Syrian Elephant—Is Obama Responsible For August 21st Sarin Deaths?

Barry's Big Fat Syrian Fuckup has been his idiotic Middle East foreign policy in general. But the real elephant in the room of Obama's rush to punish Bashar al-Assad for allegedly gassing his own people, is that Barry didn't see that as all that big a deal for months since the "red line" was crossed. If military action is so obviously necessary NOW, couldn't it have saved a lot of lives if Obama had applied it to the problem BEFORE August 21st? Or is it the case that Obama figured it wouldn't have made much difference, and so evaded doing anything until the killing of the kids went viral?
David Sanger summed up Obama's credibility problem regarding Syria as an image problem yesterday:

"To do nothing in the face of images of children killed by poison gas would cripple his credibility in the last three years of his presidency."

Is that really why the USA is going to war? To save Barack Obama's "credibility"? Hasn't the New York Times, among others, already declared that dead?

Because, if Obama’s argument—that the “heinous act” of gassing his own people must result in Bashar al-Assad being punished by a US military strike (or campaign of strikes), and that American credibility and values will be crippled if the US fails to do this—is taken as reasonable and true, isn’t there a very dark, dangerous, elephant standing in Obama’s room?

And that elephant is this: For four months Obama supposedly has had evidence that the Syrian government was employing chemical weapons in limited attacks against rebel forces. By June of this year (read about this here), Obama’s White House had determined that their “red line” had certainly been crossed. And yet, Obama’s response in June to the fact that as many as 150 people had already been killed by Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attacks was: essentially nothing.

The White House announced expansion of their aid program to rebel forces, which had and has basically produced little impact in changing the course of the war. Obama’s national security advisors, asked in June specifically if the proper response to the red line being crossed should include a US military strike, said “no”, and that the proper response was to do more of the same.

And so, if one takes seriously the notion that Assad was responsible for crossing the red line earlier in the year, the message he got from the White House was not one about his actions being intolerably “heinous”, but that the White House was really not much bothered. If Assad was looking for a green light to push ahead with using WMD against his enemies, that would seem to have been it. 

Because, even if Assad understood that Obama might strike him if Syria increased the scale of the WMD attacks and the casualties they were causing, the Syrian president could reasonably point to Obama’s hesitancy, his inconsistency, his lack of credible policy, as signs of what might be taken as tacit approval of his actions.

After all, the United States has a track record of doing just such a thing, aiding the perpetration of the worst WMD attack since the end of WWII, by Saddam Hussein in 1988. The US intelligence community assisted Iraq and then communicated to Hussein their tacit approval of his actions by working to cover up clear evidence of his actions. Only after Hussein was no longer useful, as the anti-Iranian US tool, did America turn on Saddam and his WMD exploits.

Assad of course knows all this, just as he knows many Western Middle East experts view his defeat and overthrow, by a rebel force now employing large numbers of al-Qaeda militias, as potentially disastrous for American interests.

After all, if the concern is to diminish the threat to the USA from the Syrian WMD stockpiles, keeping those stockpiles from falling into the hands of al-Qaeda would seem to be of far more importance to American interests than worrying about whether or not Assad was using those weapons to defeat his enemies in Syria’s civil war.

And if the concern is that Assad’s WMD stockpiles even exist, thus creating the possibility of them “falling into the wrong hands”, why hasn’t Barack Obama employed the US military covertly or otherwise to degrade or eliminate those stockpiles?

Why instead is Obama telegraphing his intentions to attack Assad’s CW capability, and assuring Americans, and Assad as well, that the attack will be limited and short? By this point, if Assad has any brains at all, he will have scattered his WMD assets, and perhaps even move them out of Syria altogether, until Obama’s little demonstration of guilt and muddied pride is completed.

Meanwhile, far away from all those considerations, Americans every day come to contemplate their unfortunate futures, tied for more than three years to this tragically inadequate leader.

Soon we will have a vote on the Congress’ confidence in Obama. The American people need, in overwhelming numbers, to tell their elected representatives to vote “NO”, and in fact “FUCK NO!” to Obama’s request for Congressional approval of his intention to attack Syria.

Whether Dubya or Obama (or Clinton or Bush I or Reagan), we should not inflict our leaders’ manias and moodiness on other people, especially not when it is peddled as a necessary cure to the leaders’ lack of credibility. The cure for that is to get those leaders and their enablers the hell out of power.