Mudcat Café message #3561603 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151984   Message #3561603
Posted By: GUEST
26-Sep-13 - 04:33 PM
Thread Name: BS: chemical weapons in Syria
Subject: RE: BS: chemical weapons in Syria
If President Obama can turn this diplomatic initiative into a win, defined as UN officials being able to verify that all of Syria's chemical weapons are no longer a threat to anyone (which, had Obama gone with his first instinct to intervene militarily, would have been nigh impossible to do), then whatever political capital he invested would yield substantially better than average returns. Gains have already been realized with the American public who did not want to see yet another window cracked open to yet another endless vista of Middle East military involvement, to be played out on televisions all across America for who knows how long. And from an international perspective, US allies must see it as an admirable change from the typically heavy-handed application of foreign policy that America, at least temporarily, has deviated from the usual path of "shoot first, ask questions later."

As for as losing ground to the Republicans, Obama had no ground to lose insofar as the Republican party's instinctive reaction is to oppose any initiative Obama proposes, regardless. If he thinks it's the right thing to do, then it must be wrong. Still, had Obama initially sought congressional support for a military intervention in Syria, rather than taking the (diplomatic) road less taken, it would have been ironic to see the Republicans trip over their own hawkish feathers to vote against it.

Obama must be including Vladimir Putin in his prayers at night, for giving him the gift of an opening to let diplomacy work instead of having to face an intransigent Congress and his own party's war-wary constituency with a proposal that was universally unpopular.

And as an unforeseen dividend, a dialog with the Iranians over their nuclear program and the sanctions may even be possible. If this diplomacy thing works out, it may establish a precedent for future presidents (at least Democratic ones), as well as cement Obama's legacy as a team player on the global playground, rather than as a playground bully.

The only losers in this admittedly somewhat optimistic scenario, are the war materiel corporations (and their stockholders), who never met a military intervention they didn't like. This diplomatic thing would play hell with their bottom line. Here's hoping that it does.