My Real Talk Though Series #5
Congress Has Flipped The Script On Use Of Military Force In Syria That They Gave Obama in 2013
The NYTimes has provided a list of Congressional leaders who opposed President Obama’s proposed military strike on Syria in 2013 in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government. Obama gave them two options: Allow the Syrian President to get away with murder of innocent civilians through use of unconventional weapons and warfare or take a stand and confront the milieu of violence that has downward-spiraled the country into chaos. I recall President Obama stating this “I’m prepared to give that order”.
Fast forward. >>
Trump has unilaterally and without Congressional approval ordered a military strike on Syrian government facilities suspected of procuring the recent chemical attack against its civilians. Upon news of the President’s decision, most of the prominent and outspoken Congressional leaders who opposed Obama’s military proposal (essentially used the decision not to strike and blamed him for Syria’s subsequent actions) have become quite supportive of the President Trump bypassing them to act on what they now consider a just cause. The prominent Democrats seem acquiescent and are only requesting oversight for any long term campaign objective, if any.
Now it would be absurd to have any public discussion on strategy here as that would be counterintuitive. What remains acutely worrisome is the competence, discretion, and credence in the commander-in-chief’s administration and guidance on foreign policy affairs and management. Trump’s presidential actions warrants unfortunately, a plausible air of skepticism, it is based on what we have seen thus far from his very own contradictions on the matter.
Nothing much as changed between 2013 and now except for the false blame game narrative.
With the exception of Russia’s deepening involvement in the Syrian conflict, it remains as dangerous as it were during President Obama’s watch. The capricious nature and view of America from the outside looking in has never been more palpable though. No one should be highly concerned by the way of Russia, and Mr. Obama has pointedly remarked about this in a final press briefing in December of 2016, when he dismissed Russia has a ‘weaker country’. However, what appears to have fallen on deaf ears is that Russia can pose a threat if Americans “abandon democratic values”.
The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us.” “They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.”
They can impact us if we lose track of who we are, they can impact us if we abandon our values.”
The Trump White House threatens to redefine American culture and values by undermining the very same basic democratic principles that conjured this country into being.
Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s okay to intimidate the press. Or lock up dissidents. Or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like.”
It would appear that it would be our own democratic undoing that is the real threat to the United States.
Real talk though.