Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Syria Dilemma

Almost everyone I have talked with this week wants to discuss Syria. Should we or shouldn't we intervene? That is the question of the minute, the hour, the day, the week.

It's very interesting to hear how people are deciding their position on this crisis. There are many surprises, such as diehard anti-war liberals calling for "surgical air strikes" and rock-ribbed conservatives backing away from any type of military engagement. The reactions definitely do not fall along party lines. It makes for fascinating conversations.

I've read a lot about the Syrian situation, and I've listened to a lot of debate pro and con our involvement. As for me, I think we should stay out of it. For dozens of reasons. Below are a few.

President Obama has displayed no real conviction on this matter. He shot off his mouth last year and painted a "red line" that he's now unwilling to cross without dragging the "international community" and "Congress" along with him. This is a president who has no trouble doing an end run around Congress whenever he wants to get his way. "We can't wait!" is one of his favorite remarks when he's about to rule by executive edict. Yet suddenly, confronted with a tough decision, he needs Congress for cover. Of course, it will be the fault of Congress when the whole operation goes south.

A man who refuses to be held accountable for his own ill-advised statements can not lead troops into battle. Not successfully. And our military men and women are too precious to be risked on such a poor and uncommitted leader.

A man who does not have the courage to take a stand on his own convictions should not be in a position of such power. His indecisiveness makes him dangerous. He tells lies, and he will continue to tell lies no matter how much truth is staring us in the face. With a different leader, I might feel differently about Syria. But then, with a different leader--one willing to take action up front rather than to "lead from behind"--the Middle East might not be in such a sorry state.

A man who will go to war over "international credibility" shouldn't be president. But he is. So to minimize the bloodshed that will inevitably flow out of control under such an inept commander-in-chief, I hope we stay home.