Huh? A more apt conclusion is that the Arab states have plenty of cash, and are perfectly happy to pay the American mercenaries to come once more into the Middle East and risk their lives to take out a tyrant. Now we know how the Hessians must have felt during the Revolutionary War.
I’m not hearing anything that is changing my mind on this: as bad as a use of chemical weapons is, our vital interests aren’t at issue. The Arab countries, on the other hand, do have something at stake in what is going on in their own back yards. Instead of pulling out their wallets, why don’t they send in their own troops and risk their own soldiers’ lives to do the dirty work for once?
On our way over to our weekly Dinin’ Hall visit, I remarked to Kish — and special guest Russell — that I had a serious hankering for a brothy noodle meal with, perhaps, some pork thrown in for good measure.
Oh, did the food gods ever answer my hungry prayer! When we arrived the Mashita Noodles cart was there, and cooking. Their homemade Ramen noodles were exactly what I was craving. And what intriguing options, too! I went for the spicy noodles, the Mashita bacon broth, and the Kool-Aid pulled pork. That’s right — Kool-Aid pulled pork. Like every Mashita bowl, it came with a soft-boiled egg and some thin cucumber slices on top. I had to check it out, and I was willing to run the risk that a large, sweaty, anthropomorphic beverage pitcher would come crashing through the wall while I was enjoying my meal
It was an inspired combination and stuffed to the gills with moist, fall-apart, infused-with-broth pulled pork — so good that I found myself thinking strange thoughts as I used chopsticks, and then a plastic soup spoon, to pound it down. Thoughts like: why can’t Dinin’ Hall provide larger plastic spoons so I can eat this even faster? And: why do they have to make these plastic bowls with the annoying little ridge ringing the bottom, which makes it difficult to get at every last, savory drop?
As I write this, I recognize that I’ve raved about virtually every food item I’ve consumed at Dinin’ Hall. So be it. Their food truck vetting process must be flawless. I’m beginning to suspect that Dinin’ Hall is like Italy — you just can’t get a bad meal there.
This blundering means that the problem goes beyond Syria and its use of chemical weapons to raise much broader issues. President Obama often seems to think that his rhetorical powers are so extraordinary that if he just gives a speech, everything will change — but that’s not how things work in the world. He should never have drawn the “red line” without knowing that he would be supported, in Congress and in the world at large, in taking action if Syria crossed it. Obviously, he didn’t do so. Now, his credibility, and the credibility of the United States as a whole, is at stake.
I happen to think we shouldn’t intervene in Syria, and I don’t care whether a blowhard like John Kerry calls me an “armchair isolationist” or not. As a country, America needs to address this issue and decide what our role in the world will be and make some hard choices about our vital interests in view of our finite economic resources. Now we may be cornered and forced into taking ill-advised, poorly defined action in a country where our national interests really aren’t implicated because the President didn’t think before he talked. Indeed, Kerry’s remarks yesterday suggest that the Obama Administration wants to leave open the option of sending our ground troops into Syria — which seems like an extraordinarily bad idea in just about every way.
These are an amateur’s unfortunate mistakes, but mistakes that could have real, painful consequences for our country nevertheless.