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September 09, 2013

Speak Softly And Carry a Big Stick, But Not Too Big. Or Too Small. Really More of a Medium Sized Stick, Like Mama Bear Would Use…

In making the case for war, Obama Administration officials this weekend explained that we have two specific objectives in launching a military strike on Syria:

  1. Change the course of the civil war.
  2. Not change the course of the civil war.

It is only when you clearly define your goals like this that you can have any expectation of success, not to mention have any chance to win over a skeptical public.  As one official elaborated, the planned U.S. military strike will:

Do more damage to the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 48 hours than Syrian rebels have done in two years of civil war.”

This sentiment was echoed by Secretary of State John Kerry who added,

We’re talking about doing an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

Reportedly, Secretary Kerry was trying to allay fears that we were already experiencing mission creep. As another administration official explained:

“I define ‘mission creep’ as shifting the objective, not the means.”

And you can’t really shift an objective when there isn’t one.

If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you’re probably thinking, “No, seriously, you disappear for nine months and you’re acting like nothing happened.”

Also, “This is very confusing. Given the gravity of what is being asked of us, and the seriousness of launching military strikes on a sovereign nation that has not attacked us and represents no imminent threat, is there any way you could find an administration official who could explain this to us as if we were five-year-old children incapable of analytical thought?”

You bet there is.  According to the 37th anonymous Administration official to be quoted since last Friday:

If Assad is eating Cheerios, we're going to take away his spoon and give him a fork. Will that degrade his ability to eat Cheerios? Yes. Will it deter him? Maybe. But he'll still be able to eat Cheerios.”

This still leaves open the question of how precisely can you calibrate at attack on President Assad’s breakfast habits.  What if we go too far and he has to use skim milk, or worse, is forced to substitute ShopRite brand Toasted Oats. What wrath might he hurl down upon our own breakfast industrial complex? Or what if we don’t go far enough and all that happens is that the ones on the bottom get a little soggy. Where will our credibility be then?

So, where does that leave us, aside from craving a big bowl of cereal?

Secretary Kerry has threatened to attack Syria, for which he has no congressional authorization, unless they turn over their chemical weapons, which they have agreed to do, but that still won’t stop us, because the international community demands that we attack , even though no one in the international community is actually willing to support an attack.

In totally unrelated news, a large majority of Americans oppose attacking Syria.


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September 9, 2013 at 04:16 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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It's kind of nuancy, but when a US President makes a bold declaritive statement it pretty much binds us to back it up or lose credibility.

So, because he has declared that "Assad must go" we are more or less required to bomb Syria in a way that can be guaranteed to not produce regime change.

Posted by: Michael | Sep 9, 2013 4:30:23 PM

Of course, the bold declarative style of credibility left along with all those health insurance plans people liked.

Posted by: Matt | Sep 10, 2013 8:21:56 AM

I used to feel this way when I was a partying youth. Now I feel the same way except I don't have to empty the recycling bin. Thanks!

Posted by: TheOldMan | Sep 10, 2013 5:48:46 PM

Welcome back, J.

Posted by: mgd | Sep 10, 2013 7:08:30 PM

I think we should punish Syria by sending them Barack Obama, John McCain, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi, and refusing to take them back.

Posted by: bluebird of bitterness | Sep 10, 2013 9:45:04 PM

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