Wednesday, September 4, 2013


   I wonder if you were struck by the time shifted irony of John Kerry appearing before the Senate Foreign relations committee, again.  
    A generation ago Viet Nam veteran Kerry appeared to speak against military action.  Now in a kind of through the looking glass coincidence Secretary of State Kerry appears to rally for a military action.
     The circumstances are not at all the same, but here we go watching as Hawks and Doves carve out their positions on a military strike against Syria.
     Noted here previously is my criticism of President Obama's handling of the terrible situation by "drawing a line," and thus forcing his hand and limiting his options. It was a bad move.  That is not to say the world should not be outraged by Assad's use of gas on his own citizens.  And it is the world that should be outraged.
     Sadly the UN can not and is incapable of responding as the civilized world's rebuke of that barbarism. So now Americans will once again watch the flurry of position taking and speechifying as our pitiful excuse for a legislative branch stumbles to approve or reject the President's call for a military action.  Maybe the old saw is right---everything is a repeat of what's gone before, but with new people doing it.

   See you down the trail.


  1. It is ironic, I suppose, that Secretary Kerry is now advocating for a military response when he argued against a response years ago. But it is a different response.

    There are few international norms, but the understanding that chemical weapons were not to be used is pretty much universal. International disgust and condemnation is common, but few nations have the ability to do anything about it. For good or ill the United States is the one nation with the ability, conscience, and perhaps the will, to demonstrate that the use of this hideous weapon is unacceptable.

    Rand Paul wants guarantees but there are none to be had. The word "war" is bandied about but what do the pundits really mean? the US position on the use of chems has been clear for decades, not just since the day Obama said (or didn't say) a "line has been crossed". The world is a harsh and often unforgiving environment. There are times when somebody has to wear the big boy pants and stop a bully.

    If I were a Pentagon planner, I'd plan a strike this way: Tomahawk cruise missiles to destroy his ability to defend airspace - command & control nets, power grid, communication nodes, anti-aircraft guns & missiles. The second wave would destroy airfields - fuel and maintenance facilities, of course, but runways - and here is why I'd blow holes in concrete: Syria requires resupply and that resupply comes by air. Take out the runway and now that resupply is stopped. THAT puts a hitch in Syria's get-along.

    When the runway gets fixed, do it again. And again. Eventually he starts to run short on parts and bullets.

    I think that the Arab League ought to get involved but they cannot for their own domestic reasons. We need to squeeze them, after all, clamping down on Syria would certainly not hurt them in the long run. Perhaps Kerry can engage in some persuasion. After all, that is statecraft

    Bottom line is that we either stand for the proposition that chemical weapons are inappropriate - or we don't. The only way to display our disgust is by demonstrating that the cost is too dear.

    Then again, I sat ICBM alert when I was 24 years old and was part of that deal when we dealt with the Soviet Union. They knew we'd keep a promise. Can we keep a promise today?

  2. Brother John-
    I love it when you drop a post. Excellent analysis, exactly what I'd expect. You are spot on too!
    Hope all is well.

  3. This all comes down to the integrity of the United States and whether or not we keep our word and stand behind what we preach. I have absolutely no desire to engage Syria militarily but if we don't Iran will see us for what we are---a hollow giant.

  4. Syria, Iran, countries in the middle east falling like dominos. I think I have heard this before but I am old and want to forget where and why. It cost us 58, 000 American dead the last time we got involved in a civil war.