Ever the genius (and craving media attention), Sarah Palin took to Facebook to voice her opinion about the U.S. possibly taking action in Syria, in a post called Let Allah Sort It Out:
“So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot?”Well, Mrs Palin, if you put it that way, then, yes, you truly are.
Which doesn't mean I support a military intervention. At the most, I think the capitol building in Damascus should be destroyed, as well as other key government decision-making places and perhaps a few army buildings. Take away their permanent locations so they have trouble orchestrating dangerous maneuvers against outsiders and mass quantities of their own people.
However, I am against an occupational invasion (as always), and even a single civilian death or the destruction of anyone's home is unacceptable. Let's not forget we're talking about one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world, home to 2.5 million people.
This particular revolution is (yet another) previously-unseen situation, two years in the making: in the wake of the Arab Spring, millions of Syrians took to the streets in 2011 to protest against the government, which not only stayed in power defying its citizens' will, but effectively ordered its troops to shoot at protesters with live ammunition, even going so far as to go door-to-door to find some and execute them.
What started as a peaceful protest turned into a Civil War in the Fall of 2011, when army defectors started a counter-army (Free Syrian Army) and enlisted volunteers to join their ranks.
In terms of a Revolution, this one was ''going by the book''; ideally, you want to skip the armed conflict, but humans are prone to violence, and not everyone can achieve a ''peace process'' without resorting to guns - for every Slovakia there are dozens of Chechnyas. Even the Chinese went to war to unite; the United States revolted against the British to form several states, then went to war with each other to unite (and eliminate slavery).
But this one took so long to bear its fruits that the inevitable (for the region) happened: ''terrorists'' started helping revolutionaries. So instead of remaining a battle between ''good and evil'', it's ''the enemy of my enemy is my friend''. And while the world watches in horror as the State uses deadlier weapons against its own people every time, pressure is mounting on the U.S. to intervene, as the world's largest military structure.
Except the U.S. has already invaded two countries - one in a disproportionate retaliation, the other without a valid reason other than to depose its leader and take over their economy - in the past decade or so, now have a President who has vowed to not repeat his predecessor's mistakes, and - more importantly - would now be working hand-in-hand with some of their enemies to defeat Bashar al-Assad.
Which puts Barack Obama in a hard place.
Already labeled weak by his opponents, he is now forced to play into the Republicans' hand, who win on all sides: if he forgoes intervention, he's ''soft on terror''; if he decides to act, he's reneging on his promises - and going opposite his Nobel Peace prize - and ''working with the terrorists''. Which is likely just what some forces in the Middle East wanted to test him on. The United States remain the military equivalent of boxing's heavyweight champion - to get him on his knees even by means of an illegal blow is a feat worth bragging about, and to have him withdraw from combat even more so.
What's funny about Sarah Palin is she was probably explained all of this but didn't understand a thing, other than the conclusion: ''you mean to say I can still say the exact opposite of what Obama says, and this time I'd even be right? Bring me a laptop!''
Ironically, one of Obama's most ardent allies on this issue now is John McCain, the man responsible for giving Palin her platform. After toying with the idea of not supporting Obama on this matter, he had this to say this morning:
A rejection of this resolution would be catastrophic, not just for him but for the institution of the presidency and the credibility of the United States.Ever the politician, he realizes image counts for a lot, particularly when it comes to pretending to have the means to take over the world.
Which is also the reason why everyone else on the planet is against a strike.