Beware of "Red Lines" generally; and specifically involving the use of military force; and particularly in the Middle East, where any "lines" are usually drawn in sand.
Over the last weeks, since the inception of the demonstrations in Egypt for president Morsi's ouster, to the sarin gassing of innocents in Syria these past days, the price of oil has skyrocketed. After Saudi Arabia, the most immediate beneficiary of this spiking of oil prices is Russia.
The president has placed the decision whether to go to war where it belongs, with Congress. Legislators should act on behalf of the American people, not the Obama administration. And the right decision is to keep the U.S. at peace.
For all the high brow talk about the moral issues involved, the Syria war resolution may well force many in Congress to vote against both their own beliefs as well of those of many Americans, and the issues that drive that vote may turn out to be quite different from those being debated today.
As a result of President Obama's decision to ask Congress to support his call for "limited" strikes against the Assad regime, we find ourselves in the throes of a much needed, but still incomplete, national debate on the wisdom of U.S. policy toward Syria.
Credibility is now trying to shape the Syria debate. Its logic is no sounder today than it was in bygone years. But it's no less dangerous.
A punishment raid is one thing, but using armed force to attempt to prevent proliferation from Syria is very different sort of activity. In the event of a chaotic collapse of the Assad regime, U.S. air-strikes alone will not be able to stop proliferation of the chemical weapons.
Here are some of the top talking points that should be raised before members of Congress as to why authorizing US airstrikes on Syria would be a bad idea.
The ease with which violence in Iraq and Syria has negatively impacted surrounding countries underscores the declining significance of borders throughout the Levant.
President Obama's speech this Saturday suggests that his administration wants to attack the Assad regime for two reasons: to protect national security...
Will missile strikes drive the warring parties to the peace table or will it further inflame both sides?
It is as Einstein said: We cannot solve a problem at the same level and with the same energy that created the problem. We cannot end killing with killing, violence with violence, hatred with hatred. Yet neither can we look the other way as despots commit despotism.
Today, we are warned by John Kerry and others that if we don't act with lethal force, the Syrian government will kill thousands more people. Let's not be deluded: When we do intervene militarily, the Syrian government (and we) will kill thousands more. And anti-Assad forces will also kill more. We've been reminded often in the past few weeks that chemical weapons are awful -- and carefully not reminded that conventional weapons are too. It's tragic when civilians are killed by their own countrymen or when foreign civilians are killed by our countrymen. It's tragic when our soldiers are killed or when their soldiers are killed. But none of those tragedies will be influenced by the political posturing this week. Rather, the result of congressional hearings is that responsibility for the attack(s) on Syria will be distributed more comfortably for all concerned, and there will be a more comfortable consensus about which of these tragedies are necessary evils.
Today I wonder about Asma and Bashar Al Assad. The friendly, smart, kind parents who cared so much about the youth and future of Syria. I'd like to think that there is a part of this story that that ties it all together so that my time with Bashar Al Assad and his wife makes sense.
Who's up for stopping a war? This is the time, as the next war strains to be born, amid the same old lies as last time, amid the same urgency and ps...
The American people have a right to a full release and vetting of all facts before their elected representatives are asked to make a decision of great consequence for America, Syria and the world.