Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syrian War Intervention: Polls And Russia Step Into The Breach

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From Denny:  Well, it's official; Americans see no positive end game in Syria.  Americans refuse to go to war yet again in the Middle East.  Because people all over the world are in agreement with the American people, suddenly Congress and this President are in a political quandary.

Politicians know going against the majority in America means the end of their careers - and a whole lot of historians writing contemptuous things about them for posterity.  Thousands of Americans called and yelled at their national politicians to stop this madness.  Yet why does President Obama still act like it doesn't matter if Congress votes him down because he will move forward and bomb Syria back into the Stone Age?..

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Well, first off, there is the War Powers Resolution (WPR) that President "Tricky Dick" Nixon enacted in 1973 so he could do whatever he pleased militarily, bypassing the permission of Congress as is written into the Constitution.  Obama believes this WPR gives him permission without the necessary approval of Congress.  The only problem is that it is only applies when the United States is directly attacked.  So far, Syria has not directly attacked America.  Of course, all bets are off if he does, much to the unmitigated glee of the Pentagon and the Office of Net Assessment.

Nixon was a guy all about "law and order" but he sure enjoyed flouting the law whenever he could because he believed "the end justified the means."  Is the same true with this President, Barack Obama?   He flouts the Constitution on a regular basis - this from the same guy who used to teach constitutional law.  Isn't it interesting how absolute power really does corrupt absolutely - in every generation? It would help if Obama had an original thought instead of parroting the Brookings Institution Middle East experts like Michael Doran who apparently have no people skills to complement their knowledge of the region.  It's clear who sold this policy to Obama.

The problem is that Obama, Team Obama and Michael Doran have violated the basic rule of good salesmanship:  when you have to sell this hard to sell your product - military strikes against Syria - then you are selling the wrong product.  Oh, that policy wonks and government types would begin their careers and apply for jobs where they can learn two basic skills before they take up running governments:  wait on tables and take a sales job on commission only.  Those two jobs are valuable to teach people skills, humility and salesmanship.  It's possible to learn a lot of valuable knowledge to last a life time about the desires and behavior of people.

To deal with Oval Office residents allowing too much power taking up residence in their heads it appears the Republicans have awakened after 40 years of excessive military aggression at the drop of a hat.  There is legislation up for consideration to repeal, stomp and terminate the War Powers Resolution (WPR), sponsored by House member Scott Garrett (R-NJ).  That's the first intelligent move America has seen from Congress in decades.

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Now on to the Russians, otherwise affectionately known as Denny's Fightin' Yard Cats.  They sure do like to hiss and throw paws at my American Junk Yard Dogs, barking to get off the choke chain the American people and Congress have placed upon them.

The Russians have stepped into the breach, working hard on a positive solution to deal with idiot reckless Assad in Syria.  When Sec. of State Kerry blurted out spontaneously that taking away Syria's chemical weapons is the only way to avert military strikes, the light bulb came on for the Russians and they jumped at the chance to bring down the political temperature.  I figured Syria would love the idea and they have quickly agreed.  The United Nations is working out the details.

Removing the chemical weapons is a good first step.  Let's get that accomplished and go from there - minus all the political posturing, yelling and demands from both America and France.  At least Russia is trying to do some good here.  Give them time to accomplish it but set a time limit.  This really does not need to drag out beyond a few days to get the U. N. resolution.

It will take a good month to get the inspectors into the country and retrieve the weapons, preferably with the assistance of the Russians since they have a naval base there already.  The important focus is to remove these weapons from falling into the rebels' hands since they have foolishly allied themselves with far too many terrorist groups.  The story with Assad is far from finished but let's get the first chapter written before moving on to finish the novel.

And then there's Saudi Arabia.  They are spitting angry America is delaying bombing Syria out of existence since it's clear they have a religious war agenda to wipe out more of the opposition.  For some time now Saudi Arabia has been pushing America to do their dirty work.  If they want Syria bombed then let them do it.  It's their front yard.  All this garbage claiming they were going to pay for America's expense to bomb Assad out of his regime is really obnoxious on so many levels.  Americans know that fund would never get funded, leaving taxpayers on the hook yet again.  Since when did the American military and American President become Saudi Arabia's personal body servants anyway?

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And then there's yet another agenda floating in that back field in motion:  the Pentagon's super secret inner think tank, the Office of Net Assessment.  It's run by 92-year-old Andrew Marshall since it's inception in 1973.  Notice that year:  1973, the same year the War Powers Resolution was enacted to release a mad President Nixon and the same year that Nixon began this think tank.

Nixon initiated this think tank as a way to help himself and future Presidents since Presidents rarely have much time to do deep thinking about each issue facing the country.  Their job at this think tank?  To think about unthinkable scenarios, to do long term planning, to innovate anyway they can to help Presidents shape foreign policies.  It was a great idea.  The only problem is that this Office of Net Assessment has been slowly getting off course a little at a time over 60 years to the point it is completely off course.

While we all know no one can plan for everything, well, these guys try to do just that, to the point of hysteria and paranoia at times.  There are several problems here.  A cult status has built up around Andrew Marshall, which he has not discouraged over the years, enjoying the fawning deference from those whom he has mentored.  It's great that he tried to mentor many people, moving them into government jobs.  The problem is that he profiled for analytical ability but did not consider emotional maturity or spiritual stability in his calculations.  His proteges?  People like acidic VP Dick Cheney, Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the list goes on with aggressive neo-cons and paranoid conservatives.

For the past 40 years this Office of Net Assessment has focused the Pentagon and Presidents upon building up the world's largest military without thought to breaking the economy and the lives of the American people.  For 40 years, it's been the vision of Andrew Marshall, affectionately called "St. Andrew" by his colleagues and his office nicknamed as "St. Andrew's Prep" for those mentored, to consider every diabolical nightmare vision that could involve America.  The problem with such a warped world view is that people start with sledgehammering square pegs into round holes and they just can't seem to stop.

It's clear the Pentagon and this President are so hot to destroy Syria because they really have another agenda: probably clearing out some terrorist nests.  Well, guess what, guys, playing the game of Whack-A-Mole with terrorists hasn't worked for well over a decade.  Terrorists are cockroaches; all they will do is lay more eggs and hatch out another 200 terrorists for every one killed.  We must go to the roots of terrorism to deal with it far more effectively.  One thing is for sure:  the last thing America needs to be doing is getting in the middle of an Islamic religious war, doing the bidding of whomever is most adept at manipulating us.

And, while I'm ticking off the entire Pentagon, like I do on a regular basis, now hear this:  Quit being so co-dependent upon Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon's Yoda, to do all your thinking for you.  Quit being so lazy and start doing your own thinking.  Anything less means you have not been good students of his anyway.

And, since I can hear Andrew Marshall's screwed-up-angry-face grousing all the way down here in south Louisiana, embroiled in a hissy fit because he was stopped by the American people from carrying out his current plan in Syria, well, he needs a fussing at as well.  It's past due time Marshall start hiring people who can be counted upon to disagree with his ideas and plans, even pick them apart - to polish and make them better.  It's past due time Marshall hire people strong enough to defy him.  Working in an echo chamber isn't healthy for anyone.  Loving the flattery is poisonous to real innovation, especially over 60 years.  And military solutions are never the first answer to any problem.

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