George Will: President Obama and Syria

  • Article by: George Will , Washington Post
  • Updated: May 1, 2013 - 8:18 PM

The president’s convoluted words about intervention belie the sense of caution he seems to possess.

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hobie2May. 2, 13 1:08 AM

If only we had Will's pal Rumsfeld in there - he would find those chemical weapons of mass destruction, and we could go to war to take them away from Assad... In other news today, European monitors announced that they are unsure if the alleged use of chemical weapons was by the government or the rebels... Israel bombed a Syrian manufacturing facility and claimed it was making chemical weapons... Hezbolla of Lebanon, Iran, and several Arab nations said today that if it appears that the Syrian government were about to fall, they would take immediate and complete military action to "assure the Syrian government does not fall"... Maybe George Will should think and revise his condemnation of the measured approach and call for a Bush-Cheney intervention... He'd seem less the fool.

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texas_technomanMay. 2, 13 5:55 AM

Maybe George, it's because the American people are tired of sending out youth to the middle east to die in wars that have nothing to do with defending out country, and everything to do with our unquenched thirst for oil and power. We have kids who cannot remember when we were not at war...that's sad.

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owatonnabillMay. 2, 13 6:54 AM

We have no business in Syria in any capacity. But Obama's clumsy handling of this is very definitely NOT in America's interests. Tough talk followed by subsequent pussyfooting around the issue only serves to embolden our enemies. He had two choices: either shut up and keep us out of any involvement, or to back up his words with actions. His fence-straddling only harms America.

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marsbonfireMay. 2, 13 7:21 AM

owatonnabillMay. 2, 13 6:54 AM We have no business in Syria in any capacity. But Obama's clumsy handling of this is very definitely NOT in America's interests. Tough talk followed by subsequent pussyfooting around the issue only serves to embolden our enemies. He had two choices: either shut up and keep us out of any involvement, or to back up his words with actions. His fence-straddling only harms America.___________You would find fault with Obama no matter what he did or said...just admit it. He's cautious because Syria isn't Iraq...and they have an ally in Russia.

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annsypMay. 2, 13 8:14 AM

Obama is in a tough spot re Syria. America is war-weary and we are being told that domestic programs are no longer affordable. The appetite for another morally murky adventure in the Middle East is simply not there. Sorting out the good guys from the bad guys is a risky business; we do not want to arm and assist rebels only to have them use our own weapons against us once they're in power. On the other hand, an American President cannot send Assad the message that he can go ahead and do whatever he wants to his own people because we're staying out. And I have to say that the irony of George Will, of all people, accusing the President of being impressed by his own verbal dexterity is just too rich!

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fanofcaribouMay. 2, 13 9:32 AM

If being decisive means finding evidence where there none so that you can invade another country in the name of democracy (see Iraq invasion,WMD, protect oil supply lines) then stay on the fence. There have been 2 regimes that the US should have moved on in the last 10 years, North Korea & Syria. Both have given numerous reasons to act against them, but we don't do anything. The reason is that both of those oppressive regimes have the backing of 2 of our largest adversaries. So when you folks want to talk about indecisiveness, think a little further about the consequences of those decisive actions. If want to get into some kind of shooting confrontatation with either Russia or China, then by all means fly yourself over there and start shooting. Leave the rest of this country out of it.

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twspt7May. 2, 1310:44 AM

What is happening in Syria right now is a tragedy. However, military intervention by the US would not end the bloodshed; it would only feed the fires of American hatred in the Middle East. Now if there were a coalition of nations ready and willing to get involved, then something constructive might get done. Unfortunately, much of the world has become habituated to the idea of Uncle Sam doing all the dirty work, and many Americans tire of playing the cop while the rest of the world stands back to watch and judge us.

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dschachenmeyerMay. 2, 1312:29 PM

Will gets it right. The problem here isn't that the US isn't intervening in Syria. I don't think they should. The problem is that the President talked tough when he was in a re-election fight and now has to walk back everything he said. Places like Iran, North Korea, and Russia are all watching and know the US has no desire to be the world's police force any longer. Another country that is watching is Israel. How can they be confident in Obama's statements to firmly stand by them if other red lines are crossed?

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pumiceMay. 2, 13 6:43 PM

From the article: "By last week, the 'red line' had been demoted to just 'another line'." Note to George Will, The line that really matters to Congress is the green line. Ask the hawks if they're willing to levy a tax to pay for the next war. Matter of fact, ask the hawks if they're willing to levy a tax to pay for the cost of Afghanistan and Iraq.

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jdlellis1May. 2, 13 7:45 PM

Allow me the arrogance to explain what Mr. Will is attempting to express. Senators Gore and Kennedy were hyper critical and mean spirited regarding President Reagan's position on the U.S.S.R. However, former Soviet Union power brokers knew where President Reagan stood on a regime more diabolical than was Nazi Germany. In the end, the Soviet Union fell. The masses are captivated by the word, any words expressed by President Bush. That his actions do not always match his rhetoric is irrelevant, because of emotion, people latch onto the words. By the way, for those who disagree listen to the cadence when President Obama speaks if he's giving a speech he is elequont in delivery. However, when speaking in a press interview, where the world, friend or foe, his cadence mirrors that of President Bush. The reason is obvious, the words of the President means...something and the wrong infliction in voice, the wrong adjective or the wrong word, has consequences. Once in office Presidents exercise prudent caution.

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