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Never underestimate your allies

I thought it was the right-wing that was the faith-based community:

To the Editor:

It all comes down to trust. After a career in law enforcement, and sick to death of our paralyzed Congress and the feckless United Nations, I am anything but naïve. But hearing President Obama speak about the Syrian situation, I trust him to do what is best.

MacKENZIE ALLEN
Santa Fe, N.M., Sept. 11, 2013

I thought it was Operation Rescue that relied on naked appeals to the emotions to make its arguments:

After a muddled start in his lurch toward military action in Syria, President Obama did better in his speech on Tuesday night. He offered a forceful moral argument for a limited strike against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21.

“The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas,” Mr. Obama said. “Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war.”

But the speech lacked any real sense of what Mr. Obama’s long-term or even medium-term strategy might be, other than his repeated promise not to drag a nation fed up with wars into a “boots-on-the-ground” fight.

I thought it was the neo-conservatives who were the reckless and cavalier advocates of war whose consequences they hadn’t thought through:

In short, the mere flexing of military power worked — initially and tentatively. And while it seems that neither Congress nor the public has any appetite for cruise missile strikes on Syria, it will be critical to keep the military option alive in the coming weeks or Russia and Syria will play us like a yo-yo.

Frankly, I’m skeptical that a deal can be worked out in which Syria hands over its chemical weaponry, and President Obama may have exchanged a losing struggle with Congress with a Sisyphean struggle with Russia. But it’s not impossible.

I thought it was the Objectivists who were in favor of a war against Iran that would kill untold numbers of people but whose far-fetched and rationalistic justification makes no sense:

First, we must declare war on Iran and take out the current regime. This does not require bombing everything or killing everyone in Iran. Far from it. Many Iranians are good people who want to be freed from the theocracy; thus, the war should be waged not on the general population, but specifically on the assets and people who directly support the existing regime. A proper campaign would target all known Iranian military assets, government buildings, mosques, madrasahs (colleges in which students are trained to be jihadists), and the residences of the regime’s leaders, imams, clerics, and officials.

Wait. It is the Objectivists who are in favor of a war against Iran that would kill untold numbers of people but whose far-fetched and rationalistic justification makes no sense.

Irfan

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