Security forces in Syria met thousands of demonstrators with fusillades of live ammunition after noon prayers on Friday, killing at least 81 people in the bloodiest day of the five-week-old Syrian uprising, according to protesters, witnesses and accounts on social networking sites. – Security Forces Kill Dozens in Uprisings Around Syria
We will never be rid of the curse.
Welcome to another edition of America’s amateur foreign policy hour.
Having Sen. McCain say in Libya that “for the United States to withdraw our unique offensive capabilities at this time would send the wrong signal” is not only inappropriate, but reenforces the notion of an empire nation, which is the biggest reason our country hangs in continual economic limbo, something conservatives never consider when thinking of national security that must include our economic health.
The BBC is reporting that NATO has utilized armed Predator drones, with Pres. Obama approving the action earlier, which now have struck inside Libya for the first time. Unarmed drones have been used for intelligence and reconnaissance missions.
Pres. Obama could not have approved the use of anything that is a worse symbol of American imperialism than a hell fire missile coming from a Predator. This type of action has already proved counterproductive in Pakistan, but then U.S. policy has been in a perpetual state of chaos for over 10 years.
As an aside, I don’t watch Chris Matthews much anymore, but took a moment yesterday to do so only to hear him trip over himself opining that Predator drones might signify a way out of Libya, something that made him sound so incredibly ignorant I wanted to immediately turn off the TV, but curiosity stopped me, because I wanted to see how he was going to get out of this mess. As he interviewed Richard Engel, he asked the significance of the armed drones being utilized instead of an AC-130, with Engel saying the armed drones were like “a kite” in comparison, something Matthews didn’t know. What’s worse is that he didn’t bother to find out before he went on the air or do any homework on the matter, at least none that was evident. It’s no wonder people are stupid on foreign policy with the likes of Chris Matthews dispensing opinions that armed drone attacks might be the end, instead of simply positing questions and letting the experts tell you what is and is not true.
It seems to me the American people have to get reacquainted with a new thought, which war hawks and neocons are not going to like and neither are humanitarians.
Our standard for bombing or becoming militarily involved in another country that has not attacked us must have at its core that a clear and present danger to the United States must exist.
Unless genocide or ethnic cleansing are happening we stay out, with the ugly reality in geopolitics that you also need proof that it is. We shouldn’t bomb countries before something has happened, preemptively involving ourselves in something that is only a threat.
It’s horrific to read and hear about the carnage erupting throughout the Middle East, but we simply cannot be involved in every skirmish, no matter how gut wrenching the reports. The founding of our own American freedom came through a lot of bloodshed and chaos, with the result of fighting for your own country part of what rebuilds a nation’s character. New American discipline needs to be instilled in our leaders to engage with the world community to bring thugs to justice, without everyone expecting U.S. military involvement for which taxpayers are on the hook.
I’d start with George W. Bush for Iraq, but then I’m a liberal, not one of the mealy-mouthed Democratic elite.
Released last night, Pres. Obama’s statement on Syria:
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of force by the Syrian government against demonstrators. This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now. We regret the loss of life and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims, and with the Syrian people in this challenging time.
The Syrian Government’s moves yesterday to repeal Syria’s decades-old Emergency Law and allow for peaceful demonstrations were not serious given the continued violent repression against protesters today. Over the course of two months since protests in Syria began, the United States has repeatedly encouraged President Assad and the Syrian Government to implement meaningful reforms, but they refuse to respect the rights of the Syrian people or be responsive to their aspirations. The Syrian people have called for the freedoms that all individuals around the world should enjoy: freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and the ability to freely choose their leaders. President Assad and the Syrian authorities have repeatedly rejected their calls and chosen the path of repression. They have placed their personal interests ahead of the interests of the Syrian people, resorting to the use of force and outrageous human rights abuses to compound the already oppressive security measures in place before these demonstrations erupted. Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies. We call on President Assad to change course now, and heed the calls of his own people.
We strongly oppose the Syrian government’s treatment of its citizens and we continue to oppose its continued destabilizing behavior more generally, including support for terrorism and terrorist groups. The United States will continue to stand up for democracy and the universal rights that all human beings deserve, in Syria and around the world.
This is why there is The Hague.
The president of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh has reportedly offered to resign in exchange for immunity.
I used to say about George W. Bush and the neocons that if they’d been around during the Cuban Missile Crisis we’d have wasted Cuba. But after Libya, I’m not so sure if Barack Obama doesn’t deserve his own sub-category, even as Sec. Clinton has already said we will not become engaged in Syria. The inconvenient geography of Syria renders it absolutely impossible, making a mockery out of the “humanitarian” angle of Libya, which never should have been uttered, let alone engaged militarily.
The problem with all of this is that Pres. Obama’s foreign policy makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Why Libya and not Syria? It’s not about “inaction” in Syria as much as it is irreconcilable stupidity for going into Libya, a decision that looks like the height of hypocrisy when reading, watching or hearing about the carnage in Bahrain.
Pres. Obama doesn’t have a Middle East strategy, policy or anything resembling a foreign policy road map, which is now nakedly exposed.