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Friday, August 30, 2013

All for the sake of Obama's credibility

By clearly outlining what would compel us to enter into the Syrian conflict, Barack Obama effectively turned himself into Robert Conrad saying, "I dare you to knock this battery off my shoulder. C'mon, I dare you," in those old battery ads.

He became Clint Eastwood saying, "Make my day."

He morphed into George W. Bush (his personal hero) saying to the Taliban, "Bring it on."

This may not be the way Obama sees himself, but it's who he is, this week. His basic self image, of course, is of a guy so charismatic that other world leaders will by swayed by his wonderful powers of oratory.

But now that soaring oratory ("a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,”) has painted him into a corner.

In fairness to Obama, his original intent was not to look macho. He was asked what it would take to get the US involved in Syria, and he gave an off the cuff answer which was intended to make it sound as if he cared about Syrian civilians.

But we have no vital interests in Syria, and the public has no appetite for another Mideast incursion. Nonetheless, Barack wants to maintain his street cred, so here we go.


The US will spend millions of dollars, Syrians will die, and more Muslims will hate us.

Of course, John McCain and the rest of the War Axis aren't framing the decision this way. They're talking about how it's the country's credibility and standing which are at risk.

Obama's motivation is a little more personal. See, once you've played Dirty Harry, you can't back down, or you look silly. And weak.

But does anyone really think that launching a few Tomahawks will make Obama look like a strong, decisive leader? Or will people now be even more inclined to see him as a guy who shouldn't talk without the aid of a Teleprompter?

The unnamed U.S. official who spoke to the L.A. Times earlier this week seemed to have gotten right to the core of Obama's motive: the White House, he said, was probing a strike with a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

So, now we get to see Barack flex his muscles -- in order not to be made fun of.

Perhaps, when he announces the strike from that dais in the White House press room, they can play Jim Croce's hit, You Don't Mess Around with Jim, in the background:

Yeah you don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Slim

Or, given that Obama spent a fair amount of time in the Windy City, perhaps Croce's other hit, Bad Bad Leroy Brown might be even more appropriate:

Well the south side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man name of Leroy Brown

Yep, you don't mess around with Big Bad Barack Obama.


Glen Filthie said...

Hmmmmm. I dunno John.

I hate Obama and his team with heat that could fry eggs. If you gave me a machine gun and put me in a room with him and his pasty faced cronies - I would be hard pressed not to use it.

But in this one case, the First Third World President is right. This isn't about Obutthole or street cred - it's about preventative maintenance.

We have seen what happens when these monkeys are left on their own: the biggest dog kills the others, rises to the top - and starts thinking about expanding his tribe. Tactically and strategically speaking - if those moslem monkeys ever get their poop in a group and actually form a functional bloc of countries - we are in very deep chit. Look at the waste and expense of taking Iraq down - and it HAD to be done.

The course of action is the same in the middle east as it always has been: play them off against each other, use our allies and throw them away afterward just as they do to us. Only liberals and stupid people think there will ever be peace there.

Obutthole is fond of the drone and automated weapons. Going forward I suspect he will target the appropriate rag heads, take them out 'A la Taliban Flambe' - and then strut and preen for the cameras as a tough guy.

And - his bobble headed glee club will worship him as a hero too.

John Craig said...

Glen --
I couldn't agree with you more about the nature of the Islamic culture in the Mideast. But why do WE have to get involved. We didn't have to get involved in Iraq, and really, they're no better off now than they were under Hussein. Afghanistan will go back to being a primitive hellhole after we leave (not that it was ever really any different while we were there), with nothing to show for our stay. My feeling: let them kill each other without American boys dying (not that any Americans will die if we lob a few Tomahawks their way). We have no upside in getting involved.

Baloo said...

Another good 'un! Reblogged here, with comments:

Glen Filthie said...

You have to put these dogs down, John, or they get to be bigger and meaner dogs that will eventually come to menace you or your allies the way Hitler did in WW2. And you Yanks have to do the job because my own country hasn't got the balls. Up here in Canada the elderly hippies and liberals are frightened by squaddies.

In my opinion you had to do Iraq and trust me on this - Iran needs to go down next.

America is the only country that can do what is required. If the Israelis do it, every yodelling moslem mudflap will start foaming at the mouth and we WILL have a global jihad on our hands.

So - the worst ones will be taken out with the drones (and that will be easy as pie), we'll sell guns and ammo to the rest...and let Darwin handle it from there.

At least, that is the way I see it but what do I know? Maybe I am just being to cynical...

John Craig said...

Glen --
We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. No question most of the leaders are worthless scum; but they're merely replaced by other worthless scum, so what good have we done? The only thing we've accomplished is to earn the hatred of the world's 1.7 billion Muslims and encourage more recruits for al Qaeda. Speaking of whom, there are evidently a lot of al Qaeda fighting on the rebel side in Syria. So by launching these Tomahawks against Assad's forces, we are effectively helping al Qaeda. That just doesn't make sense in any shape or form.

bluffcreek1967 said...

John, I agree. We need to keep out of this mess, especially with Iran threatening to get involved. There is simply no vital U.S. interests by involving us, and we should not have to go to war in order to merely massage Obama's ego.

I understand Glen Filthie's point that unless we "put these dogs down," they will get to be bigger and meaner dogs. But that's always a possibility whenever we're dealing with unstable and fanatical governments in the middle east. If we start to militarily engage every Islamic regime that rattles its sword, we will find ourselves in a world of hurt and it will be our soldiers who will pay the ultimate price. Our involvement will also lead many of these same regimes to unite in order to fight the 'infidels' and we will likely be forced to retreat just as we did in Afghanistan and Vietnam out of political pressure.

Let the muslims gas and murder each other. If they're preoccupied in their own internal Islamic war, the less time they will have to concentrate their efforts on destroying the West.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
Thank you, and Amen. Every time we get involved in another Mideast conflict, all we're doing is taking a bath in another cesspool.

Anonymous said...

Back in '91, Iraq had the 4th largest army in the world, with modern aircraft, tanks, and SCUD missiles. And we steamrolled them in a cakewalk. After 12 years of economic sanctions, and the occasional airstrike, Iraq had not remilitarized anywhere near their 1990 peak, and posed no threat to the world, or even its neighbors, when we invaded. There was no urgent reason to depose Hussein; on the contrary, it allowed Iran to grow into the "big dog" of the region, so, cheers for that.
There was no sabre-rattling coming from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt or Syria before "we" decided that their governments needed to be smashed. Well, maybe Syria was pissing over Israel's fence here and there, but that's nothing new. I haven't heard anything good or bad out of Tunisia since their spring, but Egypt and Libya turned to obvious shit, and there is no reason to think Syria will turn out any better. And I'm not talking about the change in their citizens' lives or their freedoms lost or gained in the revolutions; what the world doesn't need are new, unstable, unpredictable regimes run by muslim zealots. Those countries need to be ruled by assholes who know their place in the world, and know how to keep their zealots in their place.
As long as those turds have oil under thir feet, and the rest of the world wants to buy it, they will be a pain in our ass, no matter how many 'big dogs' we put down.

John Craig said...

Anon --
That is a great analysis of the situation. What people tend to forget is that both Hussein and Mubarak were OUR guys before we turned on them. And they were our guys for exactly the reason you point out, because they were the kind of repressive assholes it takes to maintain stability in the region. Come to think of it, the Shah was once OUR guy as well. We turned on all of them, for who knows what reason. as Henry Kissinger once said, the only thing more dangerous than being our enemy is being our ally.

For the most part the countries involved in the "Arab Spring" are now Muslim theocracies, or, at least, Muslim theocracies in the making, Egypt possibly excepted. It's a hopeless, useless, solution-less situation, and our involvement only makes it worse.

Glen Filthie said...

That's okay, John. You have the right to be wrong! ;)

It is an interesting debate. I would respond to you that moslems will never accept us, they will never befriend us, and they will always use terrorism on us until such time as we grow the balls to actively punish them for each and every single act of it.

Further: right now, at this instant - there are any number of rag heads that are intent on drawing the US into their blood feuds. All it would take is another '911' incident. So my question to you is this: These cretins are using WMD's on their own people. Do you think they will hesitate to use them on us to precipitate another 911 response?

I honestly don't think you COULD sit this out - too many parties want you in it.

Sheesh - never thought I would defend Obutthole on anything...the fact that he agrees with me leaves me morally insecure as a matter of fact...

John Craig said...

Glen --
"...they will always use terrorism on us until such time as we grow the balls to actively punish them for each and every single act of it."

This time, they're using terrorism on each other, as are the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. I say, let them.

If they do it to us, it's another matter, but if all they want to do is kill each other, it's not our business.

Dave Moriarty said...

Let alone unintended consequenecs i can't imagine what good comes from lobbing a few bombs Syria's way. do we really expect them to say after these salvo's "you know fellas, you are right we have been behaving badly and those pesky cruise missiles have given us the insight to look deeper and offer a better version of ourselves to the world." What's next we give them $50 billion to rebuild? Note "re" as if there is marvelous infrastructure there now.
There is nothing to be gained by sticking our noses in that mess.

John Craig said...

Dave --
Amen, Amen, Amen.