When Obama comes out and proclaims that we have incontrovertible evidence that Syria is using WMDs causes me to put on my tinfoil hat and will force America to question, among many things, where the Syrians obtained a stock pile of sarin gas. Though there is documented suspicion of Syria’s chemical weapon capabilities, the fact that these weapons are typically stockpiled as a deterrent and over the years no official proclamation was made that they existed.
We also must recall that intelligence prior to the invasion of Iraq indicated that Saddam’s Iraq had sarin gas and amidst large speculation that such weapons were moved to Syria, the use of sarin gas in Syria might prove to vindicate the Bush Administration’s assertions that WMDs were, in fact, in Iraq. Where, ironically enough, we also had proof that the deadly weapon had been used by the regime in power against its own people.
In January, 2006, former Iraqi General Georges Sada publicly declared that Saddam’s military transferred large stockpiles of chemical weapons to Syria using civilian aircraft with the passenger seats removed. “There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands,’ Mr. Sada said. ‘I am confident they were taken over.’”
Sada, a top officer in the Iraqi Air Force, claims that 56 trips by two Iraqi Airways Boeings were used to smuggle the weapons into Syria under the guise of civilian flights. “Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming,” Sada said. “They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians.”
In March, retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney spoke publicly about the likelihood of WMDs in Syria and the high probability that the weapons were moved to Syria immediately prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
If the Obama administration authorizes military action without UN approval, we can expect that the White House will claim that this military action is, somehow, radically different from Bush’s military action. We will find ourselves debating even more the merits and fallacies of a robot led war both from the capacity for the President to wage such a war and it’s long term implications on our relations in the region that we seem to have a fetish with attacking with our flying death machines.
Further, Americans shouldn't expect to hear any apologies from those on the left to Bush or his supporters. Syria’s WMD usage might seem to vindicate both President Bush’s intelligence reports, and his reasoning that led him to take an action when no direct threat to the United States was apparent. In this scenario, we have a mountain of evidence as with Iraq, but it appears we have no intention on entering the country looking for proof in the aftermath. History will have nothing on which to vindicate or condemn these actions.
It would be nice if we could get some commandos inside to take a closer look at the ‘made in’ label that these weapons are cased in. The argument against that being the obvious risk, not necessarily to the commandos that would put themselves in incredible danger to find out the truth, but the danger of the truth itself and the portrayed legacy that President Bush was a liar and vigilantly.
Taking off my tinfoil hat now…
In the end we are left with a policy against other countries that appears to have drafted by the same batch of people that programmed Apples mapping app. It twists and turns in an incoherent way, be it the need to avenge an assassination attempt on daddy, or is needed to make someone’s words, as hastily as they were spoken, not be opened to mocking and ridicule. Trying to compose the criteria and a scale for intervention in another country is about as consistent as throwing darts at a dart board… blindfolded... from 50 feet away….drunk.
Questions that probably won’t be answered until after a strike (and even then…):
- What scale is appropriate?
- What targets are viable?
- What parties do we support in the conflict?
- What is the exit strategy?
- What parties do we require approval from?
- What is acceptable collateral damage?
- What legal authority are we citing?