War as a gesture 2

Our view on the pros and cons of a US military attack on Syria is very close to Douglas Murray’s as he expresses it in The Spectator (UK):

For me the conundrum of Syria now comes down to one particular problem. That is one which the House of Commons stumbled over last week and which the US Congress is likely to stumble over in the week ahead. The West has now given ample warning to President Assad of its intention to strike at some point. President Obama has famously drawn a red-line over the use of chemical weapons.

The problem then is this. If any country carries out punitive strikes against the Assad regime they will undoubtedly and rightly be demonstrating the international community’s revulsion over the use of chemical weapons. But if the targets that are hit in the resulting strike are meaningful (government buildings, installations etc) then there is the risk that such an intervention could tip the balance in the Syrian civil war. If that balance is tipped and Assad is severely weakened or even falls as a result then whoever carried out the strikes will be at least partly responsible for what comes next. That is a responsibility which neither America, Britain, France nor any other Western power can handle and it is one which none of us wants.

So – and here is the imponderable – the only purpose of strikes must be to hit targets which are meaningless. … That means something akin to President Clinton’s futile lobbing of missiles at an aspirin factory in Sudan as a response to the 1998 al-Qaeda embassy bombings in Africa. …

I don’t believe that the military should be used for making gestures, but rather to exert power and punish enemies in as meaningful a way as possible.

And the US should only intervene when its own interests are at stake. We want Iran’s nuclear installations to be attacked – in as effective a way as possible.


    We have enough debacles to face up to in this country…..before Obama, but especially after his election. Our elected officials cannot run this country with much success. How can we expect them to direct our military with another limited war in these Muslim nations, with limited support? I’ll answer this: With limited efficiently!!!

    A limited “war” has been tried before. It worked in the case of Kuwait, where we had most of the support of the Muslim nations because of that flagrant Iraqi assault on it’s neighbor, but the Vietnam mess was our greatest undoing.
    If we do this with this liberal “messiah” at the helm, it won’t be pretty!!!

    • liz

      Yes, and one of the reasons for the failure in Vietnam was the huge protest by the Left and the media (since we were fighting Communists). but not a peep out of them now, when their “messiah” is in charge.
      I really don’t doubt the rumors are true that the chemical weapons were used by Al Qaida on their own people, to provoke our attack on Assad, and that Obama knows it. With him being an honorary Muslim brother, it makes sense.