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Friday, August 30, 2013

Charles Blow, "War-Weariness": Some Answers for Charles

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "War-Weariness" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/31/opinion/blow-war-weariness.html?_r=0) Charles Blow concludes his opinion piece with a series of questions:

"The president is out on a most precarious limb on this issue. It is an unenviable position, where the right moral move could be the wrong political one, where the to-what-end question has a lack-of-clarity answer. Would a 'limited' bombing campaign be the military equivalent of slap on the wrist? How would it guarantee an end to the atrocities?

. . . .

The president said Friday that 'a lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it.' Does he want to? Or must he? And must we? Always?"

Allow me to provide Charles with some simple answers.

  • "Would a 'limited' bombing campaign be the military equivalent of slap on the wrist?" Yes.
  • "How would it guarantee an end to the atrocities?" It won't.
  • Does Obama want to intervene? No, but he needs to save face after painting himself into a corner with his "red line."
  • Must he intervene? No, Obama has already established himself as spineless throughout the world, and a few half-hearted Cruise missiles are not going to change anything. Quite the contrary.
And now we arrive at Blow's final questions:

  • "And must we? Always?"
Allow me to answer with my own hypothetical question: Suppose, Charles, you are on the subway in Manhattan and a helpless old woman, whom you don't know, is being mugged. Do you look the other way?

I know what I would do.

Those more than 1,400 Syrian civilians who were slayed in a horrifying manner by the Assad regime were human beings like us, who thought, smiled, laughed, loved, and made plans for the next day, which never came.

Think about it, Charles, and let us know your answer.

2 comments:

  1. "Suppose, Charles, you are on the subway in Manhattan and a helpless old woman, whom you don't know, is being mugged. Do you look the other way?"

    The scenario reminds me of this classic scene from Woody Allen's 1971 film 'Bananas':

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByyF2Lum3QY

    (Allen trying to bury his face in 'Commentary' magazine while the old woman is being raped: priceless!)

    My concern is that in order to save face, the extent of any US attack will be to shoot off a few cruise missiles into empty spaces in Syria. Followed by CNN showing footage of a destroyed bunker somewhere near Kuneitra that has been abandoned since 1973. The NYT and WaPo in turn praise Obama as a hero of the free world and a leader who stands behind his 'red line' statements. Several days later Assad, under pressure from Iran's Mullah's decides to strike at several key targets in Israel with Scud D missiles (6500kg warhead, 50m accuracy). Iron dome intercepts most of the missiles but some get through and the damage is extensive. Bibi is instructed not to respond to any Syrian aggression unless non-conventional weapons are used (deja vu, January 17, 1991, Bush-Shamir).

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  2. So, is Obama Woody Allen or Charles Bronson? Time will tell.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of-57Ivfwz8



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