Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Syria. And Then What?

Newt Gingrich is a disagreeable man in the worst sense of “disagreeable.” He set the stage that Carl Rove, an equally despicable political operative, exploited to create the current childish legislative stalemate in Washington, D.C.

As Speaker of the House, Gingrich was the first Republican leader to threaten to shut the government down if he didn’t get his way at budget time. Fortunately, President Clinton called the speaker’s bluff and he backed off. Later, Gingrich led the impeachment troops against Clinton in an effort to persuade people that lying about some casual sex acts constituted “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Even some of his closest allies couldn’t stomach going along with that line of nonsense.

The geezer agrees with a thoroughly disagreeable pol
The geezer has difficulty finding any area of agreement with Gingrich. But this week I found myself in complete agreement with no less than five public statements by the failed Congressman and presidential candidate. Gingrich does not want the U.S. to enter the Syrian civil war with military action. In interviews with reporters and on the internet, he said:

* The recent atrocities in Syria and those that have taken place over the past two years are deplorable and inhuman. Before bombing Syria over the regime’s latest crimes, however, we should stand back and ask, “And then what? I agree.

* A brief bombing campaign in Syria might make the U.S. and its allies feel like they are doing something, but it will prove nothing. It is unlikely to tip the scales in the civil war to favor the rebels. I agree.

* Both sides in Syria are bad. One is a brutal dictator, and the other includes radical Islamists and terrorists who are dangerous now and who would be brutal in power if given the chance. I agree.

* We will not be able to spend the time, money, and blood needed to create a desirable outcome in Syria. There is no victory to be had there. I agree.

* Conflicts in Syria, Egypt, and Libya are small threats compared with the disaster that could ensue and the lives that would be endangered if Iran succeeds in its drive for nuclear weapons. We should focus on the truly big threat instead of the headlines of the day or we will face much worse headlines in the future. I agree.

Haven’t we learned enough about the tremendous and unsustainable costs of removing minor despots in the Middle East? Mr. President, this is no time for an ego trip to show how tough you can be. Sit back and ask, “And then what?”  


PiedType said...

I agree! (And I may frame your first paragraph.) said...

He is disagreeable, but from time to time Gingrich makes great sense. Yes, going into Syria would be a mistake I think.

When Bush invaded Iraq, 83 percent of the public agreed with his move, and Congress gave him approval. Obama has none of that as most people think Syria is not our immediate problem and Congress will probably not give Obama permission. I am reading Britain is getting cold feet too.

I love John McCain, but this time I disagree with the "going in" statement he made a week or so ago. I agree with the current thinking that it is far too late to do much of anything except make matters worse. The time to act is over.


Tom Sightings said...

I understand the impulse to want to save the world and help innocent victims. But like you, I also understand the limits of power. I think bombing Syria would be like doing surgery on the flu.

Diane Melvin said...

Great blog!

Kay said...

I've been going back and forth on this. My husband and I have talked about it every time we see the news. The gas killing of so many people is unbearable to watch. However, that red line has been crossed. If nothing is done, it shows we don't back up what we say.

And yet... and then what's next?

jhawk23 said...

Gingrich's analysis is on target. I thought Obama's clear effort to avoid another Middle East war was commendable - not to mention realistic and practical -- from the start. But his sudden decision to change course is confusing - and it can't really inflict damage on Assad anyway.

Anonymous said...

Here in the UK our parliament has made the right choice for a change. No action on Syria ! .. and Putin's plans may be the solution.