Thursday, September 05, 2013

Syria: Obama Goes to Congress

Just expressing my (belated, unimportant) approval of Obama's decision to seek Congressional approval for strikes against Syria. I would have bet money that he wasn't going to do it. I'm happy about that not because I think they'll vote against it, but, rather, because I generally favor seeking Congress's approval for military action that isn't in response to an imminent threat.

I continue to be basically against strikes in Syria for the same old reasons... Though I tend to favor humanitarian military interventions generally, I don't think we have the moral/political capital to take this one on. It is permissible, after all, for other countries to take the lead on occasion. It's obviously pointless to look to the U.N. on this one...but that doesn't mean that it's got to be us. Furthermore, chemical weapons are not that dangerous, so I don't buy the national defense argument for strikes against those who use chemical weapons. Pound for pound, they are no more lethal than conventional weapons.

None of this is to say that I'm not concerned about the situation in Syria. It's horrible. But my current view is that we just can't do this one. It's yet another opportunity cost of the Iraq debacle...

I'd be happy to change my mind if I'm making an obvious error. I haven't had anything like sufficient time to devote to thinking about this.


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