I have already commented on Syria earlier this morning, but to summarize: whatever military action we may (or may not) take is not as important as what our goal should be – namely, the downfall of the Assad regime and its replacement with a government not tied to al Qaeda. That will take a lot more than a few cruise missiles fired for the purpose of ensuring we are “not to be mocked” (Los Angeles Times via Hot Air):
One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.
The moment the Administration made clear it did not want to oust Assad, this was the inevitable landing point. In fact, merely using the phrase “just muscular enough not to get mocked” ensures that mockery is exactly what will follow.
The irony (easily visible and painfully obvious, but it’s irony nonetheless) is that had Washington been funding and arming the non-Wahhabist rebels from the start, he wouldn’t have needed to conduct any military action at present. The world would know he is trying to remove Assad, and this would be just one more piece of evidence that he was doing the right thing. Instead, he may end up being pushed into doing it by Congress (Washington Times).
Meanwhile, Obama may have already knocked over one government – in Great Britain (Telegraph, UK):
David Cameron tonight suffered one of his biggest setbacks as Prime Minister after MPs refused to support Government plans to participate in military strikes against Syria.
Up to 50 Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs sided with Labour to defeat a Government motion by a majority of 13.
Within minutes of the embarrassing defeat, the Prime Minister said that he understood that there was not support for British action against Syria and indicated he would abandon any such plans.
“I strongly believe in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons but I also believe in respecting the will of this House of Commons,” Mr Cameron said.
“It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the Government will act accordingly”
There were shouts of “resign” from the Labour benches as the results were read out by John Bercow, the Commons Speaker.
What Hath The One Wrought?
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal