I mentioned in my post this morning that the Obama Administration seems to be making up its Syria policy as it goes along. Two things happened today that reinforce that conclusion for me.
First, President Obama said that he didn’t set a “red line” — rather, “[t]he world set a red line.” And, to further display his apparent unwillingness to shoulder responsibility, the President said: “My credibility’s not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’s credibility is on the line.” I find myself spluttering at the incoherent arrogance of such remarks, and groaning at the President’s reflexive shirking tendencies. So it’s the country that got us into this predicament, eh? Why can’t President Obama act like a leader at a time like this, rather than someone who is figuring out what talking points will best position him to avoid any blowback for a blunder?
And then there is Secretary of State John Kerry, whose testimony yesterday was alarming because he refused to rule out the possibility that American troops might be sent into an angry, anti-American country that is sinking into chaos. Today his reassuring comment was that the oil-rich Arab states have offered to pay for the entire cost of toppling the evil Assad regime. Secretary Kerry depicts this offer as showing how “dedicated” to the cause the Arab states are.
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?