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Given the Obama doctrine, won't we soon be bombing Syria?

I'm talking of course about these words spoken by our President in late March in response to events taking place then in Libya:

"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and more profoundly our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are," Obama said "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

The atrocities in Syria are mounting and PajamasMedia is carrying a number of videos chronicling the horror.  Be warned, they are extremely graphic.

From Al Arabiya, reports that 90 were killed yesterday:

At least 90 people were reportedly killed and dozens were injured when Syrian security forces fired live bullets and teargas to disperse "Good Friday" protests in several cities, witnesses reported. The death toll seemed to be rising late Friday.

The reported deaths have created a new crisis for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, raising questions about whether he is fully in control of Syrian security forces. The deaths raise questions about how far Mr. Assad is prepared to go to stay in power, and if the international community will take steps to prevent a humanitarian disaster in this geopolitically strategic Arab country.

The deaths on Friday also bring back memories of large numbers of political opponents who were mowed down by security forces in the city of Hama when Mr. Assad's late father, President Hafez al-Assad was in office. Mr. Assad's brother, Rifaat al-Assad, personally conducted a "scorched earth" campaign in February 1982 against Sunni Muslims who protested against the Alawite regime of Hafez al-Assad. Estimates of those killed in Hama range from 10,000 to 40,000.

On Friday, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets in the southern flashpoint town of Deraa, Moadamia, Latakia, Banias, and the mainly Kurdish northeastern city of Qamishli. Thirty were killed in the southern town of Izzra', 22 in Damascus, 18 in the Homs area and the rest in other towns and villages, activists said, in what was the deadliest day so far during weeks of protest.
Human Rights Watch said in a statement that two boys aged 7 and 10 years old were among those killed in Izzra' as was a 70-year-old man.
"The Syrian authorities have again responded to peaceful calls for change with bullets and batons. They must immediately halt their attacks on peaceful protesters and instead allow Syrians to gather freely as international law demands," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director.

With more demonstrations slated for today, and with a history replete with wholesale slaughter of the opposition, it will likely get much worse before it gets better in Syria.

I imagine that Obama will have to play a couple of rounds of golf before issuing a statement, one likely to counter those issued while defending his Libyan policy.  For if we've learned anything about the man at all in the last two and half years, it's that he has but one core driving principle. 

To fool the electorate into thinking he's something he damned sure is not.  So far, sadly, he's been pretty successful.


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Comments (42)

You don't understand the Ob... (Below threshold)

You don't understand the Obama doctrine at all. We went to Libya on behalf of Iran and the muslim brotherhood. Syria is already in that camp. Obama is doing all he can behind the scene to support Assad.

Obama Doctrine:Reg... (Below threshold)

Obama Doctrine:

Regimes that hate America will be given every opportunity to deal withe their problems even if it means killing their own people. We will drag our feet, evade, stall, drop bombs on cab drivers and then pretend we want regime change.

Regimes that love America will be asked to step down immediately.

This fiasco precisely illus... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

This fiasco precisely illustrates Obama's inexperience and incompetence, leavened with a healthy dollop of garden-variety stupidity.

The whole point of enunciating a foreign policy principle is to establish a precedent that will guide future policy decisions (see, e.g., Monroe Doctrine, Truman Doctrine).

By saying he intervened in Libya for humanitarian reasons, he now has either a) to intervene in every dispute involving a humanitarian issue - Rwanda, Darfur, Sudan, and of course, North Korea, leap to mind - or b) reverse himself, and make clear that his decision was not based on a controlling principle, but rather on a personal whim dressed up with a now defunct controlling principle.

Seriously, how much time has he spent standing in the corner waiting for the paint on the floor to dry?

He should have said that he was intervening because American interests required it, i.e., that it was a judgment call to be made on a case-by-case basis, and thus not controlling for future decisions.

This assumes, of course, that we had to intervene at all. Realistically, the only reason Obama intervened is because he was bounced into it by the Europeans and Arabs, whose interests are much more at stake, and who are even now backwatering to leave Barry to do the dirty work for no reward.

How did they bounce him into it? By making him think that if he didn't, he'd be perceived as weak and vacillatory. So after dithering for a month, he was led by the nose into this. In so doing, he not only appeared weak and vacillatory anyway, but bought chips in an unfolding eff up.

Jesus, what a bozo. Who else would love to get "Barry" in a poker game? I mean, besides all world leaders? I would. He'd go home wearing a barrel.

For the good of the muslum ... (Below threshold)

For the good of the muslum mid-east Barry must stay. For the good of everyone else, Barry must go.

You folks forget the prime ... (Below threshold)

You folks forget the prime directive of all Obama speeches.

What Barry says today, does not mean the same thing tomorrow.


Like everything The One say... (Below threshold)

Like everything The One says, The Obama Doctrine has an expiration date and it has apparently passed.

"And as President, I refuse... (Below threshold)

"And as President, I refused to wait for pictures of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

If I did't know better I'd swear he's trying to blame Bush??

Rick,No we won't b... (Below threshold)


No we won't be bombing Syria anytime soon. Syria has no oil. The only reason we intervened in Libya is at the request of the europeans who get some of their oil from Libya.

And all those lefties bleating no blood for oil during President Bushs' term, simply rubes. Amazing how they support the Libya intervention today.

I know you don't like Obama... (Below threshold)

I know you don't like Obama, you're like a broken record in that regard.

But are you for or against bombing Syria?

The obama doctrine is that ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The obama doctrine is that he will use military power when it furthers his personal aims but not when it advances the interests of the American people. When the two overlap we get lucky.

I'm for none of the above.<... (Below threshold)

I'm for none of the above.

Chico,I am against... (Below threshold)


I am against Bombing Syria and Libya neither are an ally of the US. Their is no reason to believe that the opposition will support pro western democracy.

I also believe it time we pulled out of Afghanistan. The ROE are killing more of our troops with no benefit. it time to bring the troops home and use the money spent replenish supplies and to upgrade all VA hospitals and ensure good outpatient care.

The Obama Doctrine, interve... (Below threshold)

The Obama Doctrine, intervention for humanitarian reasons, is as empty as Obama's suit.

The Libyan intervention is over oil but Obama can't admit that for fear of losing political support.

"I know you don't like Obam... (Below threshold)

"I know you don't like Obama, you're like a broken record in that regard.
But are you for or against bombing Syria?"

Still don't GET IT, do you Chico?

Or do you like your Obamassiah always talking out of both sides of his mouth?

Chica,I would sugg... (Below threshold)
jim m:


I would suggest that most people would be against the purely symbolic bombing of a populace for the political purposes of the President.

Or do you support it when the president is one that you like?

Bombing Syria without a clear purpose and plan is pointless. Do we bomb with the intent of taking down the government? The only time aerial bombing has brought down a government was in WWII following the atomic bomb. The Brits endured the blitz and only strengthened their resolve.

Are you suggesting the obama should be planning an invasion to depose Assad? If not there is no point to bombing his nation.

The same goes for Libya. obama started there with no clear aims or plans and no idea of what an end point was, what success looked like and no way to get out.

At least Bush went into Iraq and afghanistan with a clear purpose: Bring down the government and replace it with democracy. Disagree with the design if you must but at least he had a definition of victory.

I sincerely doubt if obama ever considered what victory looked like because the very notion of American victory is out of the question for him.

I thought the Obama ... (Below threshold)

I thought the Obama doctrine was 9AM tee off time.

I'm with hcddbz, we have th... (Below threshold)

I'm with hcddbz, we have three wars too many right now, stay out of Syria.

But you guys are as incoherent.

You were all in favor of invading Iraq, trying to turn stone-age illiterate Afghanistan into a "democracy" and you were bitching that Obama wasn't bombing Libya before he bombed Libya, at which time you turned around and started bitching that Obama was bombing Libya.

Like Gingrich, he did a quick about face in one week on Libya.

9. Posted by Chico | April ... (Below threshold)

9. Posted by Chico | April 23, 2011 1:58 PM

Got a better idea.
Let's here your opinion.
For or against bombing?
Committing ground troops?

Chica,It isn't tha... (Below threshold)
jim m:


It isn't that people are against bombing Libya and Syria per se. It's that we are against any intervention without a clear purpose.

Is the purpose to depose Gaddafi? Then let's take him out! Quit screwing around with half measures that help him consolidate his position and make the US look weak. It also wastes our resources.

I think people could get behind removing Gaddafi but obama doesn't want to do that. He wants Gaddafi to just go away magically.

Once we engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan the governments there lasted only a few weeks. Had obama the least bit of backbone we'd be done in Libya already.

Yes, Jim, because, just lik... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Yes, Jim, because, just like in Iraq and Afghanistan, once those regimes were gone, we were "done." Right?

Perhaps. But we DO know Hus... (Below threshold)

Perhaps. But we DO know Hussein won't be bombing Saudi Arabia. Too much of his campaign money comes from the King and royal family!!

Is the purpose to depose... (Below threshold)

Is the purpose to depose Gaddafi? Then let's take him out! Quit screwing around with half measures that help him consolidate his position and make the US look weak. It also wastes our resources.

Colonel Jim! Give me an operational plan for "taking him out" as quickly as you'd like.

For the purposes of the plan, assume that Gaddafi, like Saddam Hussein was and Bin Laden is, hiding, and that aerial action alone may not "get" him.

And no, "nuking Tripoli with 10 MT" is not a serious plan.

You may use ground forces, but be aware that the situation could turn Iraqy real quick.

The time for acti... (Below threshold)

The time for action in Libya that would have served it's intended purpose was during the first week.

The task would have been eradicate Ghadaffi, negate his air force, and then scoot. Following that, the rebels and any Euro country connected economically would have been told "Okay, gang, it's your ball".

Instead we got Obama and his usual approach.

I am against intervening in... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I am against intervening in Libya or Syria. We have no national interest in either govt changing or staying. Either is about the same to us. In the meantime we tell the UN go fuck yourself. You dont like us going what we need to do so you go do it WITHOUT US. Same for France and Germany. let them start picking up some of their national security tab.

I am for closing about half the bases in europe. Let Europe start paying more of the defense tab so their socialist govts can go down the drain that much faster and then people will actually try to improve their lot instead of sucking off the govt tit.

Chico,Let's make t... (Below threshold)


Let's make this simple Afghanistan. Supported a group that killed 3k Americans on 9/11. A group that we ignored as they kept killing Americans.

Iraq attacked an American ally we went to war. We had conditional cease fire, it was violated.

Remember we had 18 months to decide debate about Iraq.

Chica,Thank you fo... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Thank you for proving my point in #23. Aerial bombardment won't do it and you need to go in on land. I don't need to provide an operational plan since I don't have the knowledge and we employ a military in this country to do that. obama's mistake is not asking for such a plan before getting involved.

And as for Bruce: It isn't about being done but it is about defining what victory looks like. The objective isn't just to get in and get out, but to have something meaningful that you want to achieve. Getting rid of Hussein and the Taliban were concrete objectives that we achieved. We won in both of those cases.

In the case of Libya, obama has not been clear about the objective. He has said that Gaddafi needs to go. However, he has not made any sort of plan to actually achieve that objective.

You'll have to pardon Chico... (Below threshold)

You'll have to pardon Chico, he had his head up his ass during 9/11 and the aftermath when the Taliban refused to turn Osama and company over to us. And that long debate over Iraq was during his nap time.

His memory is highly selective. As it is with many Democrats in Congress.

Retired military for Presid... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Retired military for President!

Chico, pull woops head out ... (Below threshold)

Chico, pull woops head out of your ass!

So galoob can breath a lit... (Below threshold)

So galoob can breath a little.

And woop can get his head b... (Below threshold)
retired military:

And woop can get his head back up there.

Well while we discuss serio... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Well while we discuss serious issues like medicare, SS, jobs, the economy What is Obama doing?

April 23, 2011
President is playing golf at Andrews

Despite sprinkles just before we left the White House, the president is playing golf at Andrews AFB. Motorcade left the White House at 12:32 p.m. and arrived at Andrews at 12:56 p.m. Ben Finkenbinder, David Katz and Marvin Nicholson round out the foursome.

I get a feeling that we spend more time discussing the issues than obama does. We damn near get as much done as he does.

Fair and balanced<... (Below threshold)

Fair and balanced

Barry tees off, You decide..

Aerial bombardment won't... (Below threshold)

Aerial bombardment won't do it and you need to go in on land.

Great, you want a land invasion of another country. Shit, it's worked out so well in Afghanistan and Iraq, so why not? Why not Syria, too?

I'm sure the Army and USMC will be so happy, they haven't been deployed enough, spent enough time away from their families.

Chica,So you faile... (Below threshold)
jim m:


So you failed the reading comprehension parts of all you tests didn't you?

I said that if the purpose is to depose Gaddafi that we had to do that. Otherwise there was no way to achieve the objective. I did not say that I wanted a land invasion.

I said that I wanted a clear objective and a plan to achieve that objective. obama offers neither.

Funny how the left who whined about Bush trying to start a war against the whole of the muslim world now has given us a President who is doing just that and they are right behind him in their support.

It wouldn't be so bad if Ob... (Below threshold)

It wouldn't be so bad if Obama would just commit to one course or another-but what he's doing is the geopolitical equivalent of voting "Present". He's there, but in a minimalist way, he can take credit if whatever he does is a success, and can shed blame if it fails.

This has served him well in the past, and there's no reason for him to think it won't work as President. He's not terribly self-analytic, and seems to think all that's needed is a good speech and he's done with the job.

But you need more than oratorical skills and the ability to vote "Present". Does Obama have that?

Chi coUnder BHO IR... (Below threshold)

Chi co

Under BHO IRAN. Killed students and we said we would not intervene, their was rig election and we did nothing.

In Pakistan a country we have troops in we question visibly support the opposition knowing that whatever Goverment is in power we will need to work with them.

In Egypet we told a supporter to just step down. We do not work with him behind the scenes we publicly humiliate him.

In Libya it about Human rights.
So what is it in Syria?

All this time we are abounding Isreal. You do realize that by doing that we made the Middle East less stable. If the USA can forsake a long time friend it means that we cannot be trusted.

So Chico explain under BHO what is our forgien policy?

Chico"I'm sure the A... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"I'm sure the Army and USMC will be so happy, they haven't been deployed enough, spent enough time away from their families.


Oh wait. Is this the same Army and USMC whose pay you were comparing to teachers in another thread? And you were shown that not only did the teachers make more money but only worked 9 months out of the year as well.

So Chico. I must admit I didnt read all of your responses on this thread. Did you ever answer your own question? What would you do?

I am totally against any Am... (Below threshold)

I am totally against any American setting foot on any foreign soil unless total war is declared by Congress.
Having served in Vietnam, and with sons and grandsons veterans of the Gulf and Afghanistan and parents who were both military members during WWII I think I can say that beginning with WWII we have never really fought a war to the bitter end. At the supposed end of WWII, we quit, and instead of just coming home we stayed and paid reparations to the countries we fought in. In Korea, Vietnam, the WTF in Europe, Iraq (both times) Afghanistan, Mogadishu, ?Libya, the American troops we have sent over have always have had politically correct regulations imposed upon them by our politicians. We knowingly allowed the Soviet Union to take over eastern europe, we were run out of Korea and Vietnam by the Chinese, radical muslim are taking over Iraq as we leave, anyone seeing Blackhawk Down knows the goat screw of mogadishu. NOT because we don't have the finest and best equipped military in the world, but because we have gutless politicians who care more about how we are perceived by the world community (most of which would not exist as they are today without our aid). Not only that we are inundated with assholes like Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Barrak Obama ad nauseum giving aid and comfort to the enemy, supporting even stupider restriction as banning the use of napalm, land mines and cluster bombs, and white phosphorus.
If we have to intervene overseas, then send it airmail, take out the military/industrial complexes and charge the nation for our assistance. Let THOSE whose country it is sort it out on the ground. The mideast is our problem, we created it. Again, chickenshit politicians, the gutless wonders we elect, won't develop our own resources, natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear power. Hell, they won't even protect or let us protect our own borders against invasion. When did we last build a refinery? We can build water, power, electricity facilities, schools, hospitals overseas, and can't/won't give our wounded soldiers, and/or our citizens decent medical care, education, and protection. Anyone see a problem here? 545 "officials" in government are shoveling all this shit down our throats - and over 300,000,000 are chowing down on it like its manna from heaven. We denigrate and ridicule one religion and supress it's values, outlaw display of it tenets, and turn around and protect and encourage something that is not even really a religion that believes if you are not a follower, you can and should be lied to and killed. For them, we insist our children be forced to learn their philosophy of hatred, build footbaths in public facilities, consider their "laws", and allow them to participate in activities contrary to our own laws and mores.
We are at a pivotal point in our history, we either take back our government and country or we bend over and kiss our asses goodbye, and that of our decendants. FUCK IT, I'M FIGHTING!!

FUCK IT, I'M FIGHTING!!<... (Below threshold)


Somehow, Olsoljer, I was thinking of Cotton Hill when I read your comment.

Retired, I've said it many times: we should not be bombing Libya or Syria, we should get out of Afghanistan and Iraq and shut down bases around the world.

Actually, Chico has a point... (Below threshold)

Actually, Chico has a point here. Many blog entries and comment threads have dealt with the deficit/debt issue. Since we live in a Special Interest State (a government by, for and about the "squeakiest" special interest groups), the only solution to the revenue/spending problem will involve something like "common sacrifice." That is, all the competing "interests" will have to be led to the metaphorical table to agree to sacrifice something they want, on a more or less equal basis.

One of the "sacrifices" that the USG and its citizens will have to make involves a restructuring of our national defense strategy. It is my personal opinion, for what it's worth, that the first order of business will have to be a renunciation of most, if not all, of the "collective security" commitments the U.S. made during the Cold War. That particular guiding principle is no longer valid. Such an action will mean a much lower permanent military profile overseas. The military should from this point onward only be used in response to clear and present national security threats. Again, personally, the Afghan/Iraq campaign was justified. But only to the point where the "threats" were removed. We're well past that point now. Nation building is not a valid justification.

Unfortunately, it's hard to decipher what Obama's foreign policy actually is. But the Libya fiasco seems to indicate that a call by "the international community" for U.S. military response to a threat to the human rights of non-U.S. citizens is worth of the expenditure of U.S. blood and treasure. That has the unintended consequence of subsuming USG foreign policy to international or regional political alignments which are in no way consistent with a conservative (meaning limited and cautious) assessment of national interest. In other words, no more Libyas (or Syrias or Darfurs or similar adventures). Pretty please! And "protection" of the ME and oil? What else are they going to sell? Sand for glass making? Finally, discovering that Obama is a hypocrite is like discovering that ice is cold.

"seems to indicate that a c... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"seems to indicate that a call by "the international community" " means nothing more than "hey US, you go do it and we will sharpshoot and take pot shots all day long"






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