While events in Syria where civilians and children are being killed by Assad's murderous regime are
horrifying, a U.S. intervention may not solve the problem. Indeed, it could make matters worse and harm far more innocents. One need only look at the debacle in Iraq to recall that American intervention cost far, far more Iraqi lives than Saddam Husein at his most murderous. Compounding Barack Obama's position is that (i) the UN has not approved intervention, (ii) now the UK is having second thoughts on foreign military involvement, and (iii) the American public is not supportive of the move, most likely because they still have the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan fresh in their minds. A piece in Politico looks at the situation and some of the pros and cons of American military intervention. Here are excerpts:
President Barack Obama had hoped for a quick, convincing strike on Syria, but growing opposition and Great Britain’s stunning rejection of the attack has thrust him into the uncomfortable position of go-it-alone hawk.
Just how Obama, whose career sprung from the ashes of George W. Bush’s Iraq policy, got to this extraordinary moment in his presidency is a tale of good intentions, seat-of-the-pants planning and, above all, how a cautious commander-in-chief became imprisoned by a promise.
Obama seems likely to bull ahead with air attacks despite an impact and popularity that will be, at best, limited — an unsavory outcome marginally better than packing up his Tomahawks and going home, which would deal a humbling blow to U.S. prestige and embolden the Assad regime. It’s a dilemma first-term Obama — who warned author Bob Woodward in 2010 that “once the dogs of war are unleashed, you don’t know where [they are] going to lead” — was careful to avoid.