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Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2012

Talk of U.S. military in Syria divides Congress

March 8, 2012

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— Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the nation’s top military leader delivered a sober assessment Wednesday of Syria’s sophisticated air defenses and its extensive stockpile of chemical weapons in a strategic reality check to the demand for U.S. military action to end President Bashar Assad’s deadly crackdown on his people.

President Barack Obama’s 2008 rival, Republican Sen. John McCain, has called for the president to launch airstrikes against Assad to force him from power and end the bloodshed. The United Nations estimates that more than 7,500 Syrians have been killed, with hundreds more fleeing to neighboring nations to avoid the slaughter.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Obama has asked the Pentagon for a preliminary review of military options, such as enforcement of a no-fly zone and humanitarian airlifts. He insisted that the military would be ready if the commander-in-chief made the request.

“What are the potential missions, what is the enemy order of battle, what are the enemy’s capabilities or potential enemies? What are the troops we have available, and how much time. So, mission, enemy, terrain, troops and time. That’s a commander’s estimate,” Dempsey said of the initial step.

Panetta said they are waiting on Obama before doing more detailed contingency planning.

In Congress, only McCain’s closest Senate colleagues have echoed his plea. War-weary Republicans and Democrats have expressed serious reservations about U.S. military involvement in Syria after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the divisive political fight last summer over U.S. intervention in Libya, and the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said this week that the situation in Syria is too muddled and military action would be premature, an opinion shared by many House Republicans who challenged Obama last year for dispatching the military to protect Libyans battling to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also said this week that he wasn’t prepared to support military action against Syria.

Panetta summed up the situation in stark terms.

“The fundamental issue that is before us is whether or not the United States will go in and act unilaterally in that part of the world and engage in another war in the Muslim world unilaterally. Or whether or not we will work with others in determining what action we take,” Panetta said.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

This is one of my postings this on this forum only yesterday, March 6, 2012:

The U.S. should not get involved in the problems in Syria unless it is absolutely necessary, because those are problems that we have no way of solving by using the methods of war. I believe that it is an established fact that there are many problems in the world today that the U.S. will never be able to solve by using military weapons. By definition, anything we do in the Middle East is wrong by many people's standards, and that is demonstrated by our name in many parts of the world: The Great Satan.

Clipped from the above article: "Syria’s,,, extensive stockpile of chemical weapons."


It has been made extremely clear to the world, that is, if you have been reading world news, that if the noncombatant Israeli civilian public is subjected to the use of chemical weapons, there will be a response that will not be forgotten by any of the Arab nations for 100 years.

It is not at all unlikely that such an attack will be the direct cause of the end of the nation that uses chemical weapons on the Israeli civilian public.

Isaiah Chapter 17, verse 1: "An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city, and will become a heap of ruins."

It seems to me that if the United States does become involved, the situation will not be markedly different than that of Saddam Hussein, when he sent Scud missiles into Israel. Although Israel had absolutely nothing to do with the 1990 invasion of Iraq, the Scud missiles were shot at the Israeli public only because it is an ally of the United States. Israel has made it crystal clear that this will not be allowed to go unpunished again, and Israel only refrained from responding then due to the urging of the United States.

Is Assad any different? Well, except that Syria is much closer to Israel than Iraq is.

So, if the United States does become involved in the conflict in Syria, there is no telling what the end game will be, other than the number of people killed will be staggering, and the United States will end up with some other name that is worse than the one we have now, which is: The Great Satan.

This is an Arab conflict, and the Arabs need to settle it among themselves, unless our assistance is requested by both the Arab League and the United Nations.

Even then, the situation would remind me of a sentence in the book: "Huckleberry Finn":

"Finally I told myself that I was going to risk it—I’d tell the truth this time, though it did seem a lot like sitting on a keg of gunpower and lighting it just to see where’d the explosion would send you flying."

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

But on the other hand, maybe Assad will say: "Oh, I see your point now. I'll hand power over peacefully, and that will be the end of it."

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