If you’re like me you’ll remember all the many hundreds if not thousands of times someone in the waning days of the failed Bush Administration told us “history will prove Bush was right” or, “history will remember Bush well.”
We heard this a lot from Republicans who couldn’t bear the idea of anything else. Remember: conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed! And, barring that, we just need a 50-year perspective!
Well, four years isn’t a lot of history but we’re already seeing a bit of the Bush legacy: a near-allergic reaction to war. I mean, who would ever have predicted that the real Bush legacy was to forge an alliance among the liberal doves, the Libertarian isolationists, and the rank-and-file Obama-hating Republicans? That leaves Senators Cranky “Bomb-Bomb-Iran” McCrankypants and Lindsay Graham off in the weeds by themselves trying to get their former hawks interested in a little war action in Syria.
I know we on the internet love to become instant experts on everything, and I’m sorry but I just haven’t had a chance to do that in regards to Syria. I’ve heard some claims that this chemical weapons attack is based on bogus intelligence, and I’m waiting for the UN inspectors’ report later this week. I don’t know shit about Syria or the civil war there, who’s allied with whom, etc. etc. Sounds like both sides are equally bad, and there are no good guys. But what do I know — nothing. I’m hearing a lot of chatter and I’m not educated enough about this to separate the wheat from the chaff here, so I’ve largely shut up about it.
I do think America needs to stop bombing Middle Eastern countries, especially unilateral actions. I don’t want to hear about another American military action in this part of the world, I just don’t.
What I do find a little interesting is all of the chortling about President Obama “dithering,” as if bombing Syria would have been okay a year ago but now, fuhgeddaboutit! Snooze you lose, no launch codes for you!
You know, Republicans always spoke of the Iraq War as a moral, justified action. Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator and tyrant who “gassed his own people,” he’d do it again, heck, he’ll do it to us! That was the argument, yes?
So, okay, apparently Assad ain’t exactly humanitarian of the year either, he “gassed his own people” on August 21. So now it’s three weeks later and there’s dithering going on? How many months did it take the Bush Administration to get their authorization? Maybe I’m missing something here. Anyway, I’m glad we have a president who isn’t such a trigger-happy cowboy his first knee-jerk reaction to every incident is to launch missiles. I like having a president who wants to check the intel and the facts on the ground first. I think the rest of the country is, too. That’s why there’s so little support for U.S. military action in Syria.
Also, I’m surprised to hear Republicans say Obama should have just launched a Tomahawk missile or two into Syria the way he did with Libya. Wasn’t that an international action, though? And didn’t Republicans use this attack as justification to draft articles of impeachment? Yes, they did. So, get y’all’s stories straight, here, folks. You don’t have any more credibility on the war talk than anyone else.
Anyway, if Assad did use chemical weapons on a civilian population, and if we are looking at a human rights atrocity, I think it’s really sad that the world doesn’t seem inclined to do anything at all. There are always options other than war. [UPDATE: Here's a good one. Fingers crossed.]
That’s a pretty sad state of affairs. And I have to wonder if that isn’t yet another Bush legacy: that the world is so soured on war that they’ll just stand by and let someone attack civilians.
From my observers’ perspective, I see President Obama making a moral case to the world to do something about a human rights violation. Folks may want to mock him and his Nobel Peace Prize but I do see a consistency here. And I have to wonder if, when it comes to legacies, Obama won’t fare better than his predecessor. Trying and failing to act against genocide is a lot better than launching a protracted invasion and occupation of a country for completely bogus reasons.