NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2013 — So are we going to war or not? Yes, no, maybe seems to be the answer of the day and it is only Tuesday.
Unsteady is the hand that rocks this cradle, the United States.
President Obama has decided to let Congress do the talking on whether to go after Syria’s President Assad. But here too Obama is hedging his bets. He seeks congressional approval. If he gets a yes vote, so we hear, he will take action… or maybe not. So, as Hillary might say, “What difference does it make?”
Meanwhile, as Obama resolutely dithers, the entire world is on edge. Friends and foes, among them England, China and Russia, are on standby for late word from our Obama/Kerry leadership.
And Kerry does seem to be especially gung-ho for this. Kerry, the 1960s peacenik, suddenly wants blood. London has already spoken, and the answer is “hell no, we won’t go.”
Israel, always sitting on a ticking time bomb, is simply waiting to get hit. Assad has generously provided a blueprint for where the bombs will fall.
Even The New York Times is nervous, and here is a rarity: the “paper of record” can find nothing, at the moment, to put the blame on Israel, at least not in terms of Syria. The paper says that Obama boxed himself in with the “line in the sand” remark. Some of us remember that rhetoric, something about crossing a red line, or maybe it was something else that would compel Obama to pull the trigger.
Will Obama go after Assad after the chicken crosses the road, or when the groundhog sees its shadow?
That appears to be how our foreign policy gets done.
Assad himself must be wondering what he did that is so wrong. His only mistake was inflicting “workplace violence.”
Happens every day in the Middle East, as it happened even here at home, in Fort Hood.
So what’s the big deal?
Back and forth between Assad and the rebels (many of them Muslim Brotherhood types) more than 100,000 Syrians have been killed. But then, apparently, Assad resorted to ritually unclean methods to smash the opposition — Sarin gas we are told – and that amounts to breaking the rules of engagement, for some reason.
From where most Americans sit, both sides in Syria are equally rotten and guilty, so why should we sort it out?
This is an internal conflict for tribal rights. We elected God for this.
But Obama insists on interfering – or maybe not. Who will help him decide? Does he check with his cabinet? Or does he wait for answers from his multitude of czars and czarinas? Does he confer with Jay-Z? Or will the wisdom of Rihanna sway him this way or that, for after all, our nation in run on pop politics.
So where will we get the word that we are at war and it is time to duck? Most likely, between talk about his golf swing, Obama will reveal his decision next time he appears on Jay Leno. Or maybe we will get the news that we are a nation at war when Obama meets with the ladies on The View. Perhaps Ellen Degeneres will be the first to know and then share it with the rest of us.
On foreign affairs, especially in the Middle East, this administration continuously wakes up an hour too late.
The hysterical focus on Israel has blinded both Obama and Kerry on what really troubles the Middle East: Arab against Arab.
When families get to squabbling, hands-off is always the best policy. When will we ever learn?
New from Jack Engelhard, the novel, Compulsive
Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.
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