The Administration’s mad rush for war in Syria has written a few quotes into the pages of history today, and not in a good way. John Kerry sealed his reputation as a clumsy buffoon by promising the world we’d be fighting an “unbelievably small” war in Syria, just like the time Ronald Reagan used air strikes to punish Libya for the Lockerbie bombing… except the Lockerbie bombing happened two years after the Libyan air strikes.
Even if Kerry hadn’t gotten his history wrong, it was a horrible example for him to use, because Reagan’s strike on Libya was in direct response to Libyan acts of terrorist aggression against America and her interests. But in Syria, we’re told we must intervene in a civil war because the Assad regime used forbidden chemical weapons… just like the ones Saddam Hussein used against seven or eight hundred times as many people, without any calls for military action from the likes of John Kerry. So he really didn’t want to use the Iraqi chemical weapons as an analogy, either.
No, that fell to Samantha Power, the new ambassador to the U.N., who distinguished herself by springing into action and going on vacation the instant the Syrian crisis broke. She’s back on the job, telling the liberals at the Center for American Progress that she just can’t understand why Iran didn’t turn on their boy Assad because they should be traumatized from the memory of Saddam Hussein spraying them with nerve gas 30 years ago.
She said the Administration was hoping the presence of U.N. inspectors in Syria would make Assad reluctant to deploy weapons of mass destruction, “or if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran – itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987 and 1988 – to cast loose a regime that was gassing its people.”
It’s hard to believe any adult human being would hold such a preposterous belief, but this is the Obama Administration we’re talking about – a crew of petulant amateurs who manage to make Bashar Assad and his Russian patrons seem reasonable by comparison. Just listen to a couple of unnamed “senior officials,” as quoted by USA Today, explaining the Administration’s Syria strategy in breakfast-cereal terms:
The strike, as envisioned, would be limited in the number of targets and done within a day or two. It could be completed in one fell swoop with missiles, said one senior official familiar with the weapons involved. A smaller, follow-on strike could be launched if targets aren’t sufficiently damaged.
A second senior official, who has seen the most recent planning, offered this metaphor to describe such a strike: If Assad is eating Cheerios, we’re going to take away his spoon and give him a fork. Will that degrade his ability to eat Cheerios? Yes. Will it deter him? Maybe. But he’ll still be able to eat Cheerios.
The two officers with current and recent service in the Middle East say the term “degrade” is so vague that it could be used to describe the effect of a single cruise missile strike.
On top of everything else ridiculous about this analogy, it’s not that hard to eat Cheerios with a fork. The only cereal I can think of that would be easier to eat with a fork is Fruit Loops, but you can see why even officials of the Obama Administration would be smart enough to steer clear of that one.
What we’re dealing with here is a President and his minions who will say anything that pops into their heads to justify the Syrian war. They’ll calm worries about escalation by describing an operation “just muscular enough to not be mocked” – an “unbelievably small” war that will be over in about 45 minutes plus commercial breaks, just like a TV show. They’ll hit Assad just hard enough to make him take his Cheerios and fork off. But when they hear questions about why History’s Greatest Monster, the gas-spurting New Hitler, only rates a slap on the wrist that leaves him firmly in power, they suddenly start talking about the epic butt-kicking he’s about to receive, and we hear leaks of Pentagon target lists that have been revised fifty or more times, until they contain enough explosions to make Michael Bay interested in filming the Cheerios War.
The only real consideration is saving Barack Obama’s fading credibility, but they can’t just come out and say that. If it happens, this war is going to be more about waffles than Cheerios.