It’s time to Break It Down!
It has long been said, politics makes strange bedfellows. Henry John Temple, AKA Lord Palmerson, aformer British Prime Minister, is reputed to have asserted, “Britain has no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies; only interests that are eternal and perpetual.”
Recent elements of the Syrian conflict, an aggressive intra-national quarrel that many observers insist has risen to the level of a civil war, in which government-sponsored chemical warfare and genocide have persuaded Americans to choose sides, in a manner of speaking.
Naturally, no one is for perpetuating the conflict. However, when it comes to the steps Americans favor taking to diffuse the conflict, we, as a nation, are a House divided. Nowhere is that division more palpable than the nexus between President Obama and the Republican Party. Since the beginning of the conflict, which emerged from the Syrian version of the Arab Spring, beginning March 15, 2011, Republicans have attempted to force President Obama to kowtow to their wishes and arm the rebels. They declared Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, Public Enemy Number 1; a true menace to society.
Therefore, it was…until it was not. A funny, rather a peculiar thing, happened on the way writing the 2013 Edition of the History of the World. Cue the USA edit. First, the Assad Regime is alleged to have ramped up chemical attacks on the rebels, still Syrian citizens. There have been earlier reports of the government launching chemical attacks. In those earlier reported attacks, a relatively small number of people died. The numbers have escalated dramatically recently. Thousands of Syrians have died from attacks; most analysts believe Sarin is responsible for an agonizing Death sequence shown on TV’s around the world.
Then in a move that stunned and apparently agitated Republicans, President Obama, said there was tangible evidence that President Assad and Syrian government forces crossed his pre-established Red Line, and called for military intervention. Lo and behold, the sacrosanct ideological dicta of the GOP instantly transformed and mutated, as if there had been a tectonic shift in the very plates that underpin all the Party holds dear. No more adhering to unflinching support of the Military Industrial Complex; now the Guiding Principle, in fact, the only principle that mattered…at least since January 20, 2009, is, whatever President Obama is for, the GOP oligarchy is against. To wit, whereas before, when the President was not supportive of arming the ill-defined rebels, and when he articulated a clear message conveying his intent to terminate, not launch wars, Republicans consistently:
- Demanded the President take action in Syria to support the rebels
- Called the President weak because he did not do so
- Contended the President was letting Israel down by not forcing out Assad
- Accused the President of emboldening Iran and North Korea, via his inaction
- Called for a no-fly zone
- Asked that the President bomb Syrian Airfields, & command and control.
- Implied he could/should take this action unilaterally, specifically, without support in the Region from the Arab, or internationally, from our allies
As has been the case on numerous other issues, the moment the President adapts his position to incorporate the view that it is imperative to act, the GOP gets a raging case of snow blindness, and expresses pure unadulterated disdain for the President’s plan to attack Syria. They even demanded that he seek Congressional approval for taking the action, even though a limited action, such as that proposed by POTUS, does not require approval by that august body.
It is not hard to imagine, members of the GOP expected the President to by-pass them. Instead, the President acquiesced and once again gave Republicans a template for forging a bi-partisan alliance; a vexing one-word solution…compromise.
For more than two years, Republicans lobbied relentlessly for this moment. Once the President offered it up on a platter; go figure! In somewhat of a yin, yang situation, many Republicans have donned their political body armor, and claim they are ready to vote against endorsing the action the President requested. “So Whose War Is This, Anyway?”
I’m done; holla back!
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