus on his resume instead of a minus.

Is this a great country or what?

NoPain on August 29, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Looks like 0 is going it alone on this one. Rogue.

Bmore on August 29, 2013 at 8:28 PM

I dont get it. Kill some of your own citizens, here we come.
Kill an ambassador? Yawn.

oprockwell on August 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

That’s the strongest argument that there is a plan that people who handle the President on foreign policy are imposing regardless of whether it is good or bad for America.

If bombing Libya into regime change causes bad consequences for Americans: ignore it, lie and and deny, and press on. If there’s no benefit for America in attacking Syria: invent a reason, even a pathetic one, and do the attack anyway.

David Blue on August 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM

So will Obama stand at the podium, grab his crotch and yell
YO SYRIA U DISSIN ME BEECH, DO U KNOW WHO U MESSIN WIT

i’m gonnna EF you up

sniffles1999 on August 29, 2013 at 9:13 PM

dropping a few cruise missiles and drone hits is the military equiviliant of a drive by shooting.

wont make a difference but Obama gonna talk smak later

sniffles1999 on August 29, 2013 at 9:14 PM

funny don’t see any libs with signs going

NO BLOOD FOR OIL.

why is that.

sniffles1999 on August 29, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Page Three of the comments and still no trolls.

CurtZHP on August 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

CurtZHP on August 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

I like it this way. I know that doesn’t sit well with some. So be it.

Bmore on August 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

seems the only ones in this country that want to start bombing syria is obama and his admin lackeys
where are the protestors against imperialism
where are the code pinkers.
where are those against the violation of a nations soverignty?

Is the left so much of a cult they will STOP 50 years of antiwar movements for thier imperialistic leader

All in less than 5 years.
And they wonder how hitler was able to drag germany into WWII, seems a cult following will do anything.

sniffles1999 on August 30, 2013 at 8:12 AM

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