Authored by William Robert Barber
If my recollection is correct the battle of Iwo Jima cost our nation 25,000 dead and wounded. We could have gassed the island for weeks before sending in our marines and saved thousands of lives; but that would have been a violation of the Geneva Accords. So instead of gassing the enemy we burned, shot, bombed, and suffocated them to death. A few months later we dropped nuclear bombs on their cities and purposefully killed women, children, and every living thing in between. We did all those horrific things (in accordance to the Geneva Convention) to win the war; politicians call it “winning the peace”.
Change the weaponry, the geography, the culture, and the language one deduces that this sort of tactical-killing has been going on and on for thousands of years. It is reasonable to ascertain that there are scores of tyrannical despots waiting to be born; and hundreds of thousands of unborn victims awaiting persecution. Although not claiming to be a harbinger with a 100% surety I can confidently forecast that more horrific incidences are inevitable. The affable peddlers of “what one wants to hear” will reinsert the horrific as striving to win the peace.
I have little doubt that Assad, with the aid and assist of his lieutenants, gassed his enemies. Without a doubt, the Russians would have rather had these very same people killed by other less objectionable means. Withstanding, Assad is their man; he services a Russian-Iranian geopolitical objective — so without giving it too much concern (for those gassed), they simply blame the gassing onto to the rebels.
But this time the Russians, having studied the timely wants and needs of President Obama, played a different gambit: this time they saved Obama from himself by inferring the role of peacemaker. Interestingly, everyone knows, even the president thoroughly understands that he is being played by the Russians. But because the president is unwilling to act as originally declared, he obligingly submits. What a coup for Vladimir. How desperately silly the president is perceived by ally and foe. The president on the other hand seems satisfied by the buoy afforded by his tragically misplaced hubris.
Truisms: There will never be a world without enemies or one without martial confrontation. There are periods of less war but there will never be a world at peace. The preceding truisms are a reality that must preempt all actionable policies. Despots are a constant within human society. They cannot be reasoned… they can only be forcefully deposed.
But of course there is resistance to the use of force and many examples of the imprudent use of military interdiction. Nevertheless no sane person would suggest the elimination of the military nor would such sanity want to trade the most powerful nation on earth for somewhat less than the most powerful.
The resistance to the use of force is usually founded on the concept of proportionate response. Limiting aggressiveness within the confines of proportionate response seems reasonable to those in policymaking roles; withstanding they do delve, engage, and insert blood and treasure in support of a strategic particular. The conceptual of the engagement is buttressed as prudent by political acolytes who fundamentally rely on the assurance generated by the consonance of mutual acceptance. However as with all endeavors terrain and situation change and require revision of plans both variables and alternative. It is at this point that the imposed limitation of proportionate response, challenges leadership to adapt and reemploy. President Obama’s style of leading from way-the-hell behind stymies and disables the required adaptation. Soon the strategy no longer applies, leadership wanes, political acolytes seek a haven, frustration generates denunciation prompting leadership to retrograde from engagement.
From 1918 to 2013 this has been the foreign policy pattern of America. We engage. We disengage and then engage. American leadership refuses to accept the world’s reality as factual; so they conceive a world that does not exist; they contemplate and contrive; they act then regress; reality is just too confounding for our leaders so they become novelist and delve in fiction.
And then we are surprised by the attack at Pearl Harbor and two attacks at the World Trade Center. Before Russia was our ally in WWII they were allied with Hitler’s Germany and we still, at the Potsdam Conference, trusted Stalin as the allies divided a post-war Europe. Now President Obama trusts the Russians to reign-in Syria’s chemical weaponry? The president’s Syrian policy has taken on a fraudulence of biopic carnivalesque produced, written, and directed by Vladimir Putin — at the expense of American creditability.