Wednesday, September 4, 2013

active not aggressive

it's doves versus hawks.  it's neo-conservative versus liberal.  it's john mccain against hillary clinton.

a diplomat needs finesse, but the world knows the united states better for its hubris.  john mccain doesn't understand foreign relations or what the word influence means.

“Now this is the same president that two years ago said that Bashar Assad must leave office, and so where is America’s credibility?” Mr. McCain said on Fox News. “Where is our ability to influence events in the region? And I promise you that those who say we should stay out of Syria do not understand that this is now a regional conflict.”

i have argued that obama should be more aggressive about addressing the situation in syria.  it seems like europe is ready - they're looking for consensus from the rest of the world.  and by ready, i mean by lending support to the opposition as we did to the rebels in libya.  syria deserves this sort of aid from us.  let them fight their own battle.  let this be their own independence.  but let the u.s. aid them so that they may successfully break from the yoke of a dictator who uses chemical weapons to quell his own people.

if obama has committed to the level of activity in syria i would have recommended, this doesn't mean he's been completely idle.  he has been attempting to extend influence.  he leaned on bashar al-assad to commit to first form a unity government; he has allowed funding for the rebels; he set a "red-line" against chemical weapons to at least encourage the assad government to avoid their use, assuming at least the posture indicating that the united states believes the government should step aside.

america does not want to become involved in the syrian conflict, but if one looks at the media that seems to be exactly the direction we are headed.  not only is the direct involvement mccain calls for scary, i'm not sure that it will be necessary.  the united states can do plenty to support the syrian opposition without moving troops to the country.  what america should see is that the media is overblowing the situation and mccain is playing politics.  the situation in syria is emotional but our involvement does not have to be.

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