For the past several days classicist and military historian Victor Davis Hanson has been writing a lot on this Syria situation. I’ve already linked to a few of Hanson’s posts on the topic (see these: here, here, here, and here). Below are a few more and a couple of excerpts.
By Victor Davis Hanson:
September 6, 2013 10:32 AM
[T]he corner that Obama has painted himself into is now inescapable. Defying Congress will put the country into a Watergate/Monicagate mess. Not doing anything will confirm the administration’s impotence and only enhance Russia, Iran, Assad, China, Islamists, and almost anyone else who does not like the U.S.
How did Obama get himself into this mess? It was bound to happen, given his past habits. All we are seeing now is the melodramatic fulfillment of vero possumus, lowering the rising seas, faux Corinthian columns, hope and change, the bows, the Cairo speech, and the audacity of hope. Hubris does earn Nemesis.
After five years of this, the world caught on, and sees juvenile and narcissistic petulance in lieu of statesmanship—and unfortunately a sinister Putin takes great delight in reminding 7 billion people of this fact almost daily. In terms of geostrategic clout, Obama has nullified the power of his eleven aircraft-carrier battle groups, Putin through his shrewd insight and ruthless calculation of human nature, has added five where they didn’t exist.
One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy.
The hypocrisy is so stunning that it infuriates his critics and stuns his supporters.
Deriding the Iraq war was Obama’s signature selling point. He used it to great effect against both Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war) in the Democratic primaries and John McCain in the general election. For the last five years, disparagement of “Iraq” and “Bush” has seemed to intrude into almost every sentence the president utters.
September 4, 2013 11:37 AM
[W]hatever critics thought of George W. Bush, there was no question that he was both a decisive and at times an unpredictable leader that enemies were not comfortable testing.
In contrast, fairly or not, Obama has earned a reputation for predictable equivocation, rhetorically eloquent, but not decisive, sermonizing without consequences, judgmental but not muscular — as we saw from serial but meaningless deadlines to Iran, simultaneous surges and withdrawal dates in Afghanistan, pink-lines in Syria, leading from behind in Libya, unpunished killers in Benghazi, flip-flop-flip in Egypt, failed flirtations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the new Ottomanism, and reset reset with Putin — all at a time of massive defense cuts, the so-called pivot, Anglo-American dissolution, and loud proclamations about a new, reduced U.S. profile abroad.
Here are a few others…