The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison tells readers, “The real shame of Obama’s Syria policy is not that he has mocked his hawkish detractors, but that he has made the mistake of listening to them at all.”
Daniel writes, “The truth is that the mostly hawkish objections to current Syria policy are “half-baked” and always have been.”
Daniel responds to Bret Stephens’ recent Wall Street Journal op-ed:
Obama’s Syria policy is undoubtedly a mess, but not for any of the reasons Stephens gives. These examples are reminders that his hawkish critics really don’t have anything credible to offer as an alternative. Republicans that threaten to shoot down Russian jets over Syria and want to bomb Syrian government forces arewarmongers. They are openly agitating for policies that will take the U.S. to war against one or more foreign governments with potentially grave consequences for our country. Presenting them as irresponsible hard-liners is not an exaggeration or misrepresentation. It is a fact that they don’t like to have pointed out in public. Clinton may not be “playing politics” by supporting a “no-fly zone,” since that position puts her on the wrong side of most Democratic voters, but it’s perfectly true that presidential candidates can indulge in reckless posturing without serious consequences in a way that a sitting president can’t. In Clinton’s case, Obama was trying to soften the blow of dismissing her position as the folly that it is without explicitly ridiculing her. It’s not Obama’s fault if he correctly points out that his hawkish opponents make terrible arguments and endorse insane policies.
Here’s some on the ground video from VICE News of the battle in Syria. Be warned, some of this is graphic: