Obama’s Alarming View on Who Wills the US Military

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President Obama has said that it would be a “mistake” to intervene in Syria at this time. But he has directed the Pentagon to deliver a “commander’s assessment” of what kinds of missions with which the military might be tasked and what resources would be required to meet the demands of those missions. There has been little stomach in the international community to even discuss armed intervention, but some military analysts suggest that a coalition could establish “no kill zones” in addition to “no fly zones” and “humanitarian corridors” that would protect civilians.

As Aaron David Miller, writing in Foreign Policy notes, each of these ideas represent “an open-ended, ill-advised slide to deeper military involvement without any rigorous calculations of the costs.” While there have been calls to arm the FSA from some Gulf states, most observers believe without knowing more about the rebel army, there is no telling whose hands those arms will end up in. British Foreign Secretary William Hague cautions that it is possible the international community would be arming al-Qaeda in Syria. Responding to a query about arms going to al-Qaeda, Hague said, “That is a consideration in trying to provide practical assistance, it is one of the difficulties we have.” He added, “The opposition has not formed a united group.”

And that’s why even the non-military aid proposed by Secretary Panetta and others also carries risks. The Secretary was suggesting we send communications equipment and other non-lethal supplies to the rebels. But with the Syrian opposition disorganized, quarreling, and disconnected from the young activists who are running the street protests, it’s hard to see how that aid could be put to good use. Rivalries in the Free Syrian Army between commanders, as well as factions in the civilian opposition, would almost certainly fight over any aid that was given, thus fracturing the anti-Assad forces even further.

While the debate continues at the UN and in various capitals around the world, the horrific nature of Assad’s assault on Homs is just beginning to become known. UN aid workers entered the smashed neighborhood of Baba Amr but there was nobody to help; the sprawling neighborhood where the FSA held out for two weeks against Assad’s tanks and artillery was deserted.

Refugees entering Lebanon have related tales of massacres and atrocities at the hands of Assad’s security forces. One woman told the story of her 12-year-old son being rounded up with 36 other men the day after the FSA retreated. “His throat was cut,” she told the BBC. Another town near Homs was besieged and more than 40 men and boys were arrested, tortured, and summarily executed.

But it was at a military hospital in Homs where smuggled video showed the truly inhuman nature of Assad’s crackdown. The BBC reports on the video, taken by a hospital employee recently:

The footage…shows wards full of wounded men, blindfolded and shackled to their beds.

Some appear to bear marks of extreme beating, and the hospital employee said many patients were whipped and beaten in their beds.

No one questions that Assad’s crackdown is brutal and that his forces have committed war crimes. This may be one reason why 4 more brigadier generals have defected to the rebels. If some of Assad’s commanders can see the end of the regime, they may wish to avoid trials at the Hague for committing crimes against humanity and, like some Nazi generals at the end of World War II, try to establish a record that might mitigate any penalties that would be assessed against them.

It is doubtful that their actions will save them if they have been a part of this atrocity. And with the bloodshed likely to get worse before it gets better, pressure will continue to build on the UN, NATO, and especially the United States, to intervene in order to protect the innocent. In an election year, with a possible conflict with Iran on the horizon, and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan, would president Obama commit American troops to another mission in the Middle East — presumably after getting “permission” from the UN to do so — with the potential down side far outweighing whatever good we could do?

If he does, it is likely that Congress won’t have anything to say about it.

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  • Nakba1948

    "Israeli interests outrank the American Congress…." There, fixed the article's subtitle for you. ;)

    • kafir4life

      allahu snackbar to ya nakkie! allahu snackbar.

    • intrcptr2

      Yeah, as if.

      When Panetta lays authority for deployment of the US military he is not pointing at Israel (Do recall it was this week that Obama once again tried badgering Netanyahu into sitting on his hands). He is rather refrring to your precious pro-Israel United Nations General Assembly.

      Please stop sniffing glue.

    • aspacia

      Nakbathe terrorist lover, It would be in Israel's interests for us to intervene and help oust Assad who is allied with Iran you dolt.

  • truebearing

    Obama has more loyalty to the UN than he does the US. He is a transnationalist by birth. His parents were Muslims and Marxists, and he's never swayed from his dual loyalty.

    How disturbing is it that Obama, who ran for his first elected office participating in Joel Roger's scheme of dual candidacy, or electoral Fusion, would end up being the Marxist/Meccan dual Trojan Horse? Rogers reintroduced Fusion politics as a strategy for the far Left to take over the Democratic Party and now Obama has taken it to new lows as a dual agent for Islam and Marxism.

  • W. C. Taqiyya

    Pay no attention to the Panetta speaking at the table in front of you. He just said the White House will go to war if and when it feels like it. Pay no attention. The Congress needs to do the 'peoples' business. I mean, who else will grab those bags of money to give to their friends back home in Every Town, U.S.A., if not the Congress? I understand most lawmakers are so busy distributing money they have trained horses doing most of the writing, reading and voting on legislation. After all, that kind of work is not important anymore since Obama just does what he wants anyway. Don't know about you buddy, but I'm already playing my fiddle.

    • Tanstaafl

      It was a lyre, Nero played a lyre while Rome burned. Just wanted to be accurate.

  • randy

    Look at the mess and loss of civillian and enlisted life in the unwinable wars that bush started for nothing.

    • old white guy

      will you get over bush the commie obammie is in power now.

    • tagalog

      Those wars President Bush started continue to go on in a context where even our allies are in favor of our troops being murdered and killed, and that recent turn of events is happening under President Obama.

      And if we're looking into military options for America in Syria, where our national interests don't seem to be at stake, I would hope we're also investigating our military options with regard to Iran developing nuclear weapons capability, where our national security could be directly at risk.

    • aspacia

      randy, Wbya was right to invade Afghanistan, and most of the intel shows that Iraq did have WBD's.

      The problem with how the West has prosecuted wars since WWII is we do not go for the unconditional surrender and massacre our enemies as we had previously done.

      Hint, you kill more of them, and avoid dying yourself to win.

  • Haze

    they should start focusing on Koney 2012. :)

  • Stephen_Brady

    So, let me get this stright. You "seek permission" from international authorities before committing the US military to action. Besides the Constitutional issue involved in this, wouldn't this public "seeking" of approval give the enemy a chance to bolster his forces, in preparation for such an attack?

    This is why the Israelis will be alone, when they strike Iran. There is no authority that they must beg for permission to defend themselves.

    US out of UN, and UN out of US …

  • flyingtiger

    Why do I feel that Ceasar has just crossed the Rubicon?

    • intrcptr2

      Alea iacta est.

    • intrcptr2

      By the way, nice name. :)

  • http://rebelontheright.blogspot.com Genie Smith

    Alarming, yes. Surprising, no.

  • pagegl

    Obama and his advisors took an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution. Now, Congress is being told that the adminstration has no intention of honoring that oath. In fact, Congress has been told the adminstration will contravene the oath and the Constitution. When will members of Congress get off their collective arses and initiate impeachment proceedings?

    The left accused Bush of having an imperial presidency, what he did pales in comparison to Obama.

  • randy

    The U.S has no right to attack any country. Congress or no congress

    • intrcptr2

      So Mr Moral prefers that Assad simply continue murdering men, women, and children for his own political ends?

      Its people (No, sorry, such thinking disqualifies you from even that mild honorific), its your type that really gets my blood to boil.


    • aspacia

      We sure do. Remember the Barbary War when were turned Algiers into rubble. Naw, you are a liberal with zero knowledge of history.

  • pyeatte

    I agree that the Congress should be involved but doesn't the President have the authority to commit troops or military power for 50 days before Congress has to approve the action? I believe it was done this way so the President could respond to emergency situations at a moments notice.

  • Wesley69

    International permission????? The US is a sovereign state. We act in our own self interest.

    Under our Constitution, the President gets the approval of Congress before or just after he commits troops to action. Congress can cancel that deployment at any time.

    This is the way it is suppose to work, but the current Occupant of the White House believes he knows best what this country needs. Never mind our founding documents. Never mind the separations of powers. He will act when he sees the need. He wants us to be under UN leadership. He wants the US to play nice with the other nations of the world, which means screw our allies and appease our enemies.

    This President needs to be defeated in 2012 and then we need to clean house.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The Congress should turn Panetta into Pancetta and be ready to deal with a new administration
    after the next elections where the marxist/Islamist/leftist subversives are sent packing………..William

  • Flowreknife_us

    All the Gulf States have their own Military assets. Let them supply what ever side they wish with their own assets and leave us out of it.

    If Congress grew a spine it could OK the destruction of the Syrian Airforce and its chemical weapons storage.
    Clearing the path to Iran and reducing the potential WMD retalation is all we should be doing that fits within our own National security intrests. Let those on the ground fight for the honors of being King of the rubble.

  • intrcptr2

    What I want to know is why not one single Congressman stood up in the committee and announced the initiation of impeachment proceedings against Panetta.

    Can anyone explain, from Supreme Court jurisprudence even, how what he testified under oath about the US military and the White House's responsiblities is not treasonous? At heart, he has just stated aforetime his, and by extension Obama's, intent to utterly foreswear his oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution.

    • W. C. Taqiyya

      Yes, I can propose one reason the entire Congress is sitting down. It's for the same reason the entire Roman Senate silently accepted the Emperor's horse as their newest member. Since Obama can kill anyone in this country or anywhere on earth he decides is a terrorist, I think the Congressmen got the message. No revue, no recourse, no records. Just dead. All hail Obama. Glad to help.

  • Marti

    Congress is a dog and pony show.
    They will do nothing to Pannetta or anyone else in this administration.
    They are spineless money takers!!!!!
    They have neither the spine or fortitude to stand up against our Marxist regime.
    Wasted blood and treasure of our best and brightest all for naught!!!

  • Tanstaafl

    Just what we need. A "Mother, may I?" approach.

  • Fred Dawes

    Our we all living in some third world country? this monkey panetta just said "we are asking permission from international bankers who in fact own this government".

  • guest

    The politically correct have decided congress is un necessary, They ask Muslim brotherhood instead.
    Tis is the Muzzie president at work I think!

  • Saltire

    Sounds like another step toward surrender of our sovereignty to decide our own course of action. This picture definitely, does not look right or good.

  • effemall

    If you want readers of this publication to read what you have to say, make use of the free translation services. Arrêter d'être un idiot.