By William Boardman: Jumping the Shark Over Syria!!
President Obama is apparently wobbling on the edge of committing an impeachable offense, specifically a military attack on Syria without the authorization of Congress, without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and without any imminent threat to the United States. The president finds himself pressured on one side by his own rookie mistake on August 20, 2012. "We have been very clear clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation. To judge from the wording of his answer, the president seems to have been trying to not box himself in. He not only failed then, he has failed since to roll back political and media baiting over his supposed "red line", giving it more symbolic authority each time." Now he's caught in his own trap. After several real or apparent earlier uses of some chemical weapons by somebody in Syria, the most recent alleged chemical weapons by somebody in Syria, the most recent alleged chemical weapons attack has some Washington officials reacting hysterically on the basis of limited uncertain information that, they argue, is sufficient basis for the United States to launch a limited but certain military attack on somebody. Gas Over Syria, Mostly Smoke Blown by Politicians With Hidden Agendas. With his secretary of state ranting in high-pitched tones about this "moral obscenity" and that "cowardly crime" committed by the Assad regime, the president seems weak and vacillating. The lawyer who is president might remind the lawyer who is secretary of state that evidence usually precedes judgment, not only in court but also in the process of mature statecraft. Carrying on as if he thought he was the real president, Secretary of State John Kerry blathers with a fatuous pomposity worthy of a caricature head of state, as he jingoes up a war with demagoguoery about the about the would-be enemy. "Our sense of basic humanity is offended, not only by this cowardly crime, but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up. What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standards, it is inexcusable, and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable." The irony is overwhelming: Kerry has accurately described the American use of depleted Uranium weapons that continue to kill men, women, and children every day in Iraq. Depleted Uranium is a chemical, a deadly toxic heavy metal with the added benefit of also being radioactive for billions of years. The chemical weapon apparently used in Syria kills quickly, and using it is a widely-recognized war crime. Not so widely recognized, but just as much a war crime, using DU WMDs not only kills some victims quickly, but goes on killing others slowly, for generations. Why Is Washington So Hot for War Before the Facts Are Known? Kerry was once perceived as a moral man, protesting another American war, in Vietnam. But that was a long time ago. Although he opposed the 1991 Gulf War, he raised no outcry against the criminal use of DU WMDs that mercilessly slaughtered Iraqis and infected the country with toxic air, water, and dust.