This is a curious debate we’re having here in America – whether, or not, to bomb Syria. Anti-war liberals are saying “Bomb”, while bomb-happy conservatives are saying “No.” Many of the Republicans say “No” only because “Yes” is what they think Obama wants (and needs) to hear. Democrats say “Fight” for the same reason – to back their president. Both sides appear to be under the impression that Obama wants to bomb Syria. He does not.
Obama is a leaf caught in the currents of American history. He is bullied – not only by a conservative agenda that seeks to project military might at the drop of a hat, but by a nation whose very nature it is to bully (and bomb) lesser nations.
Obama did not help his cause when he spoke of a “red line” and said, “Assad has to go.” (Sounded very American.) But he said it at a time when the Assad regime was teetering – mass defections of top officials and military personnel, and amid rapid gains by rebel factions. Most pundits were predicting that Assad would fall within that year. Obama simply went with the flow; it seemed like the fashionable thing to do… that is, until Assad came storming back.
It reminds me of when I went to Vegas to witness the Holmes-Cooney heavyweight championship fight in 1982. Midway through the 2nd round, Holmes dropped Cooney with a big right hand. I leaped from my seat and yelled, “Kill the m-f!” Cooney got up off the canvas and, for the next ten rounds, waged a valiant battle, during which time I remained uncomfortably silent, wondering what would happen next.
Obama should have stayed in his seat and kept his mouth shut. At least, that is what he is thinking now.