Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What is Political? What is not?

It is so complicated – this business of separating politics from statesmanship and international policy – as Syria shows us!
by Charlie Leck

For nearly a year and one-half this ugly civil war has raged in Syria. I often try to turn it off – this war – and not think about it. It is another place, afterall! It is among people we don’t understand, n’est-ce pas? There are strange and complicated mores and customs at work here. Our nation has so many involvements already! Why must we intercede?

President Obama has had a strong inclination to stay out. I’m sure he thinks of how complicated our missions became in Iraq and Afghanistan – how they grew wildly beyond what our initial expectations were.

Now, if you pick-up this morning’s paper and judge by it, the mess has grown and the plot has thickened and gotten even uglier.

[Headline in the New York Times, 21 August 2012]
By Mark Landler, 20 August 2012
WASHINGTON – President Obama warned Syria on Monday that it would face American military intervention if there were signs that its arsenal of unconventional weapons was being moved or prepared for use. It was Mr. Obama’s first direct threat of force against Syria, as he has resisted being drawn into the bloody 18-month rebellion….

I just don’t know! Why must it always be America? How could we possibly take this on now?

I can hear the campaign accusations that will follow: It is all politics – this sudden bravado on the part of a president who is running for reelection!

But face up to the criticisms and wild accusations he must! We can not allow weapons of frightening possibility to fall into the hands of world terrorists – weapons that might be used against Israel and/or America – or against other nations of the world. That appears to be the single possibility that forces the President’s hand at the moment. After what George W. Bush led us into, it would be disingenuous of Republicans to now criticize the President for raising the threat he has; nevertheless, they will.

Another element – or level – to watch for in the politics of the moment.

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1 comment:

  1. "There are strange and complicated mores and customs at work here" - one hell of a good reason to tread carefully. If there is one more war to get involved with, the draft should come back.