Weekend Plans For Obama's "Limited" Folly—Or Maybe WWIII

American patriots know better than to wait till the game starts to stock up on crucial supplies, like beer and buffalo wings. Don't let this happen to you. BEFORE Barack Obama starts blowing up shit in Syria, make sure you're ready to stare, blank-eyed drunk, at CNN or Fox News, imbibing ALL the important details of America's latest great victory in the war on a noun and its associated acronyms.
Let’s hope when Obama starts this idiotic Syrian operation, he gives the American people as much head’s up about it as he has given Bashar al-Assad.

That way, we can make sure we have plenty of beer and buffalo wings ready to watch the cool explosions, killing a bunch of poor people who ARE NOT A THREAT TO THE USA!—once again. Of course, the survivors will likely be threats after Obama blasts their family members with cruise missiles.

There are so many peoples now who have been attacked by the USA, so many nations that have had their innocent poor people slaughtered by American idiocy and hatred, that the threats are probably incalculable.

Code RED, indeed.

But that flashing red light should be a warning about the perils to a democracy of making too many stupid electoral decisions. At some point, the hole the people dig becomes insurmountably deep, and tyranny fills it in.

Once upon a time, a young, American politician, reacting to the prospect his nation would be going to war against Iraq, wrote the following:
“What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by…armchair, weekend warriors…to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”—Barack Obama, October 2002.
In 2013, an older Obama, who has no political concerns any longer, because he is beyond the coercive reach of the voters and their moods, explained why his version of a war of choice will not be a dumb war:
“If we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term…in the sense that chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians.”
So, seriously, Obama wants us to buy the idea that if we fire off some Roman cruise candles, and blow the crap out of whatever the fuck the MSM toadies tell us we are seeing on our tubes and pads, that Bashar al-Assad is going to go: “Oh fuck me, I’d better stop gassing my own people now!”

Because I don’t think that’s how it’s actually going to work out. And clearly, the vast majority of the American people don’t think so either.

If you want to read something amazingly telling, just read the comments section on this New York Times article. Even accounting for some portion of the comments being Republicans pretending to be disappointed Obama lovers, the massive, overwhelming voice of opinions is outrage that Obama would even consider attacking Syria on such negligible provocation as a stupid notion that there is a "norm" about not using WMD that the USA gives a rat's ass about.

As I noted earlier, the USA would have to start out by attacking itself, if the idea was to punish transgressions of the norm about not using or enabling the use of WMD.

But, maybe, as many people are now concluding, it is not even about acting like the world's hall monitor, holding Syria accountable because it broke some alleged rule.

Maybe, this just comes down to Barack Obama, our second deeply UNREADY president in a row, making another stupid blunder in Middle East foreign policy.

Because, talking shit about "red lines", like it's all just a rhetorical exercise that nobody could possibly take seriously as any indication of a real policy point on your part regarding the Syrian government's employment of WMD (like sarin gas), is some naive, stupid, bullshit, Barry.

Back on August 20, 2012, Obama replied to a question by NBC's Chuck Todd, about his thinking concerning Syria, and whether US military intervention would be necessary to make sure Syria's chemical weapons were "safe".

Obama replied:
"We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people." 
The implication was that chemical or biological weapons in Assad's hands was OK. Obviously, something "falling" could not happen if the weapons were already possessed, by Syria's government.

Then Obama added:
"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."
A followup question was then asked: was the President confident the WMD in Syria were safe?

Obama expanded on his first reply, in a comment that has been less examined recently:
"I wouldn’t say that I am absolutely confident...We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that’s a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons.  That would change my calculations significantly."
The key point about this is that Obama was promising something "enormous", not "limited", and "tactical", in response to any use of chemical weapons in Syria—BY ANYBODY!—not just by the Syrian government.

This seemed to most people to be reasonably clear statement on Obama's part concerning what tripwires or triggers would result in US military intervention in Syria.

And so, when reports began to surface earlier this year, that in fact Assad's government was employing sarin gas in numerous small, but deadly, attacks, Obama started being asked whether that qualified as his "red line", to employ the US military.

On April 25, 2013, an unnamed "White House Official" (so-called in a White House transcript), who refused to confirm the red line had been cross at this point, explained again what precisely was meant by the "red line":
"But I think nobody should have any mistake about what our red line is.  It is when we firmly establish that there has been chemical weapons use within Syria, that is not acceptable to the United States, nor is the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist organizations.  And the people in Syria and the Assad regime should know that the President means what he says when he set that red line."
By mid-June, the US government speculated "that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date."

In fact, in a National Security Council conference call on June 13, 2013, NSC advisor to the President, Ben Rhodes, clearly stated the "red line" had been crossed:
"As we’ve consistently said, the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses red lines that have existed in the international community for decades."

Rhodes went on to confirm that Obama's "calculus" had changed:
We now have a high-confidence assessment that chemical weapons have been used on a small scale by the Assad regime.  And so he has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has.
When Rhodes was asked exactly what was meant by this, and what precisely the President was doing differently to confront the fact that the red line had been crossed, he replied that the United States had increased its support for the rebel opposition to Assad. He also said there were "other things", like financial penalties and the like the US and its allies could employ against the Syrian government.

But, specifically—NO military intervention by US forces—not even a no-fly zone. Nothing.

And, since that time, the alleged expanded support to the Syrian opposition has seemingly been ineffective in assisting the Syrian rebels in toppling Assad. Indeed, since the spring, Assad has generally been improving his situation, especially since Hezbollah began aiding Assad's pushback against the rebels, whose strongest fighters are al-Qaeda and its affiliated militias.

In short, Obama's "enormous consequences" were pretty much inconsequential. His credibility, already taking a severe battering during the summer over the NSA-Snowden revelations, was not exactly greatly enhanced by the fact that his response to what he had claimed was a "grave concern" turned out to be mostly just vain rhetoric.

If Assad really was responsible for using sarin gas attacks earlier in 2013, and if he was using these smaller-scale attacks to gauge the US response to the red line having been crossed, Barack Obama's "collating" and dithering on a matter about which he alleged to have already prepared many contingency plans was pretty much a "green light" to Assad to pick up the scale of the WMD attacks.

This is allegedly what Assad did back on August 21st, when artillery shells believed to have contained sarin gas poured down on suburbs west of Damascus. With gruesome video and pictures of hundreds of casualties, including many dead children, fueling global outrage, Obama was pushed to some kind of brink as criticism poured in concerning his inability or unwillingness to have done something, months earlier, to have prevented this terrible disaster from occurring.

Of course, that fact merely magnified Obama's utter indifference to the even greater disaster that has been the Syrian civil war. For the most part, Obama's "calculus" is that it's their problem, not that of the United States. That is consistent with how most Americans also feel about any military intervention in Syria. They don't want another war, however short Obama claims it would be.

And that brings us to what Barack Obama now claims he will do about the "red line" having been crossed so brutally and on such a large scale.

Before we look at that, however, let's look for a moment at some of the other red lines that have been declared over recent years concerning Syria:
  • For example, the Russians are alleged to have a "red line" too—which is any military intervention by any third party against Russia's longtime ally, Syria. And, guess what, the Russians just sent more warships into the Med. Hmmm...is that just to look tough? Or has Putin taken the measure of Obama, and thinks he can be intimidated? World wars get started with this kind of idiotic brinksmanship.
  • Back in June of 2011, the Iranian government reportedly sent a letter to Turkey, warning that NATO country against any meddling in Syria's civil conflict. According to this report, the Iranians asserted that "any militaristic meddling in Syria by the Turks would be considered 'crossing a red line' and will not be tolerated by the Iranian regime." Iran has boosted its support for Bashar al-Assad's regime since then, employing the powerful Hezbollah militia, credited with helping pull Assad's regime back from the brink of destruction this year.
  • Further regarding Hezbollah, the Jerusalem Post reported in February of 2012, that "Hezbollah is prepared to attack Israel in the event of Western intervention in Syria against the Syrian regime." 
  • While Syria and Iran/Hezbollah would likely choose Israel as a target against which to retaliate in the event of an attack by the US, most observers believe the threat of a large, and possibly fatal (to Assad's regime) response by Israel lessens that risk. However, not taken into consideration is the presumably remote possibility that Russia might play some hand in an attack on Israel. While Israel might be prepared to severely punish Syria, or even Iran, if either of those nations launch a a reprisal attack on Israel, how would Israel respond to an attack by the Russian navy? And is Obama prepared to sink Russian ships if that would occur? Again, these are the absurd-seeming types of scenarios that can start world wars—and when nations possess real stockpiles of WMD—wars that can end the world in a few hours.
Has Barack Obama really thought through all the contingencies?

Today the White House released what it says is its case against Syria, outlining the main evidence upon which Obama will base any military attack against the Assad regime. 

Obama's "evidence" and his argument are the following:
  1. "Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21. Satellite detections corroborate that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred."—The problem is that the alleged rocket launches occurred "90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media." Yet, sarin gas, the supposed chemical agent, works very quickly. In fact, there would have been many victims killed and injured within just a few minutes. So, why the delay in messaging about it?
  2. "Three hospitals in the Damascus area received approximately 3,600 patients displaying symptoms consistent with nerve agent exposure in less than three hours on the morning of August 21, according to a highly credible international humanitarian organization."—This evidence, illustrating that a chemical attack likely occurred, seems consistent with the considerable video and narrative evidence.
  3. "We have identified one hundred videos attributed to the attack, many of which show large numbers of bodies exhibiting physical signs consistent with, but not unique to, nerve agent exposure."—The admission that the videos show people suffering from symptoms that ARE NOT UNIQUE to nerve gas poisoning, supports the assessment that, so far, there is no unquestionable evidence that the victims did in fact suffer from a chemical attack. While it seems reasonable to conclude they did, that does not confirm that the Assad regime launched the attack that caused the deaths and injuries.
  4. "We assess the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate all of the videos, physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack."—But that isn't the main question. Does the Syrian opposition possess the capability and the will to launch a chemical weapons attack on the areas allegedly hit? And that question is not really addressed, except that the Obama regime repeatedly affirms that it believes only Assad's Syrian government forces possess chemical weapons in Syria.
  5. "We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence."—This seems very convincing, until you begin to ask questions about the source of these interceptions. It was reported this week for example that the original detection of the supposed communication came from Israeli military intelligence, which naturally has a reason to encourage the link of the WMD attack to Assad's regime.
Finally, all of these claims by the Obama regime come in the memory of how similar claims about being confident concerning a chain of evidence of WMD led the United States into a baseless and disastrous war in Iraq. 

The American people have every reason in the world to doubt the claims of their government about the necessity and justification of war with Syria, and especially claims that are supported by evidence produced from the US intelligence arm.

But Barack Obama does not seem to care about the opinions of the world, or of the citizens of the United States. Acting more and more like George W. Bush all the time, Obama is prepared to launch his "very limited" enormous consequence whether the American people or the American Congress want him to or not.

The fate of the world this weekend may be hanging on what Barack Obama decides to do about Syria.

Enjoy the show. 

Try to stay clear of the fallout of Obama's foolishness.