Thursday, September 5, 2013

U.S. attacking Syria? Of course, no matter what action Congress takes

There’s one thing I’m pretty sure of – President Barack Obama will be giving the order eventually that approves a U.S. military involvement in Syria.

OBAMA: He's going to do what he's going to do
The president has dreams that Congress will unite behind him and actually approve a military action on the grounds that officials in Syria are being inhumane in their use of chemical weapons in their own conflicts.

WHICH MAKES ME wonder if Obama has secretly become a Chicago Cubs fan. His delusions about Congress are as intense as those of Cubs fans who actually expect their favorite ball club to accomplish anything of significance on the playing field.

I fully expect our Congress, in all its inaction, to do a whole lot of nothing with this issue. Which means Obama will have to proceed on his own if he wants to have the U.S. military act in Syria.

I really believe there will be a mental conflict among certain members of Congress – those who usually are knee-jerk in favor of the military will want to vote “yes” will feel a need to vote “no” because this is an Obama initiative.

For partisan reasons, they always vote “no” on anything that the president wants. I suspect that viewpoint will prevail. If only they could get a guarantee that the military effort would fail AND Obama would get all the blame.

THEN, THEY’D BE more than willing to support it! Which is why I question their motives whenever they cite “patriotism” and “love of country.” It comes across as a lot of hooey!

But back to Syria. I’m sure Obama will wind up approving a military act so as to avoid the rhetoric that would inevitably come that he was “weak” and “ineffectual.”

Personally, I have to admit to being swayed (sort of) by an argument made by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, who argued against involvement in Syria in part because he’s not swayed by the chemical weapons argument.

For those who don't even know where Syria is!
The theory being that such weapons are so inhumane and torturous that people who use them deserve our contempt and scorn – in addition to the military might of the United States put to use against them.

AS MEARSHEIMER PUT it during an appearance this week on WTTW-TV’s “Chicago Tonight” program, some 40,000 people were killed in the fighting in Syria without chemical weapons. Yet we’re suddenly offended because some 1,400 people died from chemical weapons.

I’m sure the ones who were merely shot to death are just as dead as those who inhaled deadly chemicals. I’m also sure some of those who were shot died painful deaths as well.

Nonetheless, I realize that a large part of the reason why the rest of the world takes the U.S. claims of moral superiority seriously is that we’re willing to take the lead on issues – particularly if force is involved.

At times, it makes U.S. the equivalent of the schoolyard bully, and we’re liked just about as much.

THE POINT BEING that in trying to make up our minds whether our particular members of Congress are justified in voting against Obama, we ought to ditch the idea that there is a morally superior viewpoint.

When this military effort does get underway, it’s going to be ugly. Even under the best of circumstances, there will be a taint remaining for the United States. That’s war, after all!

Although our members of Congress seem to want to keep quiet. The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that unofficial tallies of the Illinois congressional delegation (of which Obama himself was once a member) showed a majority being opposed to the president. While the Chicago Sun-Times had only one House member (Adam Kinzinger) definitely for, and one (John Shimkus) opposed -- with everybody else at differing levels of indecision.

Although the Tribune reported that among people who were willing to state a definitive position, it seems that three members were for Obama, three were against, and the other 12 representatives are refusing to commit. Officially, the Senate Foreign Relations cast a vote Wednesday, which put Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., on the record as being in favor of Obama on this issue.

THIS AT A time when the House of Representatives’ leadership (John Boehner for the Republicans and Nancy Pelosi for da Dems) is publicly in support of Obama – a rare convergence of opinions.

Not that all this uncertainty really means much. The outcome is certain.

Obama will do this. Let’s only hope for all of our sakes that the military initiative doesn’t totally screw up against us.


No comments: