You conservatives crack me up. You can’t make up your minds. When President Obama isn't Hitler, he’s the appeaser Neville Chamberlain. When he’s not Uncle Joe Stalin, he’s Silent Cal.
Syrian dictator Basar al-Assad gasses his own people and President Obama wants to enforce the red line he told Assad not to cross, a red line with which the likes of Rep. Paul Ryan, the failed GOP vice presidential candidate, said he agreed when he was campaigning last year.
Now that the red line has been breached, a lot of tough guy conservatives have gone all wobbly – to quote the late Margaret Thatcher – over nailing this bloodthirsty SOB who would commit any moral obscenity to stay in power.
Time for a little history lesson, ladies and gentlemen:
In 1979, the tiny Caribbean island of Granada underwent a bloody coup in which a pro-Communist government was established. Without consulting Congress, in 1983 President Ronald Reagan sent U.S. troops to Grenada to topple the regime. For cover, Reagan told Americans the attack was necessary to protect Americans attending a medical school in Grenada. The students said they were never in any danger.
Killed in the invasion were four Seal Team Six members along with 15 other Americans. The United Nations condemned the attack as a flagrant violation of international law. Reagan’s ally, the aforementioned Thatcher, told Reagan not to invade. Reagan had little to gain by attacking Grenada – except making sure he was reelected the following year.
In 1989, again without seeking Congress’ consent, President George H.W. Bush invaded Panama to remove the pesky drug trafficking dictator, Manuel Noriega, a former U.S. ally.
More than 500 Panamanians were killed along with 23 American troops to capture one man. Panama’s infrastructure was ruined.
Once again, the cover story went that Bush wanted to protect lives, but there was sufficient U.S. military presence in Panama to guard American lives and interests. It appears now, as in 2003, when Bush’s son invaded Iraq, the first Bush was trying to score political points, showing himself to be a strong and decisive leader ahead of the 2002 presidential election.
Both the Grenada and Panama invasions had popular support at home even though America’s interests were, at best, cloudy.
Obama should have done what he initially wanted to do. Ignore Congress as Reagan and Bush did, hit Syria, then let the chips fall where they may. Obama has nothing to gain politically by striking Syria, other than to show other murderous dictators it can happen to them too if they commit atrocities on the scale of Assad’s.
Obama’s not running for re-election as were Reagan, Bush I and Bush II.
The same congressional chicken hawks who clamored for the take down of Saddam Hussein in 2002 are today wringing their hands over a Democratic president who would use force to show the rest of the world we won’t allow atrocities like the one in Syria without severe consequences.
In doing so, they reveal themselves as the hacks they are, willing to go to war when politically expedient for them and willing to let Assad murder children when it's not.
Obama should now sit back, let Congress tie itself in knots, and know that his first instinct was the correct one.