Monday, September 9, 2013

A stretch...

President Obama, looking for reasons for military action in Syria engages in somewhat of a stretch to tie military action against the Syrian regime for chemical weapons use in Syria to the safety and security of the U.S.

"... Well, what’s happened has been heartbreaking, but when you start talking about chemical weapons in a country that has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world, where over time, their control over chemical weapons may erode, where they’re allied to known terrorist organizations that, in the past, have targeted the United States, then there is a prospect, a possibility, in which chemical weapons that can have devastating effects could be directed at us. And we want to make sure that that does not happen.  

There is a reason why there is an international norm against chemical weapons. There’s a reason why consistently, you know, the rules of war have suggested that the use of chemical weapons violates Geneva Protocols. So they’re different, and we want to make that they are not loose in a way that ultimately, could affect our security.

And if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about – but if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term, and may have a positive impact on our national security over the long term and may have a positive impact in the sense that chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians..."

So,  in effect, to sum up President Obama's position:
  • Syria has the largest chemical weapons stockpile in the world (bad).
  • They have used chemical weapons against civilians (bad).
  • Their control over the stockpile might erode (bad).
  • They're allied with known terrorist organizations that have targeted the U.S. in the past (bad).
  • We want to make sure that the chemical weapons don't get loose, since that could effect our security (bad)
and therefore we should bomb the evil regime (good).

Say what? Yes, this might prevent the further use on chemical weapons on innocent civilians (good), but how exactly does degrading the regime's capabilities make the U.S. safer? Does it not increase the risk that their control over the stockpile will erode (bad); that the chemical weapons might get loose (bad); and that they might get acquired by known terrorist organizations that have targeted the U.S. in the past (bad)


Oh well, at least we are OK because the president has "... looked at all the evidence, and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons..."

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