‘Limited’ warfare, my ass

Call me a knee-jerk pacifist, but where the hell is the upside in this?

The probability of a lot of the wrong people getting croaked seems high to me, as does the price tag for a nation that can’t seem to budget for much that doesn’t involve blowing shit up. The odds that a few cruise missiles will deter Syria’s further use of chemical weapons, meanwhile, strike me as poor.

As for such an attack shoring up our “credibility,” I’m not certain we still have any of that in this particular neck of the woods. And I’m getting a little tired of presidents dragging us into these things while the Congress plays with its pud.

The Nation‘s editors make their case against military intervention. The New York Times editorial board says Obama hasn’t made his case for such an attack. So far I’m with the naysayers on this one.


29 Responses to “‘Limited’ warfare, my ass”

  1. matlinp Says:

    Whoever wants this war has to ante $1,000,000.00 cash. Whatever is raised is the budget for the war. Let the warmongers put their money where their pie holes are. And their first born goes on the front line.

  2. Stan Thomas Says:

    I’m a pacifist, no knee-jerking needed ( ‘least when it comes to lobbing cruise missiles over the wall – scumbag SUV drivers, well that’s another matter entirely…)

    But I am pleased to see that, in the British Parliament at least, good sense has prevailed. Shocking and deplorable as the whole situation is, blowing up a few military bases isn’t going to help anyone.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      And good on the Parliament, which is showing a good deal more sense than our lot. And on Cameron, too, who seems to realize there is no purpose — and no desire — for this thing among his people.

    • Patrick O'Brien Says:

      I second a “pat on the back” for the Parliament. And Stan you are right. There is nothing to be gained for anyone by “punishing” the few bases that aren’t hidden among the population centers. Now a Hellfire missile up the asshole’s tailpipe that just drove by with the 600 watt subwoofer is justified.

    • Stan Thomas Says:

      I have been struck by the comments from the pro-bombing lobby this morning. They focus on how the rejection “diminishes Britain’s place in the World”. Very little said about the suffering of the Syrian people. And that, I think, explains the reluctance of the public here to get involved. It’s all about lobbing a few missiles Assad’s way to show off Britain’s cajones. Even the pro camp don’t really believe it goes any way towards fixing the appalling mess in Syria.

  3. Larry T. Says:

    I think spraying nerve gas on your citizens DOES cross a red line as Obama warned. But UNLESS there’s a real coalition of the rest of the world willing to endorse some punishment, we need to leave the missiles where they are. If all we want to do is punish the regime, there should be no hurry, we can always tell ’em what the reason was after the s__t comes down on ’em. The saddest thing to me is that we wasted so many lives and so much loot on TWO (count ’em) TWO wars that had no real reason behind them…everyone is sick and tired of these adventures…right when it might actually be morally right to get into one with Syria….and the USA’s credibility in these matters is pretty close to zip as a result.

  4. Khal Spencer Says:

    First of all, the President should not act unilaterally (and dare I say, unconstitutionally). Congress has not declared war since 1941, but has given its advice and consent in 1991, 2001, and 2002 when the U.S. used military might against Iraq twice and the Taliban once. Lets recall how surgical those strikes were, and how easy it was to extricate ourselves.

    Secondly, one has to ask what we would accomplish. No one is talking about flying a cruise missile up Assad’s ass while he is taking a shit. By failing to take down the dictator, we potentially will only add to that nation’s woes. If we do destabilize Syria to the point where the government falls, we will, as we did in 2003, inherit a quagmire beset by sectarian strife and regional conflict. Finally, one has to ask what is our immediate strategic interest, our humanitarian interest, whether we know the difference, and how the fuck the military option will accomplish our mission(s).

    Wars, as we should know by now, are easy to enter and difficult to end. Its not the President or Congress who ultimately pay the bills, either. Its the blood of the GI and the treasure of the taxpayer. That, by the way, is why the Founders tried to ensure that we would not go to war on the whim of one man alone.

    This sucks.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We seem destined to learn the same bloody lessons, over and over again. Or not learn them, as the case may be.

      • James Says:

        I believe that is the definition of insanity…which would be about right for something like this. But then again by refutation that makes me sane…so there is that! Selah.

  5. md anderson Says:

    I find it telling that the same press that was parroting everything the Bush Admin was saying regarding Iraq is oh so skeptical now that it’s Obama in the hot seat. Perhaps they learned their lesson, but I think something else is in play here.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yep. You’ll notice the Congress is starting to get its back up, too, after decades of rubber-stamping whatever the executive felt like doing. Derned uppity Kenyan Mooslim socialistical usurpers.

      • Larry T. Says:

        Well now, that’s another story – if it was Uncle Mitty in the White House I think the Repuglicans would be all for invading Syria…and Egypt too. The only mitigating factor now is so many of their rich backers are now reaping their fortunes right here at home via fracking, making the Middle East not quite as important these days. Combine that with “anything Obama’s for, we’re against” and it’s not hard to understand their reluctance. Just don’t confuse any of that reluctance with common sense, ethics or morality.

  6. Flahute Says:

    Point the first: I am not in favor of getting into another un-winnable war; however, I do think world powers need to do something to support the Syrian people against a tyrant who is killing them with chemical weapons. What that is, I don’t know …

    Point the second: Even if you believe in the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (which *NO* President has supported since it was passed by Congress, with enough votes to override Nixon’s veto), the Resolution still allows the President to commit forces for up to 60 days (with an additional 30 day withdrawal period) without Congressional approval, with a requirement that they notify Congress within 48 hours.

    The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, not make war. The President, as Commander-in-Chief, has always had the power to make war without Congressional approval, although most people interpret that as allowing the President to use the armed forces to repel invaders on US territory rather than to send armed forces outside of the US.

    In fact, the last time that Congress declared war was World War II, although they have authorized military action thereafter, and while both Presidents Reagan and Clinton both violated terms of the War Powers Resolution, but as yet, no congressional action has made it to the Supreme Court for a definitive ruling on the matter.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      Maybe its time we go read the Federalist Papers and other such stuff. I don’t think it was the Founders idea to let presidents play with tanks and cruise missiles (or 12 pounders, carronades, and sabres) unimpeded by checks and balances.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That the president chooses to exercise war-making power without congressional approval is not enshrined in the Constitution. He’s the commander in chief, but the declaration of war resides with the Congress.

      The language is clear, but once the executive branch began overreaching its constitutional limitations, the legislative branch chose to let it keep happening. This is partly because in the Senate you have a hundred assholes — each of whom thinks he or she can be president — who don’t want anyone telling them what to do once they finally thrust themselves into the Oval Orifice. Meanwhile, in the House, you have 435 yahoos who would rather be backseat drivers with a veto over the dude behind the wheel than be caught on the permanent record as opposing or supporting the war du jour.

      And finally, you have the Supreme Court, which would rather see live, rabid weasels crawling up its legs under those black robes than clearly draw a line between the legislative and executive when it comes to making war.

      Late update: Here’s a supporting take from Scott Lemieux at The American Prospect.

  7. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    No action at all unless UN sanctioned, after irrefutable evidence is presented, with unanimous Security Council approval. This is a secular war, Sunni vs Shiite, with Iran and Saudi Arabia as the folks in the background again. It is not our business at all, and there is nothing to be gained by anyone, especially us or the Syrian people. By the way, the $3 trillion charges for the last two wastes of blood and treasure are still on the fucking credit card.

    Speaking of misery, beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Ragweed is proof that the devil is an asshole, hates our guts, and want us to be miserable. Sumbitch must have stock in Kimberly Clark.

    On a brighter note, my LBS says they can build my ES just the way I want for $1350. That would be 105 34/50 compact crank and SLX rear derailleur and 11/32 cassette to insure my knees last as long as I do. What say you boys and girls. Should I let the moths out of the wallet?

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      What PoB sez.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Word. And yes, buy the velo-goodies. That sounds like the last nickel bargain in America.

    • Larry T. Says:

      Yeah, who was the guy in the ‘Shrub administration who said the war (can’t even remember which one of the follies it was) would cost us a trillion greenbacks before it was over? He was canned right away, but he’s having the last laugh wherever he is….but then again most of the pricks who claimed “this war will pay for itself” are probably laughing too. At us, the fools who will be paying for it…and paying for it….
      Get the bike!!!! A 34 X 32 low gear should get you up anything – I run 30 X 29 on my personal bike in Italy and can (barely) still climb the vicious Passo Mortirolo on it.

    • Patrick O'Brien Says:

      Larry and Patrick, I value your advice and took it. Ordered the Soma ES today. 105 drivetrain with the exception of the SLX rear derailleur and cassette. 105 STI shifters/brake levers with Shimano BR650 long reach caliper brakes. The shop will build the wheels with 105 hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims, 32 spokes, and 700×25 Marathon Green Guard tires. The other components are Salsa with red Salsa cork gel tape on the handle bars. Shimano SPD A520 pedals and Terry Liberator saddle. 105 stuff is the silver color. First bike I will have ever owned where I selected every part myself.

  8. Khal Spencer Says:

    Interesting reading.


  9. Sharon Says:

    The US does not have the funds or credibility to right every perceived wrong in the world . . . and last time I checked we still have plenty of work to do here at home. The UN is supposed to step up . . . if they don’t why do they exist. If we take aim and fire, no matter what immediately happens, it will not turn out well for us in the end – guaranteed.

  10. Jeff Cozad Says:

    No good will come (or has come of this). The only folks that will benefit from this is Raytheon when we “restock” the $100 million dollars worth of TLAMs that will be going boom.

    The cynic in me (Really Jeff, cynical?) is that the House ReThugs will use this as grounds for their impeachment circus.

    No good at all.

  11. khal spencer Says:

    From Federalist #69, The Real Character of the Executive, by Alexander Hamilton


    “…Secondly. The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature….”

    Anyone find anything else relevant?

  12. Charley Says:

    We don’t need to play (fight) in that sandbox!

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