Thursday, September 5, 2013

Syria - Agreeing with Betty McCollum?

I currently find myself in agreement with the early Betty McCollum opposition to Syrian intervention. Probably not for the same reasoning, but the end result is agreed.  However will that agreement be longer than a fleeting moment?

Betty McCollum has always been consistently and vocally against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Sometimes to the detriment of truth to the American people (relating to the level of the Al Qaeda threat, while Betty McCollum has stated "Al Qaeda is not longer a threat", they really still are, as Lara Logan explains the lie).  But now that it is a Democrat President, and her mentor Nancy Pelosi is solidlyhere and here acting as a war hawk, seeking authorization for War, is Betty McCollum showing signs of reversing her heretofore solidly anti-war stance?

Betty McCollum voted against authorization for use of Military Force against Iraq.  She was steadfastly against Iraq and Afghanistan actions.  This action similarly based but one of its several rationales on use of chemical weapons. Later the evidence was found lacking, but prior to that point all intelligence agencies, notably the French, were saying they were there.  However at the time there were also UN approved authorizations, world wide acknowledgement, Congress voted 296 to 133 for action, the American people were predominately for such action as well.  Several months (18 or more) were spent working with the UN and Congress to provide diplomatic efforts and sanctions to try to get Saddam Hussein to change.

So is she changing her tone now?  This action has but one rationale, the use of chemical weapons.

2/9/2013 from her website she voices strong condemnation, no hint of intervention

I strongly support President Obama's efforts to work with America's western and Arab allies to stop the bloodshed. Though China and Russia have chosen to stand with Assad, the world will not. Already, nations across the Middle East and throughout the world are expelling Syrian diplomats, tightening sanctions, and ratcheting up pressure on the Syrian government. The time has come for President Assad to step down, and for the Syrian people to determine their own future.

 from her website hints at possible escalation, though undesirable
Now is the time for measures that will bring strategic pressure to prevent an escalation of the conflict, rather than add to the wanton violence of a situation already out of control. Unilateral U.S. military action against the Syrian regime at this time would do nothing to advance American interests, but would certainly fuel extremist groups on both sides of the conflict that are determined to expand the bloodshed beyond Syria’s borders.”

9/3/2013 from her website  hints at possibly being convinced
As I have stated previously, the U.S. should not take unilateral military action, but it is clear the Obama Administration is making significant diplomatic efforts to seek support from a host of nations, especially Arab League nations, for a limited military strike. President Obama’s plan can only be successful if the world is standing with the U.S.”

“It is my intention to return to Washington tomorrow, attend additional briefings, and consult with the Administration and Congressional colleagues.  President Obama must make the case and earn the support of the American people and Congress, including this representative, for limited and effective military action against the Syrian regime.  I applaud the President for fully engaging Congress in this critically important decision.”

So will she continue to be strident in her opposition for military action? Or will Betty McCollum follow her mentor Nancy Pelosi in now voting for Obama's Second War?  Her last statement would seem to indicate her evolution in thinking.  She also voted NO on on banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval. Hinting at a new openness to military action by Democrat President Obama.

But wait, the verdict is still out on the validity of the basis for the entire argument.  Intelligence sources have been mixed at best.  There was an Israeli interception of Assad communication that would imply Assad was taking such an action.  However there have been UN reports (from Huffington Press) that the syrian rebels, many if not most now are Al Qaeda terrorists, may have been the source of the sarin gas, and a Russian report to the UN where Putin claims:
Russia says a deadly March sarin attack in an Aleppo suburb was carried out by Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, and it has delivered a 100-page report laying out its evidence to the United Nations. 
The later, Aug 21, sarin gas attack does seem more likely to be an Assad forces action.  However in this chaotic environment one would want to be a little cautious about exuberant behavior here.  There are no "good guys".

Nevertheless its getting embarrassing as previously anti war liberals jump forth to support Obama's Second War, with Howard Dean being one of the most recent nonsense talking heads.

Military action is not always a bad thing, nor one that should be dogmatically opposed.  But the mission rationale for US involvement, which seems sadly lacking, planning, both the action and the followup must be carefully planned, and well executed.  And here is where we see the most damning case against military action in Syria.  The utter incompetence of this CINC and his cohorts in the State Department.  A perfect military action can be not merely wasted but turned into a complete disaster by the political mismanagement that is evidenced in Obama's First War in Libya. An outcome that has benefited no one but Al Qaeda.  More on that next time.

Perhaps Betty McCollum needs some reinforcement about constituent views, which are overwhelmingly, 60%, against action in Syria.  If you would like to send her an email contact her here.

Update: bringing new meaning to the word fleeting, as I did a final look at email I found the Betty McCollum has made the transition to supporting military action.  Who knew..  Call and tell her your displeasure.

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