Obama’s Syria Pitch


Tommie Frazier, where art thou?

In a move that would’ve made the former University of Nebraska option quarterback proud, President Obama pitched a decision to authorize a military strike against Syria to Congress. A number of smart people have written and said oodles since Obama’s announcement on Saturday, and I’ve tried to cherry-pick some of the better ones for you here.

We’ll start with Eliot Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, former State Department counselor and military historian who wrote Supreme Command, a well-regarded history about the relationship between American presidents and the military. Cohen writes in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal about American credibility being at stake, not just now for the Syria morass but for future presidents.

Because I’m all about being fair and balanced, here’s a good opposing viewpoint in ForeignPolicy.com arguing against armed intervention in Syria, in which author Stephen Walt applies the Powell doctrine to the Syria abyss.

And let’s flip the hub-bub about the absent U.S. strategy on Syria on its head and explore Iranian efforts to support the Bashar al-Assad regime in this Institute for the Study of War monograph.

Syria itself is already a mess with few answers, but the inconsistent, waffling and tardy response over the past several years has been just as bad. As Charles Krauthammer said Saturday, it really does feel like amateur hour.


About Chairman Mao

I like fomenting socialist revolutions and purging my homeland of pseudo-intellectualism and capitalist dogma. I also like sports, dogs and food (although I wouldn't consider myself a foodie).
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One Response to Obama’s Syria Pitch

  1. peteybee says:

    It’s about Syria’s position on the map, and their ability to block or allow pipelines. All other issues are just distractions for public relations.

    It’s a little complicated but please bear with me. Links to articles about this at the bottom. Most of the media are not giving this all that much attention.

    Two pipelines are being planned.

    Pipeline route: Iran-Iraq-Syria-EU.
    Material: Crude Oil
    Benefits: Iran, Iraq, EU
    Hurts: other oil exporters, like Saudi Arabia
    Syria’s position: they are allowing it.
    Timing: Iran, Iraq an Syrian oil ministers met late July and signed a memorandum of understanding that they all agree in principle to do this

    Pipeline route: Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Syria-EU
    Material: Natural Gas
    Benefits: Saudi Arabia
    Hurts: Russia (they currently dominate the EU natgas market)
    Syria’s position: they are blocking it for their Russian allies.



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