Syria is not our issue... Heed your own words President Obama...
News is breaking everywhere that a military strike on Syria from the United States is imminent. If news reports are to be believed, our President and Secretary of Defense Hagel are knee deep in preparations to bomb Syria, perhaps as early as this weekend.
Much less certain is what President Obama hopes to accomplish by bombing another sovereign nation that has not attacked the United States and is not planning to do so.
It seems like a million years ago that a young junior senator from Illinois named Barack Obama launched his bid to become President of the United States. Here is what he said in a 2002 speech condemning potential military involvement in Iraq. It would soon become the basis of his campaign for the presidency.
“Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.... The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.
I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.”
Those were strong words back then... and they should be heeded today.
The parallels are surprisingly similar. Hussein was in fact a brutal man, just as Assad in Syria is. Hussein did in fact butcher his own people, even using gas in Halabja to secure his power, just as we allege President Assad has done in his country.
But also like Hussein before him, Assad does not pose an imminent or direct threat to the United States or his neighbors, and in the end, will ultimately go the way of all “petty dictators into the dustbin of history” to quote the man that is now our President.
Senator Obama opposed military action in Iraq because, in his opinion, it lacked a clear rational and strong international support and would “...fan the flames of the Middle East and encourage the worst...” Mr. President, what will be different in Syria?
The American people are not with you in this.
You have presented no clear rational for our impending attacks. Is it simply to punish the current regime? You have not made your case to the American people as to why we should offer up our most treasured resources of life, limb and blood in yet another war, or military action of choice, and not of necessity.
There is no international consensus whether we should attack Syria, as there was for the first Gulf War in 1991 and you’ve offered no reasons why an attack from the US will not, as you so eloquently stated in 2002, encourage the worst of the Arab world and strengthen the recruitment of al-Qaeda.
This is not our war.
If the leaders in the Middle East are uncomfortable with Mr. Assad and his brutality, let them handle him. Until our president tells us why it is in our national interest to start bombing a country that has never attacked us and is presenting no clear and present danger to the United States of America, our pilots, soldiers and sailors should not be sent into harms way.
A mythical line in the sand is not sufficient justification for risking the lives of Americans halfway around the world. State Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would never have approved and President Obama should not either.