To Bomb or not to Bomb

3-senatorsThe Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted to authorize President Obama to take action against Syria in response to their use of chemical weapons against their own people.  Three of the most well known Republicans have voted with the majority.  The Republicans were Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Bob Corker.  This resolution will now be presented to the full senate for approval.

In the House of Representatives, the Republican leadership is with the Obama administration but most of the Republicans are not.  I personally wonder about the final resolution (if it is even passed).  The problem was, as I see it, the Republican Senators who voted for the resolution (McCain, Flake, and Corker) were not talking “punitive action”.  Rather they were talking “regime change”.  To me, regime change refers to a war on the scale of Iraq. That is not what the president proposed.

How would we pay for that?  The Republicans have already indicated that it will be on the backs of the poor and middle class (what is left of us).  There will be no tax increases on big business or the wealthy.  If we did adapt the “regime change” attitude, make no mistake, we are going to do it by ourselves.  It is not clear to me that our friends and allies would believe anything that our leadership would say.

It takes a long time to build up a good reputation, but a very short time to destroy it.  The Bush era between 2000 and 2008 took care of any creditability we may have had.  Further, there are already some doubts as to who used the poison gas — Assad or the rebels.

Syrian President al-Assad attends opening of 4th Conference of Journalists Union in DamascusHere is an interesting thought:  if you MUST have an enemy on your borders, Mr. Assad is actually a good one to have.  Why?  Well, he sure knows how to control his borders.  Look at the border between Syria and Israel.  The Israelis took the Golan Heights in the 1967 “6-Day War” war.  They lost it and then won it back in 1973, the “Yom Kippur War”.  Golan has been quiet since then.  There are Syrians, Druids, and Israelis living and farming there.  No one is shooting.  Contrast that with the Lebanese border, the border between Gaza and Israel, and the border between Egypt and Israel.

What happens if Assad is overthrown?  Don’t get your hopes up that Syria will suddenly become a Jeffersonian Democracy.  There will be a blood bath until the rebels get tired of that.  Then there will be an enforcement of Islamic Law, and a renewal of the war against Israel.

There are no good choices.


7 comments on “To Bomb or not to Bomb

  1. Welcome back. I’ve missed your take on events. I do ask with your current post your definition or understanding of “Middle Class.” As a mathematician might it be somewhere between say the 30th and 70th percentile of income? or folks with less than 4 years of higher education? or what?

    • Roy,

      To me, the middle class is what I grew up in. Mom stayed home and dad provided the income to keep the mom and kids in a vacation every so often, my dad, on his income was able to buy my brother and me toys, and was able to help us through college when necessary. Todays middle class dad should be able to easily afford a computer, iPad, etc., for each member of the family.

      To me, you can see the modern equivalent of middle class by driving around the typical suburbs in the Scandinavian countries, or Germany. That would include decent medical care, a clean environment, tough pro-labor laws, etc. I probably can go on and on but I am sure you get the idea.

      That may be very simplistic but it works for me. Now we see the situation where lots of kids, through no fault of their own, will probably never live as well as their parents, and will probably have less education than their parents. We see a strong political party that wants to make it more difficult for a poor or middle class person to get good health care, who clearly doesn’t want our children to get a good education — unless they are rich.

      All in all, “Middle class” to me is a certain standard of living. Yes, it is true that if we use a mathematician’s definition there will always be a middle class. But the reality is that if people need to work so long every day that they hardly know their own kids, then they are not in the middle class – no matter what the statistics say.

  2. Hmmmmmm… interesting position our President has put himself in. He clearly described the “red line” under which he would be compelled to take action in Syria. The use of WMD’s; ie, chemical weaponry. Now, there are signs that lethal gas has been deployed. But although he was initially convinced it was Assad who pulled the trigger, he has taken no action. Internationally, he has become a laughingstock as a leader of a world power.

    Now it appears there is not really any convincing evidence as to who did use the gas. And to thicken the plot, if we do “intervene” who do we bomb? Clowns to the left of me or the jokers to the right? The conflict is a civil war between warring factions of extremists of the same religion. Both of which whom we have declared as enemies. Why should we intervene?

    As for your remarks about the Bush Administration damaging our credibility between 2000 and 2008, our dear leader for the past 4.5 years has done considerably more damage to any credibility we may have left than Bush could dream of. So much so that there are many who say that all this is just a distraction to push all of the scrutiny of the Bengazi incident, the IRS mess, the NSA scandal and the failing economy off the front pages of the DNC media.

    Time will tell.

  3. Roy,

    I agree with your concern about intervening. I wouldn’t mind seeing us (or someone) destroying the poison gas stockpiles. I assumed that is what was on President Obama’s mind.

    Regarding Bengazi, US military leaders have all agreed that there was nothing we could do. That is good enough for me. As probing went further into the IRS mess it was apparent that they were using the same techniques for investigating both Republicans and Democrats. Notice that these issues are getting quieter and quieter as the Republicans realize that they are making fools of themselves. The Republicans are using these issues so that they don’t have address issues that they don’t have a clue about, e.g., the economy.

    • Ron, I’d love to continue the conversation, but we are packing for a 10 day trip to Allanwater Bridge, ON CA for a lovely wilderness fishing trip. That would be Kelly, Cory, Grace and I. We are packing now and leaving Topeka around 8:00 pm.

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