“If you set out to take Vienna—take Vienna!”–Napoleon Bonaparte
And now a quick assessment of the unfolding Middle Eastern ludicrosity: Let’s see—President Obama is flying home from being repeatedly humiliated by Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Russia, ready to face the possibility of being handed the closest thing to a vote of no-confidence the House of Representatives can bestow on a sitting president, unless the administration prevails in that legislative body and is granted permission to do what it already has the authority under the War Powers Resolution to do anyway, but apparently doesn’t really want to do any more, which is punish the regime of Bashar Assad, who may or may not be guilty of actually doing what a considerable number of intelligence services now believe his opponents really did, so that we can wage war on behalf of our sworn enemy, Al Qaeda, because some of their friends may or may not be as bad as they are. In an effort to rally support for a military strike against Assad, President Obama has recently taken to assuring us that Assad will not be a target, that his nerve gas stores will not be a target, and that whatever we do it won’t be all that much. Meanwhile, our potential adversaries in the vicinity have been offered generous amounts of time in which to contemplate and arrange all sorts of retaliatory strikes, the main target of which will almost certainly be Israel, with whom we remain titularly allied despite Beloved Leader’s obvious disdain for the Jewish State.
Unless of course Russia does something nasty, and apparently we consider that unthinkable and have not, therefore, thought about it. Meanwhile, to add a final note of clarity, John McCain has just gone on record at a town hall meeting to the effect that the entire operation can be carried off handily and “not put a single American life in danger.” So, no bombers, no fighters, and the robotization (seemingly) of the entire Sixth Fleet?! All WOOF can say is: wow! Russia, by comparison, is reportedly beefing up its fleet in the Mediterranean—and we bet they’re still using old fashioned human sailors on their ships—how 1991 is that?
We’ll always have Paris!
Quick, what is the Paris of the Middle East? Don’t know? Well, don’t fault yourselves, gentle readers, because there isn’t one! However, once upon a time there was, and it was Beirut. Yes, Beirut Lebanon. Seriously. In the post-World-War-Two era, Beirut blossomed as a magnificent intellectual and architectural beacon to the world’s citizenry—a highly preferred tourist destination and a booming commercial metropolis aglow with all the gleam and gaud of the Persian Gulf’s runaway oil market. Moreover, it remained a shining monument to peaceful, prosperous internationalism right through the Kennedy era, the Johnson era, and even Nixon’s tenure. And then, in 1975, following the American humiliation in Vietnam and as if in recognition of the phlegmatic American Congress that sold South Vietnam down the drain despite the pleas of a powerless Jerry Ford, a civil war exploded all over Lebanon, pitting the Muslims against the Christians, and the veritable oasis of Beirut’s beautiful downtown area was reduced to rubble. None of this was helped by Syria rolling in and throwing its military behind the Muslims. Despite an eventual Israeli incursion aimed at restoring order and blunting the Syrian attacks on Christians, Syria retained a dark influence in Lebanese politics together with a force of 14,000 troops in country. Perhaps readers recall the “Cedar Revolution” and a million protesters gathered to demonstrate against the Syrian presence, following which Syrian forces withdrew. Happy Days, right? So why, you must be asking by now, is WOOF making you think about all this when the real problems are now in Syria?
Well…see…despite the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, a little problem by the name of Hezbollah was left behind. Okay, we lied about the ‘little’ part—Hezbollah is in fact a fast-metastasizing aberration in the form of Shi’a Islamic terrorists who despise America, hate Israel, and seek Jihad for Jihad’s sake every day in every way! And they are, naturally, displeased to learn that the United States may be preparing to shoot cruise missiles at their old partner in crime, Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator with the teensy-weensy head and the big fat neckties (and the inexplicably hot wife). But we digress. The main point is this, Woofketeers:
The State Department on Friday ordered nonessential U.S. diplomats to leave Lebanon, citing unspecified security concerns surrounding the Obama administration’s well-known and agonizingly prolonged plans to launch American military strikes in reprisal for Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21st. “The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains,” the Department said, adding that: “Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors… should violence erupt suddenly. Access to borders, airports, roads, and seaports can be interrupted with little or no warning.” Woahhh…first we messed up Egypt beyond all recognition, then we destabilized Libya by eradicating any semblance of national order, next we began threatening airstrikes against Syria in support of Al Qaeda, and now Lebanon is blowing up in our faces? Yes, because Hezbollah is part of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance and enjoys its Lebanese monopoly on terror. Hezbollah and Al Qaeda are nearly identical from a topographical point of view, just as Al Capone’s mob and Bugs Moran’s mob were overtly similar in intent and comportment. But when Bugs decided to muscle in on Al’s territory, the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre resulted, right? Similarly, supporting Bashar Assad in his battle with the “moderate rebel elements” (aka Al Qaeda) makes sense for the Lebanese jihadists despite the manifest consanguinity of the two factions.
Think it can’t get worse than this? Six hours ago (as we tap this out in the candlelit maw of the WOOF cave) the U.S. Department of State warned “U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Turkey” (yes! Turkey!) that, “the U.S. Consulate General in Adana has been authorized to draw down its non-emergency staff and family members because of threats against U.S. government facilities and personnel.” The Department of State went on to warn Americans in no uncertain terms against “non-essential travel to Turkey.” And how on earth did we get to the point of a Turkish upheaval? By conducting a pro-Jihadist foreign policy from the moment Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama put their noodles together, that’s how.
And as regular readers are aware, WOOF has far too much respect for both above-named individuals to assume, as most of their critics seem to, that simple ineptitude and/or imperishable ignorance account for the boundless ruination their policies generated and continue to generate. On the contrary, WOOF persists in its firm belief that every inch of this has been intentionally engineered, and that the transformation of the Middle East into a raging Caliphate united in odium and the rabid abhorrence of Israel was a confidential goal of the Obama presidency even before it reified on that bleak 2nd November in the year of Our Lord, 2008. And just when you thought Iraq, although still a red hot combat zone, was off your worry list because the Liberal Establishment Media no longer cover it (Our Dear Leader having declared it over with), it turns out those gosh darned Iranians are sending undercover units of their Revolutionary Guard’s suicidally adamant Quds Force to attack the American embassy in Baghdad. And word has it that specially trained Syrian forces allied with the above mentioned crazies of Hezbollah are poised to assault the embassy in Beirut. And of course, Henry the horse dances the waltz! (Sorry, we threw that in).
Why would the Bamster want to bomb Bashar?
Okay, so to paraphrase Thomas Magnum, we know what you’re thinking! If the whole commie plot was to toss the entire Middle east into unprecedented turmoil, why are we preparing to bomb Bashar Assad for a silly miscreancy like using a little nerve gas on about fourteen hundred of his citizens when the civil unrest in Syria has already claimed over one-hundred thousand lives? How does this sudden yen to play “World Police” fit into the Obama regime’s scheme to induce chaos across the Middle East conducing toward a pan-Islamic Caliphate? Well, it doesn’t! But it was never supposed to get out of hand like this—it was planned as a nice, simple, military diversion—you know, some jet something-or-others would drop some of those “jdam” thingamajigs, and maybe some of those exploding drone-type whatchacallit cruise missiles could go off and there could be some of that cool camera footage like in that Iraq war back when people watched CNN, and we could watch those airplanes—you know—the kind that take off from those big boats? And maybe some submarines could shoot some stuff or something—and then Our Dear Leader’s popularity would go sky high in the poles, and nobody—and here’s the main idea, so don’t miss it: Nobody would be talking about the snowballing collection of Obamagate scandals. So what scandals are we referring to? Well, in no necessary order:
The use of the IRS to electioneer for Obama by clamping down on Tea Party organizations prior to the 2012 elections; the use of the Justice Department to run guns to Mexican Drug Lords in hopes they’d shoot some Americans (as indeed they did) enabling the Administration to repeal the 2nd amendment (which didn’t work out because it got caught smuggling the guns); the further use of the Justice Department’s outreach wing to publicly rabble rouse for the arrest and conviction of George Zimmerman despite the absence of incriminating evidence; the refusal of the Justice Department to do anything whatsoever about members of the New Black Panther Party harassing voters with billy clubs in 2008; the further use of the Justice Department to intimidate journalists by, for instance, declaring FOX News’s James Rosen a criminal; the manifest perjury committed by Attorney General Eric Holder when he told Congress he had no idea that such depredations had been visited upon poor Rosen just before his, Holder’s, signature was found on the affidavit declaring Rosen a criminal; the additional perjury of William Holder assuring Congress he had just learned about the “Fast and Furious” gun running travesty when he was clearly directing it from the beginning; the GSA ringing up a bill for 823,000 dollars for a “conference” in Las Vegas which included a number of psychic mind readers and at least one professional clown; waging war on the government of Libya without congressional approval and for a far greater length of time than permitted by the War Powers Resolution; Solyndra; Verizon; ignoring orders from a Federal court to lift the ban on drilling for oil off our coastline; unilaterally deciding not to enforce federal law by refusing to report or deal with reports of illegal aliens; unilaterally deciding not to allow the law of the land (i.e., Obamacare) to occur until it is convenient to the Democrat party’s fortunes; overseeing the Justice Department’s illegal seizure of innumerable AP reporters’ phone records; overseeing the NSA’s intrusion into the private communications of practically every American citizen; and of course the effort to free the “Blind Sheikh” by colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood to kidnap the American Ambassador to Libya so that the Sheikh (who master-minded the original World Trade Center bombing), could be sent back to Egypt in a seemingly humanitarian prisoner exchange. This last effort, gone badly awry, led to the additional high crimes of allowing the Ambassador to Libya to be seized, serially raped, and murdered following an eight-hour battle in Benghazi while all the while issuing repeated stand-down orders through Valerie Jarrett (who had no constitutional right to issue such orders), thus dooming two State Department officials and two former SEALs to violent deaths, and then lying for two full weeks about the nature of the attack in Benghazi while blaming it on a ridiculously bad movie that nobody in Libya had ever seen or heard of until they learned about it from Susan Rice. (Whew!) And this, by the way, is a very short, highly abridged list!
But just as the tidy plan to confect a seemingly humanitarian prisoner exchange (thereby retrieving Ambassador Stevens and sending the Blind Sheikh back to his adoring fan base in Egypt) went terribly wrong when those darned Ansar al-Sharia gunsels muffed the job and (oops!) killed the unsuspecting Ambassador, so the planned martial extravaganza–meant to relieve our bovine brains of all this preoccupation with administration scandal–went terribly wrong. WOOF knows that the plans for a quick, photogenic shoot-em-up emanated from the Susan Rice, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry quadrant—that portion of the president’s brain trust (if one may apply such a term without appearing unduly knavish) that thinks in terms of party politics and domestic exigencies. WOOF knows that up until August 30th, this cohort was dominant and Rappin’ Preezy was convinced that a bit of faux martial pyrotechnics would boost his sagging poll numbers and give his lap-poodle media the desperately-sought opportunity to distract themselves and their viewers from any burgeoning discussions of the gargantuan accretion of scandal overshadowing his Oval Office—particularly any further inquiries into the Benghazi catastrophe. Benghazi defied any explanation, after all, other than the truth; and the truth amounted to treason—so a few bombs and rockets, it was reasoned, a bit of wagging the dog a la Clinton, should put the whole circus back on the road and paper over the irregularities of the past.
But the presidential determination to strike and to strike swiftly and colorfully in whatever ways General Dempsey and the rest of the president’s uniformed acolytes recommended soon ran afoul of Valerie Jarrett and the radically anti-American wing of the Obama advisory klatch. This wing is respondently phobic of America’s military in any capacity other than observable decline, and in complete solidarity with Islamic terror wherever encountered, and no matter by whom advanced. Remember, it was Valerie Jarrett who repeatedly (at least thrice, it appears) dissuaded Obama from the bin Laden raid, until even his most sycophantic generals and admirals staged a mini coup and insisted that the raid proceed or the president’s serial refusals be leaked. Similarly, it was Jarrett, an Iranian-born communist agent of influence, who persuaded Obama, as August waned, that military action against the Assad government would be unconscionable. Thus, on the 31st of August, WOOF knows the Bamster called a cabinet meeting and announced that he was now lost in incertitude about the attack he’d so adamantly demanded earlier. He told his astonished advisors that he had decided to dump the whole matter on Congress. The decision would thus be theirs to make, and the president could vote “present,” as is his wont.
The quavering red line…
Problem: The president made it very clear on an occasion in 2012 that the Syrians would cross a “red line” if they used nerve gas. “A red line for us,” Obama puffed, “is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized, that would change my calculus.” Revising this sadly-typical moment of ill-considered fustian was old hat for Dear Leader, who simply informed the press this week that he had never said any such thing—that in fact the red line comment emanated from “the international community.” And that inelegant dodge might have worked six months earlier, when Obama’s adoring media would simply have repeated the revised drivel as gospel, but at this rocky juncture even ABC and CBS played the old tape juxtaposed to the new tape, and the cognitive dissonance seemed painful to them.
Next came poor, long suffering State Department fixit girl, Jen Psaki, who wisely insisted she would not “have a debate or conversation about the red line in Syria” but assured all and sundry that 9 countries had agreed to support the united States in an attack on Syria. Within a few breaths this number became 10 countries. Not content with dithering over whether adding America to the originally stated 9 countries provided the figure of ten countries, Ms. Psaki soon erupted with, “I should say…30 countries” but as was the case with a far greater American protagonist many decades earlier, she seemed to have left her list in her other suit. When asked to name actual countries she returned to the figure 9, rattling off Australia, Albania, Kosovo, Canada, Denmark, France, Poland, Romania, and Turkey. Heaven knows our boys will fly into battle more confidently knowing the Air Forces of Kosovo and Albania have their backs! But at that point some pesky reporter informed Psaki that Secretary of State Kerry had said 34 countries. Psaki countered by upping the ante to 50 countries, but these turned out to be countries that agreed Assad had used gas on his own people. This leaves, by WOOF’s calculation, 146 countries on the planet which, by the simple fact of their exclusion from Psaki’s list of 50, must not agree that Assad used gas on his own people.
One such country is clearly Russia. We know this because Vladimir Putin, who never misses an opportunity to stick his foot out whenever the Bamster is traipsing by, announced last Thursday that Russia had clear evidence that it was the Syrian rebels who used gas on August 21, not Assad. The details were supposedly laid out in a thick report compiled by Russia’s investigative team. Meanwhile, Putin took to the airwaves via Russia’s Channel 1 (a government controlled station) and submitted to an interview with Russia’s First Channel and the AP (which is, of course, also a government controlled news source, the difference being that it is controlled by Obama’s government, not Putin’s). For sheer clarity, charm, and assertiveness, the ex-KGB spook carried the day, creating a striking contrast to the mumbling, hemming, hawing and halting performance of his frazzled American counterpart. The real problem with this interview, at least for those of us who survived the cold war—the really mind jolting aspect of it for any who thrilled to Kennedy’s Cuban missile address where the facts were laid bare and the truth was driven home that any aggression by Cuba would result in a massive nuclear attack launched by the United States against the USSR—or any who recall Patton’s blistering denunciations of Soviet methods offered point blank to a stunned Marshall Zhukov, or any who thrilled to Goldwater’s straightforward anti-Soviet rhetoric from the 1964 campaign, or who rejoiced to hear Ronald Reagan demand, “tear down this wall!” is the perversely alien illation that Putin, the mid-level Soviet apparatchik, won the day for plain speaking and plausibility, vis-a-vis an American president and a Secretary of State who seemed furtive, feckless and perfidious by comparison.
“We believe that at the very least we should wait for the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria,” Putin said. He reviewed the illogic of Syria resorting to such provocative means of destruction when they were clearly winning conventionally, adding “They know all too well that this could become a cause for sanctions and even for a military operation against them. That’s stupid and illogical.” Regarding John Kerry’s testimony to congress, Putin offered, “Well, he [Kerry] lies. And he knows that he lies. This is sad.” And what’s sadder is that we have come to the unhappy circumstance of finding Vladimir Putin more credible that John Kerry, and more trustworthy than the President of the United States.
And the Sitzkrieg drags on….
So here we are, back on the Syrian subject again with nary a bomb dropped nor a SAM shot, and not a step closer to any sort of recognizable resolution. In fact, we seem to be further from one since Our Beloved Helmsman went sort of wobbly with his navy arrayed (and exposed) in the Mediterranean, his prerogatives at least temporarily surrendered to Congress, and his tough earlier ultimatum now surreally ascribed to “the international community,” whatever that is. Indeed, we are now arrived at a place in which the president’s only visible resolve seems to entail his determination to see any sub-optimal outcome in Syria ascribed to some entity, organization, agency or individual other than himself. WOOF figures if nothing else good comes out of this, we are at least assured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records where we will hold (quite possibly in perpetuity) the title for staging the most discussed, debated, explicated, adjusted, commented upon and predeterminedly circumscribed offensive in the history of modern warfare. Indeed, no matter what else we may be accused of subsequently, it can never be said that we engaged in anything so craven as a surprise attack! And no matter how superbly our military may perform, if called upon to perform, it can never be said, either, that an authentic act of war transpired…unless by complete accident! Because no matter what Barack Obama and his domesticated Joint Chiefs may eventually serve up as Bashar Assad’s just deserts, and no matter how picturesque and noisy this committee-generated beau geste proves, the action is foreordained to fit that famous descriptive flourish uttered by French Marshall Pierre Bosquet, who, upon witnessing the charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, remarked to his dumbfounded aide de camp: “It is magnificent, but it is not war…” adding, after a moment’s thought, “It is madness.”