Syria: just enough of a strike not to be "mocked"

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.