Tuesday, September 03, 2013

OK, So You Know How You Know Syria Is Probably a Mistake To Get Involved In?

John “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” McCain AND Lindsey Graham have signed on:

WASHINGTON — The White House’s aggressive push for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria appeared to have won the tentative support of one of President Obama’s most hawkish critics, Senator John McCain, who said Monday that he would back a limited strike if the president did more to arm the Syrian rebels and the attack was punishing enough to weaken the Syrian military.

In an hourlong meeting at the White House, said Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, Mr. Obama gave general support to doing more for the Syrian rebels, although no specifics were agreed upon. Officials said that in the same conversation, which included Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, Mr. Obama indicated that a covert effort by the United States to arm and train Syrian rebels was beginning to yield results: the first 50-man cell of fighters, who have been trained by the C.I.A., was beginning to sneak into Syria.

There appeared to be broad agreement with the president, Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham said, that any attack on Syria should be to “degrade” the Syrian government’s delivery systems. Such a strike could include aircraft, artillery and the kind of rockets that the Obama administration says the forces of President Bashar al-Assad used to carry out an Aug. 21 sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs that killed more than 1,400 people.

Now, to be sure, if Assad – and that’s the nub of the matter, the word “if” – if Assad is gassing his people, then there’s a moral obligation on the part of the world community to step in. We do have a selective attention span, to be sure, and to be sure, it would put us in the embarrassing position of aiding Al Qaeda (among others) in their attempts to topple a dictator.

It wouldn’t be the first time America has stood shoulder to shoulder with an avowed enemy in the name of world “peace”, but that’s a digression for another history lesson. And I say that as an avowed pacifist who, while I would prefer a different method of ending the crisis and ending Assasd’s regime, can understand the world’s impatience and intolerance for that sort of behavior. It historically never ends well for the rest of us if we allow a dictator to commit genocide.

But it would be nice if the US government would lay out an actual case that Assad has clearly gassed his people with Sarin. You know the saying from a few years ago, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…errrrr, won’t get fooled again.”

Now, the administration is holding classified briefings on the matter to Congress this week (so is Putin, apparently), but that’s small beer. Americans are tired of endless war, even if it has been carefully packaged and gift wrapped to be hidden from view.

There is one troubling development, however, that should alarm anyone who supports an attack on Syria or not: Russia’s paranoia and Israel’s…paranoia? Recklessness? You decide:

Amid heightened tension in the region, Israel carried out a missile test Tuesday morning in the Mediterranean -- a launch detected by a Russian early warning system before it was confirmed by Israeli authorities.

Israel's Ministry of Defense said it and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency "completed a successful flight test (of the) new version of the Sparrow target missile."

The trial was carried out from an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea, it said. The Arrow defense system successfully detected and tracked the system, it added.

World War III may be a lot closer than we think.