Saturday, May 4, 2013

Syrian Escalation .

Cartoon Says it all.
The United States of America seems to be possibly drawn into another  conflict . The United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two U.S. officials first told CNN. U.S. and Western intelligence agencies are reviewing classified data showing Israel most likely conducted a strike in the Thursday-Friday time frame, according to both officials. This is the same time frame that the U.S. collected additional data showing Israel was flying a high number of warplanes over Lebanon.US president Barack Obama said on Friday he does not foresee a scenario in which he would send US ground troops to Syria and outlined a deliberate approach to determining whether the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in a 2-year civil war.Obama insisted that the United States has not ruled out any options in dealing with Syria as the United States investigates whether the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons.But Obama, who has spent much of his presidency winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, made clear he was not inclined to send troops to Syria, saying "I do not foresee" such a scenario. The Jewish state had long made clear it is prepared to resort to force to prevent advanced Syrian weapons, including President Bashar al-Assad's reputed chemical arsenal, being handed over to Lebanon's powerful Shi'ite Muslim guerrillas. Assad and Hezbollah are allied to Iran, Israel's arch-enemy . President Obama’s policy on Syria has grown still muddier. On Tuesday the president backed away from a “red line” he had drawn on the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, setting the threshold for proof of a violation in such a way as to virtually exclude the possibility that one could ever be confirmed. Yet that same day his aides leaked to The Post and other news organizations the news that the president might soon reverse his long-standing opposition to providing Syrian rebels with arms. And the administration readied yet another effort to persuade Russia to abandon its support of the Assad regime in favor of a negotiated political transition. Editors at the Washington Post on Thursday called Obama’s remarks ** “weak”:
Can any coherence be found in this? A charitable interpretation might be that Mr. Obama wishes to avoid immediate U.S. intervention but wants to pressure Moscow into changing its position by letting it be known that the alternative is greater U.S. support for the rebels. If so, Mr. Obama is being too clever. His weak and legalistic words about the need to verify a “chain of custody” on any chemical-weapons use and his declaration that even a hard confirmationwould lead only to a “rethink [of] the range of options” simply invite further chemical attacks.


** This is the same weakness towards terror that we have seen here in the United States, which has allowed us to be successfully attacked at least 5 times in Obama’s first 4 years in office. Syria has a robust air defense system, an American air campaign would have to be extensive and there would be American casualties. Plus, many of those clamoring for American intervention will be denouncing it as soon as noncombatants are killed by American actions, and they will be. The choice is between a secular anti-American regime and his Islamist anti-American opponents. I would prefer not to even provide arms to the opposition, but at least that doesn’t involve the American military. Also there is the little problem that without UN Security Council authorization, any US military attack would not only violate the UN Charter's ban on non-defensive war (no UN member nation may without Security Council authorization attack another nation, excepting only in response to an actual or imminently threatened attack by the other nation), but would also be that "supreme war crime" of agressive war for which German leaders were tried, convicted and executed at Nuremburg following WWII. Apparently the Post either does not know or does not care about our Government's treaty obligations under the UN Charter and our Constitution (which makes US treaties "the supreme law of the land").

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