Just whose war is this?
Wednesday, John Kerry told the Senate not to worry about the cost of an American war on Syria.
The Saudis and Gulf Arabs, cash-fat on the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, will pick up the tab for the Tomahawk missiles.
Has it come to this — U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheiks, sultans and emirs, Hessians of the New World Order, hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals?
Yesterday, too, came a stunning report in the Washington Post.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has joined the Israeli lobby AIPAC in an all-out public campaign for a U.S. war on Syria
Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League have invoked the Holocaust, with Hier charging the U.S. and Britain failed to rescue the Jews in 1942.
Yet, if memory serves, in ’42 the Brits were battling Rommel in the desert and the Americans were still collecting their dead at Pearl Harbor and dying on Bataan and Corregidor.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, too, bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, the Macau casino mogul whose solicitude for the suffering children of Syria is the stuff of legend, is also backing Obama’s war.
Adelson, who shelled out $70 million to bring down Barack, wants his pay-off — war on Syria. And he is getting it. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have saluted and enlisted. Sheldon, fattest of all fat cats, is buying himself a war.
Yet, is it really wise for Jewish organizations to put a Jewish stamp on a campaign to drag America into another war that a majority of their countrymen do not want to fight?
Moreover, this war has debacle written all over it. Should it come, a divided nation will be lead by a diffident and dithering commander in chief who makes Adlai Stevenson look like Stonewall Jackson.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey is having trouble even defining the mission. While Obama says it will be an in-and-out strike of hours, a “shot across the bow,” John McCain says the Senate resolution authorizes robust strikes, lethal aid to the rebels and a campaign to bring down Bashar Assad.
If the Republican Party backs this war, it will own this war.
And U.S. involvement will last not for days, but for the duration. And if our power is unleashed, our prestige and superpower status go on the line.
If the rebels then lose, we lose. And if the rebels win, who wins?
Is it the same jihadists who just shelled that Christian village and terrorized that convent of Christian nuns?
Is it the same rebels seen on the front page of Thursday’s New York Times about to execute, Einsatzgruppen-style, captive Syrian soldiers, forgetting only to have the victims of their war crime dig their own graves first?
Does the Republican Party really want to own a war that could end with al-Qaida in power or occupying sanctuaries in Syria?
Does the U.S. Jewish community really want to be responsible for starting a war that ends with two million Christian Syrians facing a fate not unlike that of Poland’s Jews?
About the debate on this war, there is an aspect of the absurd.
We are told we must punish Assad for killing Syrians with gas, but we do not want Assad’s regime to fall. Which raises a question: How many Syrians must we kill with missiles to teach Assad he cannot kill any more Syrians with gas? Artillery, fine. Just no gas.
How many Syrians must we kill to restore the credibility of our befuddled president who now says he did not draw that “red line” on chemical weapons; the world did when it outlawed such weapons.
Yet this statement may offer Obama a way out of a crisis of his own making without his starting a war to save face.
Iran and Russia agree chemical weapons were used. Vladimir Putin has said Russia will back military action against those who did it. The Russians have put out a 100-page document tracing the March use of chemical weapons to the rebels. The Turks reportedly intercepted small amounts of sarin going to the rebels. We claim solid proof that Assad’s regime authorized and used chemical weapons.
Why not tell the Russians to meet us in the Security Council where we will prove our “slam-dunk” case.
If we can, and do, we will have far greater support for collective sanctions or action than we do now. And if we prove our case and the U.N. does nothing, we will have learned something about the international community worth learning.
But the idea of launching missiles based on evidence we will not reveal about Syria’s use of chemical weapons, strikes that will advance the cause of the al-Qaida terrorists who killed 3,000 of us and are anxious to kill more, would be an act of such paralyzing stupidity one cannot believe that even this crowd would consciously commit it.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”