In the aftermath of Pres. Trump’s cruise missile strike on a Syrian air field used to deliver chemical weapons of mass destruction on Islamist Syrian rebels, it is both a useful and needful thing to revisit my Sept 9, 2013 post on the policy choices Pres. Obama faced then.
Choices that Pres. Trump must now address in convincing a cynical and war weary American people that Syria is indeed a massive threat to American security — and especially individual freedom — at home.
This blog post made the argument that America had the military means to overthrow the Assad regime with an air-sea military campaign using air-laid sea and land mines, but that “Bush Derangement syndrome” on weapons of mass destruction made it impossible for American political elites in 2013 to take action.
The following is the close from that blog post that outlined the choices Pres. Obama flinched from in 2013 and Pres. Trump now faces with the American public:
The choice that the Obama Administration faces is that nothing America does or doesn’t do will change Syria from being a terrorist supporting, failed, 3rd World state. The choice at hand is what kind of terrorist supporting state our inaction or intervention will create, and the wider consequences of that choice, especially for American freedom at home.
Doing nothing means we will have a Iranian/Russian/Chinese supported WMD using Syrian terror state that harbors Iranian Nuclear, Chemical and Bioweapons production facilities.
Acting to depose Assad means we will have an ethnic cleansing, al-Qaeda supporting, economically & politically irrational terrorist state that hates Iran and the Syrian Alawites who staffed Iran’s WMD facilities.
The first is an existential threat to American freedom, the second is a manageable local problem for Israel and the Turks.
A wide ranging break-out of WMD across the world means they will be much more readily available to terrorist organizations. The tighter surveillance and security steps the American state will need to implement in order to address that threat at home will reduce the economic vitality of the American people as the national security state crowds out more and more freedom as the cost of “security.” Leaving us all very much where Benjamin Franklin predicted…neither having or deserving either.
It will take principled and competent American political leadership to persuade the American people to face these facts.
I don’t expect it to happen.
Our current American political elites won’t cross the “BDS Red Line” that American public elected Pres. Obama for anytime soon. Obama’s election and actions since were in accordance with the expressed will of the American people. Only horrible events, like British Prime Minister Nevile Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time” conference selling out Czechoslovakia swiftly followed by Hitler’s repudiation of it, will let the American people hear and see reality on the other side of the “Red Line.”
However, the first step down the road of invoking competent & principled American leadership is laying down a rhetorical marker against the day that WMD proliferation forces the American public to listen
This is the marker:
“It’s American Freedom at Home, STUPID!”
The best place to fight WMD using terrorists is overseas with the military, not at home with emergency first responders in chemical warfare slime suits cleaning up the bodies after a WMD strike.
The Bush administration refused for numerous reasons to defend its policy choices or provide known intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, allowing Senate Democratic leaders Reid, Pelosi and eventually Pres. Obama to destroy all federal government credibility on the subject.
Pres. Obama when faced with the same issue flinched from crossing his self-made WMD “RED LINE.
We will now see if President Trump is better at communicating with the American people past the “Bush Derangement Syndrome” based WMD RED LINE than Pres. Obama was.