Wolfowitz: Syria isn’t Iraq 2003, it’s Iraq 1991

posted at 8:01 am on September 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Joe Scarborough accused Howard Dean of sounding just like Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the 2003 Iraq War.  Why accept a pale imitation when we can have the genuine article?  Eli Lake interviewed Wolfowitz, now at the American Enterprise Institute, about the situation in Syria and its historical parallel to other American interventions/non-interventions in the region.  Wolfowitz agrees that the situation in Syria isn’t analogous to Iraq in 2003, but says it’s the same as our non-intervention in 1991 when Saddam Hussein went after the Shi’ites:

“People are saying this is not Iraq, and it’s correct,” Wolfowitz tells The Daily Beast. “We are not talking about sending American troops in to change a regime. The administration seems to be talking about a low-risk military operation, one that involves putting very few American lives at risk.”

Wolfowitz says the situation in Syria today reminds him more of the aftermath of the first Gulf War in 1991, when Iraqi Shiites began an uprising against Saddam Hussein and the United States did nothing to help them. Colin Powell, who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, ruled out attacks on Iraq’s retreating army, saying it would be a “turkey shoot.”

“It’s not Iraq 2003. It’s Iraq in 1991,” says Wolfowitz, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “In 1991 we had an opportunity without putting any American lives at risk to enable the Shia uprisings against Saddam to succeed. Instead we sat on our hands and watched him kill tens of thousands. We did nothing and we could have very easily enabled those rebellions to succeed. I think if we had done so we could have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein and there would not have been a second war.”

I agree with Wolfowitz that in retrospect it would have been far better to have pressed the war in 1991 all the way to Baghdad.  However, the issue in Syria isn’t at all analogous to Iraq in 1991, and our non-intervention in that civil war, because we had already intervened.  In fact, we had a robust no-fly zone in place during that period and a cease-fire that Hussein arguably was violating with his genocide against the Shi’ites in the south.  The US had plenty of legal justification for declaring the cease-fire null and void and continuing the war, and not just in 1991 but all the way to 2003.

We have no such predicate for action in Syria.  Syria has not declared war on us, nor have they threatened to invade an ally as Hussein did in 1990 to set off the Gulf War.  They are in the middle of a civil war in which the dictatorship isn’t just mowing down a dissenting religious population, but in which multiple sides are committing atrocities. The civil war has developed into a fight between Sunni and Shi’ite extremists, both of which are enemies of the US, and it’s not in our strategic interest to intervene on behalf of either set.

The proper analogy here is Iraq 1987-88, when Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran and then to commit genocide against the Kurds at Halabja, where 5,000 were killed.  Not only did the US not intervene militarily at the time, neither did the world demand an intervention.  In fact, over the last 50 years of chemical-weapons deployments, exactly none of them produced an outside military intervention by a non-belligerent.

There is no US interest at stake in the Syrian civil war, except to make sure it doesn’t expand beyond those borders.  The surest way for that to happen would be for the US to stick itself in the middle of the conflict.

Bonus: Wolfowitz tells Lake that we could have had a big success story in Syria had we acted sooner — like we did in Libya:

His calculation is drawn in part by the response of the Libyan people following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. He says he remembers seeing a photograph of a billboard in Tripoli that thanked the supporters of the Libyan revolution and included the U.S. and NATO. “There could have been that billboard in Damascus,” he says. “But we have waited so long to do anything.”

Maybe someone should acquaint Mr. Wolfowitz with the reality of the outcome in Libya.  This is the best argument yet I’ve heard against American intervention.


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Sigh.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Wolfie, Bill Kristol / Rove /Bush NEOCON……..meaning drag the US into wars in the Middle East to try and finally win the Crusades.

No thanks.

PappyD61 on September 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM

I just heard on TV a military editorial quoted: “the military is embarrassed to be associated with the Obama Administration’s amateurism……”

I mean, at this point, isn’t this like a burglar telegraphing to you : “I’m going to rob your house tomorrow at 3:45 pm. Oh, wait, we have to vote, make that next week on Tuesday at 8 am……”

Syria probably has an orphan tied to each box of chemical weapons at this point.

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

The proper analogy here is Iraq 1987-88, when Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran and then to commit genocide against the Kurds at Halabja, where 5,000 were killed. Not only did the US not intervene militarily at the time, neither did the world demand an intervention. In fact, over the last 50 years of chemical-weapons deployments, exactly none of them produced an outside military intervention by a non-belligerent.

But this time, there was a red line. The United States must kill innocent Syrians because a certain rat-eared Kenyan’s street cred is on the line.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Wolfie, Bill Kristol / Rove /Bush NEOCON……..meaning drag the US into wars in the Middle East to try and finally win the Crusades.

No thanks.

It’s not about the crusades, it’s more Wilsonian making the world safe for democracy progressive interventionism.

bannor on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Minor point of order – we suspended the no-fly zone in the middle of the Hussein/Shi’ite hostilities because Hussein claimed he needed to be able to fly helicopters to deliver “humanitarian supplies”. Of course, those “humanitarian supplies” were the remnants of the Republican Guard.

As for Libya, there are two Libyas – the “moderate” western part centered around Tripoli and the “radicalized” eastern part centered around Benghazi.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Syria probably has an orphan tied to each box of chemical weapons at this point.

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

And hospital signs to slap on any building damaged by cruise missiles.

If the thin-skinned rat was going to do this, he should have been making the speech to the American people as Tomahawk missiles were raining down on Damascus. But that would take political courage, integrity, and a coherent foreign policy vision for the region. The lazy stupid bastard in the White House is 0 for 3.

As it is, there is absolutely no point in intervening in Syria.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM

“We are not talking about sending American troops in to change a regime. The administration seems to be talking about a low-risk military operation, one that involves putting very few American lives at risk.”

- Wolfowitz

Military: ‘We’ve changed our military plans 50 times.

State Dept Spox: ‘There is no plan to put boots on the ground at this time.

Will there be a plan to put boots on the ground in the military’s 60th iteration? 72nd? 89th?

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM

I will give him credit, unlike the other neoconservatives who supported interventionist war until last week Wolfowitz has the courage of his convictions.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

As for Libya, there are two Libyas – the “moderate” western part centered around Tripoli and the “radicalized” eastern part centered around Benghazi.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

No. There is one Libya with a Islamist problem. As with Syria, you can’t try and separate good guys and bad guys in that part of the world. The distinction between the two is often indistinguishable.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

If the thin-skinned rat was going to do this…

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Richard III may have been a diabolical, manipulative throne-stealer, but at least HE DIED IN BATTLE.

It’s time to return the leaders, who choose to wage war, back to the battlefield…regardless of gender or age.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM

here comes obama’s war…

*sigh*

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

And hospital signs to slap on any building damaged by cruise missiles.

If the thin-skinned rat was going to do this, he should have been making the speech to the American people as Tomahawk missiles were raining down on Damascus. But that would take political courage, integrity, and a coherent foreign policy vision for the region. The lazy stupid bastard in the White House is 0 for 3.

As it is, there is absolutely no point in intervening in Syria.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Come on – they’re Ba’athists, so they’ll be slapping baby milk factory signs on those buildings.

There had been a coherent foreign policy out of Team SCOAMT – Fluke over everybody who wasn’t hostile to Dubya. The problem is they ran out of those countries with the culmination of the Arab Spring, so Plugs Biden and Jean Kerry have been fighting over whether to continue to pinprick Israel until Iran has a couple dozen nukes or use Syria as the anvil to the Egyptian hammer.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I don’t get why people who are really against this just don’t bring up Libya. That should shut down any conversation about doing anything similar in Syria.

Johnnyreb on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

No. There is one Libya with a Islamist problem. As with Syria, you can’t try and separate good guys and bad guys in that part of the world. The distinction between the two is often indistinguishable.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Why do you think I used the scare quotes on “moderate”?

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

morning joe praising bill kristol with his op ed on supporting this war….

cripe bill

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

The Obama Left summed up by a Daily Kooks’ Kommissar:

‘No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.’

Comedy gold!

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Richard III may have been a diabolical, manipulative throne-stealer, but at least HE DIED IN BATTLE.

It’s time to return the leaders, who choose to wage war, back to the battlefield…regardless of gender or age.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Barky, Miss Lindsey and McCain leading the charge?
The enemy would die laughing.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM

No. There is one Libya with a Islamist problem. As with Syria, you can’t try and separate good guys and bad guys in that part of the world. The distinction between the two is often indistinguishable.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Besides, there’s a whole lot of nothing between Tripoli and Benghazi. The “moderate” Islamists who haven’t quite turned on us yet can’t get to Benghazi to take it over, and Al Qaeda-Benghazi can’t get to Tripoli to take it over.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Will there be a plan to put boots on the ground in the military’s 60th iteration? 72nd? 89th?

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Boots on ground will be the end of the thin-skinned rat. I mean impeachment and removal from office. And a whole lot of Dem casualties in the next election. We’ve been waging war for over a decade. The American people are not interested in another Middle Eastern adventure, especially one where there is no national interest at stake (as there was in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

morning joe praising bill kristol with his op ed on supporting this war….

cripe bill

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I hope you didn’t miss a very entertaining two hours. Halperin and Donny Douche thinking Obama is going to turn around a 20 percent approval (debatable it’s even that) with his magic tongue on Tuesday of next week.

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Barky, Miss Lindsey and McCain leading the charge?
The enemy would die laughing.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Yeah, but think of all of the casualties…from laughing themselves to death!

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Boots on ground will be the end of the thin-skinned rat. I mean impeachment and removal from office. And a whole lot of Dem casualties in the next election. We’ve been waging war for over a decade. The American people are not interested in another Middle Eastern adventure, especially one where there is no national interest at stake (as there was in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Dingy Harry will never turn on Teh SCOAMT.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Barky, Miss Lindsey and McCain leading the charge?
The enemy would die laughing.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Yeah, but think of all of the casualties…from laughing themselves to death!

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:25 AM

You two assume the enemy has a sense of humor.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Yeah, but think of all of the casualties…from laughing themselves to death!

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Well, it would be the first war with comic collateral damage.
Maybe we could put Miz Lindsey in a kilt and give Barky bagpipes.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM

morning joe praising bill kristol with his op ed on supporting this war….

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Point of order. I thought this wasn’t a war but, rather, a limited and proportional response.

The war part comes later when the bleating of stupid idiots like Kristol no longer matters. BTW, I was behind him at the airport a couple years ago. He’s tiny. I’m certain he sits on a booster seat when he appears on Fox News.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Syria probably has an orphan tied to each box of chemical weapons at this point.

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

The orphans are probably covering the “Made in Iraq” stickers.

monalisa on September 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I will give him credit, unlike the other neoconservatives who supported interventionist war until last week Wolfowitz has the courage of his convictions.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Too bad that you voted for a skin color and not a statesman, Punky Brewster.

As it is, you can’t EVER make distinctions on a continuum. “Nuance” is just a dirty French word as far as your concerned.

ebrown2 on September 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM

You two assume the enemy has a sense of humor.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Doooood, even Osama bin Laden’s Ghost would die laughing at Obama, Senator Kerry, SecState Lurch, and Miss Lindsey leading a charge on the battlefield.

He might even enjoy it more than his goat porn flicks.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

“you’re”

ebrown2 on September 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

You two assume the enemy has a sense of humor.

Steve Eggleston on September 6, 2013 at 8:27 AM

OK give Barky the kilt AND the bagpipes. If that doesn’t get ‘em, they’re dead already.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Add the bicycle helmet and they’ll drop like flies.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:32 AM

In fact, over the last 50 years of chemical-weapons deployments, exactly none of them produced an outside military intervention by a non-belligerent.

Just more proof that President Big Mouth is a SCOAMF.

“I never said there was an international red line. I said I like red wine on my international trips.” – Day after a bipartisan congress rejects intervention in Syria

NotCoach on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM

heh…idiots…

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM

oh its a war alright….dear leader wants to expand his ‘limited strikes’ already and he hasn’t gotten the approval yet…

no whining about W anymore libs, dear leader doesn’t even have a coalition or any type of approval

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

His calculation is drawn in part by the response of the Libyan people following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. He says he remembers seeing a photograph of a billboard in Tripoli that thanked the supporters of the Libyan revolution and included the U.S. and NATO. “There could have been that billboard in Damascus,” he says. “But we have waited so long to do anything.”

99.9% likely if could track down a receipt for the purchase of said billboard it would read one ‘B. Obama Stash’.

preallocated on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

What strange bedfellow. Morning Schmoe gang just interviewing Chet Huntsman like he’s Henry Kissinger and darned if Leon Huntsman doesn’t want full “regime change” in Syria. Well, after we’ve exhausted all “pretty please!” talk. Who would have thought Theodore Huntsman would have embraced neo-con policy so whole-hearteldly. Oh, right, he’s up Obama’s butt and always has been.

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

169,000 jobs
7.3%

and MORE DOWNWARD REVISIONS…who could have seen that coming/

WH spin in 5…4…3..

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Yesterday, Joe Scarborough accused Howard Dean of sounding just like Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the 2003 Iraq War. Why accept a pale dyed imitation when we can have the genuine article?

fify

Valkyriepundit on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Marcus on September 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

another idiot

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

ebrown2 on September 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM

You’re sad. I voted for the lesser of two evils in a two party system. Just like every other American. Deal.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Well, it would be the first war with comic collateral damage.
Maybe we could put Miz Lindsey in a kilt and give Barky bagpipes.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Well, at least, we know that Miss Lindsey wouldn’t need one of these:

Worn under kilts: The Willy Warmer

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

It’s time to return the leaders, who choose to wage war, back to the battlefield…regardless of gender or age.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Okay, I’ve now got this image of Pelosi dressed as Joan of Arc. Thank you for that. :-)

Seriously, look at history. It’s much easier to survive on the battlefield as a General than as a foot soldier. I say the children and grandchildren of those who choose to wage war should be on the front lines. Young men and women not much older than Sasha and Malia are going in harm’s way becasue of the stupidity and arrogance of their “father.” Why should they remain safe if this is of such paramount importance for the nation?

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Richard III may have been a diabolical, manipulative throne-stealer, but at least HE DIED IN BATTLE.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Plus he went to war to get stuff. Remember those days? Good times.
I’d settle for some goats. Especially the curried kind. Please, o camels.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I will give him credit, unlike the other neoconservatives who supported interventionist war until last week Wolfowitz has the courage of his convictions.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Where did you leave your convictions, Mr. Isolationist, when you voted in 2012 for the dude who sent our military against Libya in 2011, in a box under the bed?

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Doooood, even Osama bin Laden’s Ghost would die laughing at Obama, Senator Kerry SENILE, SecState Lurch, and Miss Lindsey leading a charge on the battlefield.

Becoming the same thing.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

I will give him credit, unlike the other neoconservatives who supported interventionist war until last week Wolfowitz has the courage of his convictions.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Speaking of ignorance in general…

Here’s a simple question for you. Which of the founding fathers did not subscribe to the communitarian ethos Calhoun deploys to rationalize slavery? *sets sundial*

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

None. They weren’t nascent Commies like John C. Calhoun, and full blown Commies like you. Don’t you think you need to provide some proof for such a ridiculous smear there Mr. Calhoun? You’re a history perfesser, right?

NotCoach on August 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Oh dear God….hold on, give me 10 minutes.

libfreeordie on August 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM

384 hours and counting.

I’m starting to have a sneaking suspicion you don’t have the balls to just simply admit you were wrong. I think maybe you like more than Obama’s skin color. You both are feckless cowards incapable of accepting responsibility for anything.

NotCoach on September 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

NO camels!

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I’ve only heard two good arguments for attacking Syria: 1) Syria is an Iranian proxy, thought of as an Iranian province by Qumran and Tehran, and used as the primary base for launching terror attacks in the Middle East and internationally; 2) the Assad regime is quite capable of launching attacks against Americans around the world and will do so unless their ears are clipped.

The first argument isn’t a good argument for attacking Syria right now, and the administration hasn’t shown us any evidence supporting the second argument . I’m open minded, but as far as I can tell if the President armed and trained the “rebels” he would accomplish more than if we lobbed in a missile barrage. What we sure as heck don’t want to do is get directly involved in a civil war, especially one where no American interests or ideals are at risk and both sides look crazy as all get out.

MTF on September 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Breaking News:Our Muslim president wants to get involved in a Muslim conflict.

portlandon on September 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM

You’re sad. I voted for the lesser of two evils in a two party system. Just like every other American. Deal.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

So Romney would be pushing for war right about now to save his ego?

NotCoach on September 6, 2013 at 8:41 AM

“Qumran” was meant to be Qum. Weird iPad spell check error of the day.

MTF on September 6, 2013 at 8:41 AM

oh its a war alright….dear leader wants to expand his ‘limited strikes’ already and he hasn’t gotten the approval yet…

cmsinaz on September 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

You can’t wage a war completely with air strikes. At some point, boots on ground are necessary. And the public is not in the mood of seeing more flag-draped caskets at Dover AFB. If Obama expands warfare in Syria it will be half-assed and muddled. But that is nothing new.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Doooood, even Osama bin Laden’s Ghost would die laughing at Obama, Senator SENILE, SecState Lurch, and Miss Lindsey leading a charge on the battlefield.

Not enough room in the golf cart.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM

MTF on September 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Here’s a third from last night…

Iran and their Hizballah will fall soon after Assad falls…

mnjg on September 5, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Didn’t they assure us that siding with and arming Saddam Hussein in the 1980s would cause the Iranian regime to fall, too? How’d that work out for ya?

You know, mnjg, I have to hand it to you. Your powers of persuasion are really beginning to work on me. There is a growing part of me that is on the verge of coming out gung-ho in favour of attacking Syria and causing the despotic Assad regime to fall…

…just to see you turn yourself into a fvcking pretzel explaining why Iran is – SHOCKA! – still on its nuclear warpath and how you are just so STUNNED that Syria has become a failed ‘Islamist Paradise.’

Pure schadenfreude, my dear. Pure schadenfreude.

Also are you for a war against Iran even if Obama leads it?

If he were to wage it as Libya and the lead up to Syria, yeah, you’re damn right I would oppose him.

Of course, I’m positive that you believe that firing a few ‘shots across (the Mullahs’) bow’ will turn them into Jeffersonian Democrats or something.

‘Hey, guys, let’s intervene in the Spanish Civil War because the Stalin-backed ‘rebels’ are waaaaay kewl!’

– mnjg on September 5, 1936

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Not enough room in the golf cart.

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Ma’am, haven’t you seen the new extended-cab golf carts made especially for military adventures?

Gun rack sold separately.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Ma’am, haven’t you seen the new extended-cab golf carts made especially for military adventures?

Gun rack sold separately.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I thought we called those things Chevy Volts.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Ma’am, haven’t you seen the new extended-cab golf carts made especially for military adventures?

Gun rack sold separately.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Damn. What won’t they think of next. Could I switch the guns to the bubble variety?

katy the mean old lady on September 6, 2013 at 8:47 AM

All I’m hearing this morning on Talkradio is 2 things…

1. Obama sadly had to cancel his California fundraiser to beg,bully or bribe members of the house to support his silly war that’s not a war.

2. Obama is planning a Shock & Awe thingy…2 days of relentless bombing. I guess he wants to level Damascus.

Obama is a Fascist Imbecile.

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Have a look at this link. One of my Senators has changed his tune on Syria. After what I presume was the public emailing and calling his office. Y’all might want to do the same if you are against Syria intervention.

Bmore on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Joseph Bodansky and Larry Johnson both say that Obama and Kerry are in fact lying: the chemical attack in Damascus was not Assad’s work, but a Gulf of Tonkin-style play to give the US an excuse to intervene.

Why? Maybe to create an excuse to go into Iran. First we put boots on the ground, “to secure the WMDs.” Then go after Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces already in Syria. When the ayatollahs respond, go into Iran.

The Saudis, who are looking to create a Sunni Arab coalition to counter Iran, have even said they will pay for it.

Arguably, if this will nip Iran’s nukes in the bud, the whole scenario might work to our (and Israel’s) advantage. But once a war starts, who knows where it will lead? Remember the liberals’ favorite word about Vietnam and Iraq: “Quagmire.”

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Wolfowitz agrees that the situation in Syria isn’t analogous to Iraq in 2003, but says it’s the same as our non-intervention in 1991 when Saddam Hussein went after the Shi’ites:

Ummm, no.

Assad has not recently been forcefully kicked out of another country he invaded by a huge coalition of nations including Arab nations.

None of Syria has been invaded and occupied by conventional military forces of a coalition that opposes it.

Syria has not endured a month and a half of heavy bombing.

There are no UN resolutions authorizing a use of force against Syria.

The Iraqi Shiites rising up against Saddam were not heavily affiliated with Islamist terrorist groups, much less the likes of al Qaeda.

Syria has no oil and is not on the oil rich Persian Gulf.

And so on.

It would have been better if GHWB had supported the Shiite uprising in 1991. It would have also been better if GWHB and Colin Powell had not called a unilateral premature halt to the ground war before the Republic Guard was completely destroyed, which was one of the two war aims. What remained of the Republican Guard was what put down the uprising against Saddam in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

The only similarity between Iraq in 1991 and Assad in 2013 is they both faced popular uprisings. However, so did Iran a few years ago and Comrade O did nothing to support it.

farsighted on September 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The Saudis, who are looking to create a Sunni Arab coalition to counter Iran, have even said they will pay for it.
MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I’m not impressed by Preezy McBombypants pimping out our military to be mercenaries of the Saudis and Al Qaeda.

I’m also pretty sure that the current leadership of idiots will screw it up based on their record of Smart Power Policies with unintended and unexpectedly disasaterous results.

Any soldier or pilot that goes down will be left behind cause that’s how our CIC rolls.

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 9:05 AM

1. Obama sadly had to cancel his California fundraiser to beg,bully or bribe members of the house to support his silly war that’s not a war.

2. Obama is planning a Shock & Awe thingy…2 days of relentless bombing. I guess he wants to level Damascus.

Obama is a Fascist Imbecile.

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Obama cancelled that trip because he really can’t have Congress telling him no after he’s already picked out his bombing outfit complete with that leather flight jacket with the Presidential seal.

Plus, how warm a reception do you suppose Hollywood donors would give him when he’s doing what they accused GWB of doing.

The other event on this trip was to be a speech to the AFL-CIO which isn’t all that thrilled with him right now since he isn’t exempting them from Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Ma’am, haven’t you seen the new extended-cab golf carts made especially for military adventures?

Gun rack sold separately.

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Don’t laugh, I have something like that for tooling around up north on the hunting grounds.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

384 hours and counting.

I’m starting to have a sneaking suspicion you don’t have the balls to just simply admit you were wrong. I think maybe you like more than Obama’s skin color. You both are feckless cowards incapable of accepting responsibility for anything.

NotCoach on September 6, 2013 at 8:39 AM

It’s just a hate filled bigoted troll doing what trolls do.

Trolls always try to elicit a lot of replies to their comments and then cherry pick the ones they in turn reply back to.

When faced with substantive rebuttals and arguments trolls usually try to ignore them, or they move on to another thread.

Trolls that do this day in day out have a serious mental disorder.

farsighted on September 6, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Wolfie, Bill Kristol / Rove /Bush NEOCON……..meaning drag the US into wars in the Middle East to try and finally win the Crusades.

No thanks.

PappyD61 on September 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM

It’s not about the crusades, it’s more Wilsonian making the world safe for democracy progressive interventionism.

bannor on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

What Wilson? You mean that Wilson who pushed for and signed the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913, that Wilson who declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, that Wilson who was instrumental in authoring the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 that crippled Germany thus allowing Hitler to rise up and start a bigger and better WW2, that Wilson who instigated the ground work for the League of Nations which ostrasized Japan as an international pirriah resulting in Japan attacking Pearl Harbor thus starting WW2?

You mean that Wilson?

timberline on September 6, 2013 at 9:09 AM

“Report: US strike on Syria to be ‘significantly larger than expected’”

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-US-strike-on-Syria-to-be-significantly-larger-than-expected-325389

“Pentagon Is Ordered to Expand Potential Targets in Syria With a Focus on Forces…”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/world/middleeast/pentagon-is-ordered-to-expand-potential-targets-in-syria-with-a-focus-on-forces.html?hp&_r=1&

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Over on Drudge:

Arizona Voters Heckle John McCain Over Push For Syrian Strike

I guess Arizonans aren’t completely stupid even though they keep sending this idiot back to DC.

In the meantime we watch a hapless and feckless thin-skinned rat creating a quagmire even before the first missile is launched. How many American military members are going to die because of this arrogance?

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 9:14 AM

“For the first time, the administration is talking about using American and French aircraft to conduct strikes on specific targets, in addition to ship-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles. There is a renewed push to get other NATO forces involved.

The strikes would be aimed not at the chemical stockpiles themselves — risking a potential catastrophe — but rather the military units that have stored and prepared the chemical weapons and carried the attacks against Syrian rebels, as well as the headquarters overseeing the effort, and the rockets and artillery that have launched the attacks, military officials said Thursday…

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that other targets would include equipment that Syria uses to protect the chemicals — air defenses, long-range missiles and rockets, which can also deliver the weapons….

Senior officials are aware of the competing imperatives they now confront — that to win even the fight on Capitol Hill, they will have to accept restrictions on the military response, and in order to make the strike meaningful they must expand its scope.

“They are being pulled in two different directions,” a senior foreign official involved in the discussions said Thursday. “The worst outcome would be to come out of this bruising battle with Congress and conduct a military action that made little difference.”

Officials cautioned that the options for an increased American strike would still be limited — “think incremental increase, not exponential,” said one official — but would be intended to inflict significant damage on the Syrian military…. ”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/world/middleeast/pentagon-is-ordered-to-expand-potential-targets-in-syria-with-a-focus-on-forces.html?hp&_r=1&

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

A colleague of mine went on to Hopkins to study IR under Wolfowitz. Then a year later he got picked up by the new Bush Administration.

You should have stayed in Balto, you moron…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 9:23 AM

“Russian landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov is reportedly heading to the Syrian coast as tension in the region continues to escalate.

The deployment of another vessel by Moscow, a key ally of Damascus, comes as the US considers unleashing a military strike against president Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“The vessel will dock in Novorossiysk where it will take special cargo on board and head to the designated area of military service in the eastern Mediterranean,” an unnamed naval source told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

The nature of the cargo is still unclear. The vessel has capacity for 3,300 troops and 1,700 tonnes of cargo, including 20 tanks.

It is protected by three guns and three missile launchers.

Ahead of the movement of the large vessel, two Russian ships passed the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul en route to the eastern stretch of the Mediterranean.

Russia had earlier sent new warships to the region shortly after America announced it would intervene militarily in Syria as retaliation for Assad’s Ghouta chemical attack.

Moscow has been strengthening its Mediterranean naval fleet over recent months, although the country insists these are regular manoeuvres.

Russia also has a naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartous….”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/504248/20130906/russia-ship-syria-assad-putin-obama-damascus.htm

workingclass artist on September 6, 2013 at 9:24 AM

What Wilson? You mean that Wilson who pushed for and signed the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913, that Wilson who declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, that Wilson who was instrumental in authoring the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 that crippled Germany thus allowing Hitler to rise up and start a bigger and better WW2, that Wilson who instigated the ground work for the League of Nations which ostrasized Japan as an international pirriah resulting in Japan attacking Pearl Harbor thus starting WW2?

You mean that Wilson?

timberline on September 6, 2013 at 9:09 AM

That’s the guy. Otherwise known as George W Bush Sr…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 9:24 AM

“We should bomb ME countries every chance we get. It’s the conservative thing to do.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Akzed on September 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Don’t laugh, I have something like that for tooling around up north on the hunting grounds.

Bishop on September 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

I bet you do!

Resist We Much on September 6, 2013 at 9:28 AM

That’s the guy. Otherwise known as George W Bush Sr…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Uh-hem….
WILSON DEMOCRAT 1917 DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY WW1
ROOSEVELT DEMOCRAT 1941 DECLARED WAR ON JAPAN WW2
TRUMAN DEMOCRAT 1950 DECLARED WAR ON NORTH KOREA
KENNEDY DEMOCRAT 1961 INCREASED TROOP NUMBER IN VIETNAM TO 170,000
JOHNSON DEMOCRAT 1968 INCREASED TROOP NUMBER IN VIETNAM TO 537,000

On the other side of the coin:

EISENHOWER REPUBLICAN ENDED KOREAN WAR
NIXON REPUBLICAN ENDED VIETNAM WAR.

timberline on September 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

hussein was a check valve for iran.
in 91 leaving him was the best decision for us.

dmacleo on September 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Further to my post at 8:57 AM above:

It has been reported that the administration is now considering sending military advisors to Syria to train the ‘rebels’.

Remember back in the ’60s when we sent ‘military advisors’ over to a foreign conflict?

Can anyone say, “Gulf of Tonkin”?

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

We have no such predicate for action in Syria. Syria has not declared war on us, nor have they threatened to invade an ally as Hussein did in 1990 to set off the Gulf War.

It is a big stretch to call Kuwait and Saudi Arabia our allies. I prefer the analogy that it was stupid to start the first Gulf War and would be stupid to start the first Syrian War.

burt on September 6, 2013 at 9:38 AM

It has been reported that the administration is now considering sending military advisors to Syria to train the ‘rebels’.
MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

The rebels who are attacking Christian villages and shooting up churches. Our new allies.

Akzed on September 6, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Follow the money… The neocons are heavily invested in the defense and war machinery contracting industry.

Blow up Syrian roads, bridges, and buildings and, presto. The neocon-affiliated defense contractors will be hired to rebuild the roads, bridges, and buildings. All protected by the neocon private security firms.

kevinkristy on September 6, 2013 at 9:44 AM

The rebels who are attacking Christian villages and shooting up churches. Our new allies.

Akzed on September 6, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Do the puppet Obambi and his handler Valerie Jarrett care what happens to Christians? Or, for that matter, Jews?

Just askin’.

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Obama and his gaggle of fools are simply incompetent but McCain knows exactly what he is doing. He sees his pals in the defense industry taking sever monetary hits and is bond and determined to restore their treasure chests. As much as I hate to say it this “war” is being proposed to cover Obama’s butt and fill the pockets of the defense contractors.

rplat on September 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Joseph Bodansky and Larry Johnson both say that Obama and Kerry are in fact lying

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Well, I wouldn’t put too much stock into what Crazy Larry has to say-after all, he wrote an op-ed in the NY Times 2 months before the first 9/11 where he confidently assured us that the US would never be attacked by Islamist terrorists.

Del Dolemonte on September 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Follow the money… The neocons are heavily invested in the defense and war machinery contracting industry.

kevinkristy on September 6, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Many high-ranking Halliburton officials, including a senior Vice President, donated heavily to O’bama in both 2008 and 2012. You can find the details at OpenSecrets.org

And Leftist Sugar Daddy George Soros bought $61 million worth of Halliburton in 2006.

Are they all “neocons” as well?

Del Dolemonte on September 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

But this time, there was a red line. The United States must kill innocent Syrians because a certain rat-eared Kenyan’s street cred is on the line.

Happy Nomad on September 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Is there a lake near DC where Bill Clinton can take the REB fishing late some night?

slickwillie2001 on September 6, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I agree with Wolfowitz that in retrospect it would have been far better to have pressed the war in 1991 all the way to Baghdad. However, the issue in Syria isn’t at all analogous to Iraq in 1991, and our non-intervention in that civil war, because we had already intervened.

Damn straight! But, we had the inept boob, Colon Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (that appointment was one of the great affirmative action jokes of all time, though Barky’s election made that seem like child’s play) advising Bush Sr. to make the whole 1991 war a total waste by not finishing it – especially after the other hussein proved that he could not be allowed to remain in control of the region after he had just intentionally dumped tens of millions of barrels of oil into the gulf (an act that most “hussein”s like to do, it turns out) and had lit just about every oil well in kuwait on fire.

In fact, we had a robust no-fly zone in place during that period and a cease-fire that Hussein arguably was violating

Nothing “arguable” about it. The other hussein broke the cease fire from the first day … and every day after.

with his genocide against the Shi’ites in the south.

Er … it was not a “genocide”. Shiite is not a genotype. It was just a whole lot of killing in violation of the cease fire we had just signed with the other hussein … on the advice of the moron Powell instead of finishing that war up.

The US had plenty of legal justification for declaring the cease-fire null and void and continuing the war, and not just in 1991 but all the way to 2003.

The other hussein declared the cease fire null and void. We didn’t have to do anything but just follow common sense. That 1991 war never ended. We let the other hussein off the hook and then let him act as if nothing had happened while he was still, technically, at war – a war that he had just lost in one of the most humiliating defeats in all of human history. But the affirmative action moron Powell didn’t like the idea of winning the war. Friggin idiot … who would go on to be even more of an affirmative action idiot as SecState.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 6, 2013 at 10:19 AM

So a civil war is equal to a war of exterior aggression against another Nation State?

Or that the best way to help the people of Syria is to help the ‘rebels’ who are not our friends and intend no good for the Syrian people?

What?

How is Iraq 1991 in any way equivalent to Syria today?

We made promises post-cease fire, which means under the expectation that Saddam would keep his word, to the Shia in southern Iraq. When did we do anything like that in Syria?

Say, if you want to help the Kurds in the eastern portion of the country, just say so! Or take up the idea of arming the Syrian people, directly, with small arms via air drop so they can resist the regime and the ‘rebels’, both. This choosing sides business hasn’t gotten us that many winners in the last 20 years, perhaps we should stop doing that.

ajacksonian on September 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Joseph Bodansky and Larry Johnson both say that Obama and Kerry are in fact lying

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Well, I wouldn’t put too much stock into what Crazy Larry has to say-after all, he wrote an op-ed in the NY Times 2 months before the first 9/11 where he confidently assured us that the US would never be attacked by Islamist terrorists.

Del Dolemonte on September 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Maybe so, but in this case I think plausibility is on Bodansky’s and Johnson’s sides. Why would Assad use poison gas when he’s got plenty of Iranian and Russian arms and was already winning? And why do The Puppet President’s handlers want to intervene on behalf of the ‘rebels’ in Syria? It makes sense that the rebels used the gas to trigger Obambi’s ‘red line’. And is even possible that if the administration wanted an excuse to attack, they worked with the rebels to create this incident—or at least winked and looked the other way.

The question remains, why would Obambi and company want to go into Syria?

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

timberline on September 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Super.

So in GWB, we assumed a party persona we spent a century trying to defeat.

Super…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

PNAC

OxyCon on September 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Super.

So in GWB, we assumed a party persona we spent a century trying to defeat.

Super…

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Please… stop with the “It’s Bush’s fault” alibi. that’s getting really old. This is Jugears show now. Accept it…it is what it is.

timberline on September 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Follow the money… The neocons politicians are heavily invested in the defense and war machinery contracting industry.

Blow up Syrian roads, bridges, and buildings and, presto. The neocon-affiliated job-producing defense contractors will be hired to rebuild the roads, bridges, and buildings. All protected by the neocon private security firms.

kevinkristy on September 6, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Fixed. Right idea, wrong culprit. Defense jobs are the only ones left that American companies can’t outsource. And most of them are located in politically important states and congressional districts. Administrations and Congresses of both parties understand this, whether they admit it or not.

Bonus that Obama gets to then call for an end to the sequester and a tax increase to pay for all of it so “we don’t run another war on America’s credit card.”

rockmom on September 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Maybe so, but in this case I think plausibility is on Bodansky’s and Johnson’s sides. Why would Assad use poison gas when he’s got plenty of Iranian and Russian arms and was already winning? And why do The Puppet President’s handlers want to intervene on behalf of the ‘rebels’ in Syria? It makes sense that the rebels used the gas to trigger Obambi’s ‘red line’. And is even possible that if the administration wanted an excuse to attack, they worked with the rebels to create this incident—or at least winked and looked the other way.

The question remains, why would Obambi and company want to go into Syria?

MrLynn on September 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Because he got himself into a d#ck measuring contest with Putin and now has to try to win it.

Assad is doing whatever Putin tells him to do. Putin sees Obama as weak and indecisive. And now he is proving it to the entire world. It’s a win-win for Putin.

rockmom on September 6, 2013 at 11:41 AM

this post is totally correct, which is why this is never talked about on the MSM. This is the new stuff of responsibility to protect

this is a very bad precedent. Barry talks large and bellicose
about protecting the world from counties that want nuclear weapons, CBW and all other sins…the R2P the great unwashed of the world from the tyrants who would kill them

we are the policeman…and we have a big, big military…and a bigger NSA to spy on you…get used to it punks

r keller on September 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Wolfie, Bill Kristol / Rove /Bush NEOCON……..meaning drag the US into wars in the Middle East to try and finally win the Crusades.

This, meaning Syria, is NOT - and has NEVER BEEN about BOOOOOSH.

Though it is not surprising that The Mainstream Media - of which Ed and allahpundit are a part – CONTINUE to try and make it so.

The REASON that The Mainstream Media, including Ed and allahpunding, CONTINUE to try and make this a discussion about mmmBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH rather than Obama is simple – and has been CLEARLY documented Time and Time Again: Ed and allahpundit and The REST of The Mainstrea Media ALL have ONE Atrribute In Common:

They HAAAATE mmmmBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!

….and they PROTECT OBAMA!! Good Job, Ed – you Write What You’re TOLD TO!!

williamg on September 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

You’re sad. I voted for the lesser of two evils in a two party system. Just like every other American. Deal.

libfreeordie on September 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

As the old saying goes, “The lesser of two evils is evil.” As it is, you threw your vote away on a corporatist pig.

ebrown2 on September 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Here’s an idea, Ed:

Why don’t you go find SOMEONE ELSE from ANY PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION who no longe makes policy on The Middle East and get THEIR “opinions” on Syris so that you can try and tie THAT Adminstration to what is happening in Syria now?

Isn’t Robert McNamara still arounf?

How about Cyrus Vance?

Would posting and/or writing articls about THEM and THEIR RELEVANCY to Syria be LESS STUPID? I don’t think so.

williamg on September 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

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