"President Jackass Tries to Wear Big Boy Pants, Fails Miserably"

That is really what this headline should have been:
President Barack Obama announced on Saturday that he has decided to strike the Syrian military in retaliation for its nerve gas attack on civilians — but that he’ll wait for Congressional authorization before launching an attack. 
“I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage,” he said. “Today, I’m asking Congress to send a message to the rest of the world that we are ready to move together.” 
“I have the authority to carry out this military action…. [and] I know the country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be more effective” if it is approved by Congress, he said in a short statement delivered in the White House’s Rose Garden. 
Obama said congressional leaders have agreed to hold a debate after Congress returns from its August recess on September 9. 
Obama’s request for congressional approval is unexpected, partly because he has implemented numerous actions in the last few years in the face of congressional opposition. These actions include a partial amnesty for younger illegal immigrants and partial enforcement of drug laws. 
However, congressional approval is important for Obama because he’s facing opposition from the progressive left to any use of force — opposition that could damage Democratic turnout the 2014 mid-term election. 
Obama indirectly acknowledged the opposition from his fellow progressives, saying that the nation is opposed to military campaigns, and that he wants to end “a time of war that I was elected, in part, to end.”
The Daily Caller article correctly notes the irony in the fact that a Nobel Peace Prize winner (the most undeserving "winner" of that frankly utterly useless accolade since Yasser Arafat) is arguing in favour of intervention and war in the Middle East. It does not go nearly far enough in criticising this latest idiotic round of American interventionism, unfortunately.

About the only good thing about this entire farce is the fact that Obarmy decided to go to Congress to ask for authorisation. This is precisely what he is supposed to do under his enumerated powers in the Constitution's Article II. But let's not get carried away here- this poltroon has wiped his arse with the Constitution many, many times before, and he's not about to stop now. The only reason he is suddenly and inexplicably growing a conscience at this particular point in time is that he knows and is fully aware that the majority of the American people have no stomach for yet another pointless and useless war of intervention.

That, unfortunately, is a lesson that the neocons never seem to learn. Yet again, we hear the usual chorus of voices raised in protest at what the Assad regime in Syria has done. And yet again, we hear the foolish and intemperate calls to use America's military might for "the greater good" in order to "bring the dictator to justice", as if there is some urgent and overwhelming moral imperative that justifies the expenditure of yet more blood and treasure on yet another unjust exercise in complete futility. You would think that the ongoing quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan would have shut them up, but no, they still go abroad in search of monsters to slay. Do these people have literally zero understanding of economics? Are they really so utterly and profoundly ignorant of 1) basic sound military strategy; 2) basic economic theory; 3) simple common sense; or is it just my imagination?

My take on military intervention in the Middle East is very simple: there are no good guys out there, so stop pretending that the use of American military power will make the slightest difference. The choice is simply between two different types of monster. What the Assad regime has done in using chemical weapons upon its own people is barbaric and horrifying- but there is not one nanogram of justification for sending American soldiers to their deaths to stop barbarians from killing each other. I say, let them fight it out among themselves, and let their bloody-handed "god" Allah determine who is right. It's their land, let them figure out how best to destroy each other, and let the rest of us get on with living our lives the way we want to.

The American people, it seems, share this view... though not in sufficient numbers to convince me that Americans have actually gotten a handle on this concept of "common sense" yet. The British have been even more emphatic in their utter rejection of David Cameron's insistence on British involvement in another pointless, useless war in a pointless and almost completely useless part of the world. The only people who really seem to want this war are politicians and Israelis- and it looks like even the latter aren't completely crazy (to my immense relief- I actually have a very soft spot for Israel, personally).

Anyone ever seen a movie called "Wag the Dog"? It's a great film, partly because so much of it is so cynical yet so true. In it, Robert De Niro is called upon by a deeply unpopular President in the midst of a massive political scandal (related to certain indiscretions in his personal life- yeah, this sounds very familiar indeed) to manufacture a great excuse to rally the country behind a military intervention in a distant country. He pulls it off too, with the help of an amazing movie producer played brilliantly by Dustin Hoffman, creating the perfect non-existent pretext for the President to "send in the Marines" and rescue a fictitious PoW from a made-up detention centre. Modify the plot somewhat, and you have the exact same situation as the one we face today: a deeply unpopular and completely useless President in way over his head looking for a way out, a way to save face on his failing and inept Administration with some form of grand gesture that will unify the nation and revive his flagging political fortunes.

Just one problem: the American public isn't playing ball. And thank the good Lord for that.

This war might never happen. Obarmy is not the kind of President to whom big decisions come easily- at least not without vast amounts of ass-covering first. His frankly laughable rediscovery of what the Constitution actually says is merely a pretext to let him avoid making a hard decision- which in reality is a very easy decision: tell the Middle East to go f*** itself and get on with the important business of hitting the links for a round of golf.


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