Monday, September 2, 2013

The Syria Problem -- Some Thoughts

Some thoughts on President Obama's request for a very limited US military strike with the sole purpose of disinclining Assad and others from using banned "weapons on mass destruction"...

For a couple of generations -- really all the way back to the end of WWII -- the world has looked to America for leadership and influence in international affairs. This is in a sense only natural, since following WWII the United States was not only the one remaining undamaged major industrial power, but the one nation in the world that had justly earned a reputation for a good measure of fairness and unselfish motivation in its dealing with other nations. (Yes, I know, this is not what is being taught today in many schools. None-the-less it is true - and perhaps a worthwhile subject for a future TnT blog entry)

Human beings desire to be led. That appears to be our nature. We, on the whole, want, even need, to have someone set the course and the standards.

Part of this could be called "weakness," but only part. In truth lif
e is too complex for each person or even group of people to deal with all of its intricacies. We thus look for someone else we trust to weigh in, and, as needed, act, on important matters.

That is one of the flaws of Obama's philosophy and actions. He puts himself forward as a 'seeing' leader but then, in case after case, proves himself not to be one. His self confidence is such that he is willing to confidently speak 'off the cuff' but he shows little actual pre-thought and even less willingness to follow through.

As this has become almost universally seen (even by those who will not for a number of reasons say it) the world has found itself without a leader. Not meaning just Obama himself, but the United States of America.

The ramification of this are enormous. All of Europe and Japan pretty much disarmed following WWII. They did so with confidence because the US was there to keep them feeling safe. That is no longer so. What will be the ramifications of this if these nations see the need to rearm? What new alliances will they form for self-protection? This today is not known and it appears not even publicly thought about.

Even teenagers know the need for having 'a rep.' Back in the `60s the Beach Boys sang 
"My buddies and me are getting real well known. Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone." ("I Get Around") Today the US is seen as a joke.

Yes, we still have a strong military (although it is showing signs of rot with PC issues being more important than fighting ability among the leadership) But what good is a strong military if out and out victory is not allowed because of political philosophy? 'Bad' nations are like city punks. Once the local cops stopping 'kicking asses' the punks know they can fool the courts and social workers -- and get away with anything they want over and over and over again.

That is the world as it is today. It started with Vietnam where American politicians limited the military's ability to win (President Johnson, for example, had to personally approve every strategic bombing target - and this for politial purposes) and since then it has gotten much worse.

Can anyone imagine, for example, the German or Japanese people doing what the Iraqis did during our post-invasion "occupation" -- rioting in the streets, breaking into and stealing from the national institutions? They'd have known that they'd have been shot on the spot and thus they'd never, for all their initial hatred for the occupation forces, have tried it.

Today no nation -- no national despot --  is in fear of anything or anyone outside their own borders. And so what we see happening in Syria is happening. As it did in Libya. As it is in Egypt. And in.. in... in...

No cruise missile attack or other half-hearted measure can change that.

That is where we are today. Obama just being the brightly-colored sugar frosting on the sad sagging cake.

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