After President George W. Bush received approval from Congress to invade Iraq – something that President Obama did not seek for the bombing of Libya, nor for the recent deployment of troops to the Syrian border, despite that fact that this deployment is tantamount to a declaration of war upon the Syrian government – the biggest criticism aimed at him was that he had apparently “lied” to the American people, regarding Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). As US troops start to deploy to Jordan, with questions surrounding their future mission, President Obama, on the question of Syria, is beginning to sound like Bush on Iraq.
It was recently reported that Syrian dictator Bashar-al-Assad had used a limited amount of Sarin gas against rebels fighting to overthrow him. In doing so, he had crossed the “red line” that Obama had drawn in the sand, precipitating the US mission to provide direct support to Syrian opposition fighters. There appears to be little corroborating evidence that Assad’s forces had actually used chemical weapons at this particular time, and yet, President Obama seized upon the allegation as an excuse to escalate American involvement. Does the Syrian regime possess WMDs? Yes, it does; we know this because we know that chemical weapons have been used by Assad against his own people. We also knew very well that Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iraqi civilians; he did so against the so-called “Marsh Arabs”, the Shias of southern Iraq, and he did so against the Kurds in the north. Despite this, however, it was widely claimed that Bush had led the United States into a war under false pretenses, since Saddam Hussein had no WMDs.
Here we are again, it seems: President Obama, Noble Peace Prize recipient and the man who was expected to stop the seas from rising and bring peace, harmony and understanding to the planet, is about to embark on the latest of his almost countless military interventions, on the flimsy and unconfirmed report that the Syrian leader may have used a small amount of Sarin gas against someone, somewhere in Syria. Obama on Syria is sounding ever more like Bush on Iraq. In committing military aid to the Syrian rebels – who, it should be noted, include al-Qaeda – the President may be setting our military personnel up for bloody confrontations with the Syrian army, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah or even the Russians.
The administration will never provide any verifiable evidence that Assad has used chemical weapons. If questioned on the subject, they will point to the fact that there have been documented cases of chemical attacks in the past. That fact wasn’t good enough for Bush’s detractors, but it will do just fine to vindicate Obama, in the eyes of his adoring followers.
How many American servicemen and women will lose their lives in Syria is something that remains to be seen: Hopefully, not a single one. With the numerous possibilities for escalation, however, this new Middle East war-zone could become a massive and prolonged conflict, involving many nations and groups. Should Syria eventually claim the lives of hundreds – or thousands – of Americans, President Obama, when explaining his policy on Syria, may find himself sounding like George W. Bush on Iraq.
Will the mainstream media and the Left accuse him of lying to them, in order to rush to war? Will they brand him a murderer and war-criminal for his policies, should those policies result in thousands of deaths? No, of course, they most certainly will not.
Written by Graham J Noble