Waging War in Syria ‘to Make a Point’?

John Glaser, August 26, 2013


Aaron David Miller thinks the Obama administration will bomb Syria, aiming not to topple the Assad regime but to “make a point.”

Noting the Obama administration’s reluctance to go to war in Syria, Miller expects a “middle-ground response” like “targeted attacks against Syrian military units associated with chemical-weapons capacity and infrastructure,” which would “split the difference between doing nothing on the one hand and using the chemical-weapons issue to change the battlefield balance against the regime on the other.”

Obama has long viewed toppling Assad as problematic. The State Department said early this year that it is of utmost importance to “maintain the functions of the state” in Syria, so as to avoid a power vacuum that the al-Qaeda-linked jihadists could take advantage of. As Phil Giraldi, former CIA intelligence officer and Antiwar.com columnist, told me back in March, “Obama has come around to the view that regime change is more fraught with dangers than letting Assad remain.”

So, amid heightened pressure to respond with force to allegations about the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, Obama could be fishing for a middle ground, as Miller argues. The alternative is ugly. If the Obama administration tried to bomb the Assad regime out of existence, the U.S. would then have to militarily occupy Syria, at least to prevent the chemical weapons stockpiles from getting into the hands of the rebels. That occupation would last for the foreseeable future, given the lack of competent or legitimate interim government post-Assad. In that scenario, the U.S. would be fighting another armed insurgency in a crumbling Middle East country – exactly what everyone doesn’t want.

But in a way, this “middle ground” scenario Miller describes – “a single retaliatory attack that strives to make a point rather than a difference” – is even more nefarious than an all-out, boost-on-the-ground war for regime change in Syria. Imagine if President Obama came before the American people and said, “I’m going to bomb another country to make a point. Not to defend American security or interests. Not even to protect the Syrian people from Bashar al-Assad. Just to make a point.” Do you think the American people would buy this for a second?

This is the old “credibility” argument. Obama told the world that Assad’s use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that would prompt U.S. military action. So, to protect Obama’s reputation as a reliable war-maker who bombs people when he says he will, we have to go to war in Syria? Eh, ok…

In his criticism of this doctrine, Micah Zenko described the myth thusly: “Whenever the decision of a foreign leader contrasts with what Washington demands, U.S. global credibility is ‘waning’ and in need of being ‘restored.'”

Rubbish. Going to war “to make a point” is as morally repellent as the use of chemical weapons.

40 Responses to “Waging War in Syria ‘to Make a Point’?”

  1. The more so as the use would have to bomb Bahrain … or itself.

    Hearing the rhetoric, one would believe Turkey had been covered in mustard gas by the huns.

    Well, I suppose our "leaders" want to get it over with before all of the people are back from SUMMER HOLIDAYS and get a whiff of what's going down. And no Snowden or Ecoonomic problems in the news. Phew.

  2. The idea of intervening in Syria, from the point of view of Mr. O and those he serves, is so risky and problematical, and so unlikely to result in a net benefit for them, that I find it hard to believe anything will actually happen. I suppose it's possible that, in the hissy fit over Snowden, they've lost their marbles.

  3. {This is the old “credibility” argument. So, to protect Obama’s reputation as a reliable war-maker who bombs people when he says he will, we have to go to war in Syria?}
    This is not the reason. Obama or US has NO CREDIBILITY to be thinking about. Obama has been registered as a WARMONGER and a war criminal in history of the world. To keep the title Obama needs no more action. But what is the reason behind their criminal act is the project of “the new middle east” based on Oded Yinon Strategy to erect “greater Israel” which is part of the “World Government” let by the Zionist bankers and directed by the stooges people like Kissinger, Rockefeller, Soros, Clinton and other war criminals like them.

  4. The administration knows Assad does not need Sarin gas to kill babies. Assad’s victory over the terrorists is the RED LINE. So, John Kerry accuses “ Syria of use of chemical agents and then destroyed the evidence” is LAUGHABLE. So Kissinger, part of the Evil Empire, is telling the administration to act NOW using False Flag Fabrication to attack Syria to push Assad’s victory back. Assad Victory is a RED LINE for the WAR CRIMINALS and an poison for “the New Middle East”. Balkanization of Syria is required for PARTITION OF SYRIA and regional countries into smaller states to create Kurdistan entity to serve “greater Israel”. After all, Obama was installed by zionist bankers including Soros to push the world towards “world Governmnent. Kissinger said:
    {In a very recent presentation at the Ford School, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger commented on the current Syrian situation, expressing his preference for a broken-up and balkanized Syria to emerge out of the current Assad-controlled unity.}

  5. Four foreign ministers, all on the same page:

    Kerry, Fabius, Hague, Westerwelle.

    Syria, and the world, getting US-F+UK'D.

  6. […] Waging War in Syria ‘to Make a Point’? John Glaser, August 26, 2013 […]

  7. Israel, US, and most of all UK, Vatican will get hit by the hidden cells that live in their lands. When the Europeans get hit back in their back yards, and there citizens are walking in despair in their own lands, that's when the europeans who are cowards, and engage in dropping bombs on others, will lose their illusional power in the human family. The Vatican, Queen, and the hidden societys like the knights of malta and, masonic order will be defeated.

    The weak parasites will be destroyed!

  8. What is this "huns" you talk about. What a disgusting term. You probably mean Germans. Britain used mustard gas too.

  9. yes. striking syria to make a point.

    the point is: Obama is a freaking prick

  10. […] law by going to war without the consent of Congress or the UN Security Council simply “to make a point,” in the words of former State Department official Aaron David Miller. There is no defensive […]

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