No Syrian War to Save Obama’s Face!

soldier leaving 2“Catastrophic!” said Sen. John McCain.

If Congress votes no on a resolution calling for U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war, says McCain, it would be “catastrophic” for U.S. credibility in the world.

Consider what the senator is saying here.

Because Barack Obama, two years ago, said “Assad must go,” and, one year ago, said any use of chemical weapons crosses his “red line,” Congress has no choice but to plunge America into yet another Mideast war.

Can this be? Are we really, as a nation, required to go to war to make good the simple-minded statements of an untutored president who had no constitutional authority to issue his impulsive ultimata?

Are we really required to go to war to get the egg off Obama’s face?

Not since the War of Jenkins’ Ear has there been a dumber cause for a great country to go to war. Is there no way out?

There is, and it’s right in front of us.

The House, Senate or both can vote no on the war resolution and Obama can then say, as did David Cameron, that, while he disagrees, he respects the decision of a Congress in which the Constitution placed sole authority to authorize America’s going to war.

Are Brits now crying “catastrophe!”? Do the Spanish no longer think the Brits will defend Gibraltar? Is Britain now wholly non-credible to the world?

For Obama, and for us, it is the other options that invite catastrophe.

If, for example, the House or Senate votes down the war resolution and Obama, without authorization from Congress, the Security Council, NATO or the Arab League plunges us into a new war this nation does not want to fight, he will be courting a geostrategic and political disaster.

Even if Congress approves a war resolution, the president should think long and hard about diving into a war he sought to avoid and stayed out of for over two years. Make no mistake; if Obama attacks Syria, be it for hours or days, we are in that blood-soaked abattoir for the duration.

In his dramatic statement Saturday, as politically astute as it was constitutionally correct, Obama called Syria “someone else’s war.”

Whose war? It is Shia Alawite vs. Sunni, Muslim vs. Christian, Kurd vs. Arab, Islamist vs. secularist. Backing Bashar Assad are Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. Backing the rebels are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, al-Qaida, foreign jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Assad is accused of killing 100,00 people. But that is the total of the dead in a civil war Assad has as much right to fight as the rebels. While his army is accused of using gas on civilians, the Islamist rebels have murdered Christians, massacred captives and engaged in public acts of cannibalism on dead Syrian soldiers.

Gas is a sickening weapon. Yet, there is no evidence thus far that Assad ordered its use. Rebel elements are said to have been found with sarin. As for Americans who tend to prefer white phosphorus, napalm and cluster bombs, upon what lofty moral ground do we stand?

Have we forgotten that Churchill wanted to drop anthrax on Germany and settled for two days of firebombing the defenseless city of Dresden? Or that our great friend Anwar Sadat was the confidante of Gamal Abdel Nasser when Egypt was using poison gas on Yemeni tribesmen?

The United States does not have any national security interest in Syria’s war. Why would we then launch missile attacks to “degrade” Assad’s military, when that army and air force are all that stands between us and a privileged sanctuary for al-Qaida in northern Syria, not unlike what al-Qaida had in Tora Bora and Waziristan.

We are told that if we do not strike Syria — making good on Obama’s threats — Israel, Turkey and even Japan and South Korea will not be able to trust us ever again.

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Pat Buchanan


Patrick Buchanan is a conservative political commentator and syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?.

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  • jrjw

    McCain needs to find a cozy little spot in the Arizona desert and retire to it.

  • pnyikos

    Here is a report that some Syrian rebels have admitted that

    “they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which
    western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that
    the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels
    mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.”

    This report was dated August 30, while Buchanan’s column is dated September 3. It would seem that this report was discredited, but where?

  • JMC

    The fact that Russia is involved in this mess should be sending up a red flag for every Fatimist out there. We need to pray our Rosaries more than ever to keep us out of this war, or before very long, World War III will be upon us. The only thing that can stop it is if Pope Francis, in conjunction with all the bishops in the world, consecrates Russia – not the world, but specifically Russia – to the Immaculate Heart. That must be the intention of our Rosaries. At this moment, it can go either way. Our prayers can tip the balance.

  • kirk

    “The only way that evil will win, is if good people do nothing!” I am certainly glad, Mr Buchanan, that you don’t speak for all Catholics.

  • BillinJax

    A year ago a band of Islamic terrorist who had been taking
    pictures of our embassy in Benghazi a few days before attacking it killing four
    Americans including our ambassador in a raid lasting over seven hours; our
    campaigner in chief who slept through the disastrous carnage that included a
    stand down order to all forces and possible cover designed to protect the
    victims has never been able to give us an accurate or full account of what took
    place and in particular who issued the infamous stand down order. We are well
    aware how the administration made every attempt to cover up the whole episode
    especially the brutal and inhumane butchering of the ambassador. Furthermore,
    they have as yet done nothing to either retaliate or arrest and bring to
    justice the perpetrators on behalf of the American families who suffered the
    loss of their loved ones.

    Yet this same president and administration in a matter of a few days and before the results of the UN investigation are announced says they know the details of exactly what happened in Syria a couple of weeks ago and who did what to whom that resulted in the deaths of innocent citizen in an ongoing civil war.

    Why is Mr. Tough Guy, who backed himself into a corner with his Red Line talk now so willing to send our military into action and go to war for those Syrians rather than stand down? Are the lives of these Syrians more precious to him than the four Americans in Benghazi or for that matter the hundreds of defenseless Christians throughout the Middle East who have been murdered and had their churches ransacked or burned
    down by Islamic radicals over the past several months (workplace violence we suppose), was it because there was something more sinister involved in the
    Benghazi slaughter than we are aware of, or could it be simply that the new
    cowboy in the White House feels the need to erase the (Putin) notion that he is
    a wimp so he has decided to become his own George Zimmerman of the Middle East
    using his (CIC) concealed carry and standing his ground (line in the sands
    of Syria) to confront the hoody dictator intruder he suspects is up to no good, is he that willing to publicly contradict the very policy he supported to criticize unilateral actions taken by his predecessor? In either or all of the above it only goes to show us again that the liberal messiah picks and chooses who and what laws to protect and defend
    in order to advance his secular socialist agenda to fundamentally change
    America and our standing in the world community.

  • Laura Kazlas

    This isn’t about Obama saving face.

    I’d like to know if Mr. Buchanan has ever served his country in the US military?

    I’m a 13 year honorably discharged, US Army veteran and a practicing Catholic. We trained in chemical and biological warfare in the military. These weapons must not be allowed to be used in our world. If they are permitted to be used in Syria, it sets a precedence for them to be used in future wars. The next step is biological warfare and the world is not prepared for this. Chemical and biological agents of war must never be allowed to be used. Their use must be stopped the first time they are used or it’s use will escalate in future wars.

    400 children were murdered, using chemical agents in Syria and about 1,000 civilian adults.

    Civilians that have not been educated or trained about chemical and biological warfare should not be making the decisions on whether or not their use should be stopped. The world should be sent a clear message that these agents will not be tolerated in warfare.

  • Barrysullivan1

    Obama has not been trained in the use of chemical weapons or served in the military either; following your logic, then he shouldn’t make the call either. I am a Navy veteran and I wouldn’t say serving makes you an expert in making policy for the United States.

  • John Ryan

    Has the suggestion that the rebels may have initiated the chemical attack in such a way as to appear that it was done by the regime been evaluated thoroughly by any objective authority?

  • Laura Kazlas

    John McCain is a seasoned, experienced, military expert who has been in war before though. I trust his judgement. At least President Obama consulted him. He was not required to do so. I do not support many of President Obama’s viewpoints on a lot of other issues and did not vote for him. I also do not necessarily support taking action, especially prematurely, but chemical warfare needs to be clearly addressed after the facts have been gathered by the experts.

  • Barrysullivan1

    Laura, I served in the Navy and knew many very capable pilots and they would be the first to tell you that they were expert flyers and nothing more. They were not qualified to be strategists as that was not their training. McCain spent several years in a POW camp which makes him a true American hero but it does not make him an expert in international strategy. The fact that Obama agrees with McCain should tell you all you need to know about this decision.

  • rakeys

    Before we go head long into war over the use of chemical weapons by Assad, let us first get the results of the UN experts on who used the chemnical weaspons. It is known that both sides have access to sarin. Helping the rebels helps the Muslim brother hood. Saddam hussein killed over 10,000 Kurds, and his sons threw protestors into meat grtinders, but that was not enough for Democrats to support teh overthrow of Saddam. We allowed genocide in Rawanda/ Over 100 thousand people have died in this civil war. Neither side supports our values. This is not an easy decsiion.
    Do you realize that The U.S. uses chemical weapons against unborn babies. RU 486 is a chemical which kills babies in the womb. Will another countryl begin bombing us for this atrocity??

  • Dave

    I can’t help but wonder if the pro-war people here even bothered to read the article.

    Chemical weapons must never be allowed to be used? Hello – napalm, anyone? It seems we have a selective outrage.

    Good vs. evil? Please. If anything, this war is evil vs. evil. In any event, it is not our concern. Though we have gotten used to being the policeman of the world, we cannot afford it, and it isn’t our job.

    This is all about feeding the ever-hungry military-industrial complex.

  • PMNOrlando

    They also sut down the “Space Fence” 2 days ago (a month ahead of a scheduled outage due to sequester cuts) and we have ISON 4x the size of Earth on the way into our solar system. This along with the threat of WW III and we may be living in the end times. Let’s hope the prophecy St. Malichy of Pope Francis being the last Pope is not true for our children sake. Stay awake and try to awaken others!
    Amazes me how many Americans seem to have their heads in the sand and are oblivious to any of this.

  • Teresa Espinosa

    No war with syria.

  • Poppiexno

    Just because one served in the military may years ago (I retired from the army) does not make one “a military expert.” Furthermore, what’s needed here is not a military expert but some sane judgment about the consequences of our involvement in a civil war in which one side, the rebels, has been coopted by radical Muslims.
    In 1917, the people of Russia overthrew the tsar and briefly established a representative government. The Bolsheviks took over and ruthlessly established communism. A similar situation exists in Syria. The rebellion has been taken over by ruthless enemies of the US. And Obama proposes to help them?
    A chemical weapon is a weapon. Weapons are used to destroy the enemy capability to fight. In other words, weapons are used to kill people. During WWII, a chemical weapon was used extensively against entrenched Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender. The weapon was a flame thrower.

  • DeaconJohnMBresnahan

    Also forgotten in our use of chemicals in Vietnam is our use of Agent Orange which we now know did more than defoliate some bothersome trees.

  • Poppiexno

    “Civilians that have not been educated or trained about chemical and biological warfare should not be making the decisions…” And yet you want the civilian who fits your description (Obama) to make such a decision?

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Is that why the 100,000+ who have been killed by ordinary butchery rather than chemicals don’t matter as much as the 1000 killed by chemicals?

    There is nothing that our bombing Syria is going to accomplish other than entangling us in a deeper quagmire than Vietnam. You don’t fix insanity by doubling down.

  • Tafur

    It is obvious that you see no reason to speak for the Catholic orphans and their caretakers that are being beheaded by al Qaeda rebels.

    There are very few good guys in this conflict and since odds favor the al Qaeda rebels being the ones who released the gas and not Assad, we ought to be real careful about what we do.