In 2009, President Obama won the Nobel Peace prize. For what? No one really quite knows — but he won it nonetheless. Now, with allegations that Bashar Assad’s military forces have used chemical weapons on the rebels, media outlets everywhere are reporting that a Western attack on Syria will happen “within days.” The question becomes: Will the Nobel Peace Prize winner help spark a world war?

Most estimates tally the death toll in Syria at 100,000. For years now, Assad has been slaughtering the “rebels,” but 1,300 die because of chemical weapons and suddenly the United States must get involved? (Don’t ask who the rebels are because no one can give you a definitive answer.)

Ask yourself this question: What did Assad have to gain by using chemical weapons? He already killed tens of thousands with impunity by just using conventional weapons. There was nothing for him to gain. The only people who would benefit by a chemical weapons attack are … the rebels.

How bizarre is it that a conservative like myself now agrees with Dennis Kucinich regarding Syria?

Airstrikes on Syria would turn the U.S. military into “al Qaeda’s air force,” former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told The Hill.

The outspoken anti-war activist said any such action would plunge the United States into another war in the Middle East and embolden Islamist militants fighting Bashar Assad’s regime.

“So what, we’re about to become Al Qaeda’s air force now?” Kucinich said. “This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we’re just going to have a ‘targeted strike’ — that’s an act of war. It’s not anything to be trifled with.”

The comments echo warnings from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who voted against legislation to arm the Syrian rebels earlier this year by saying such a move would boost al Qaeda.

The Associated Press was on the mark with its recent coverage of the President, saying that his administration appeared to “veer from crisis to crisis without a broader strategy.” Indeed, a talented orator can win elections by talking out of both sides of his mouth, but actually governing — displaying leadership — requires tough decisions. Instead of publicly admitting that many of the tools George W. Bush utilized post 9/11 to protect American interests at home and abroad were necessary, Mr. Obama opted not to apologize for demonizing the man while continuing (and often expanding) Bush-era programs with greater secrecy. Instead of capturing combatants on the field of battle, Mr. Obama kills them with drones. Instead of spying on terrorists, the NSA now collects “meta data” and the emails of innocent Americans who (to quote Sen. Feinstein)might become a terrorist in the future.” The result of Mr. Obama’s Whac-A-Mole approach to foreign policy has in many ways come to a head with the Syrian debacle.

The great thing about being a college professor is that all of your theories can be wrong, but you will still get paid and no one can pin the blame for the real world consequences of your ideas on your shoulders. The not-so-great thing about being a former college professor who happens to be the president? The real world is often far divorced from the kind of conclusions bandied about inside the walls of the teachers lounge.

There will be unintended consequences for any U.S. bombing run on Syria, and it’s a good bet that they will not be the kinds of things Nobel Peace Prize winners want talked about in history books. With “rebels” largely composed of Islamic extremists, the wise thing to do at this juncture would not involve ballistic missiles raining down in Syrian territory.

Related: John McCain: The Syrian rebels are ‘moderates’ — if you ignore the cannibal in the corner

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

42 comments

  1. I never thought I’d agree with Kucinich on anything, either, but I do in this case. I do not think it will be wise to get involved, especially since the rebels are radical Islamists and really, no better than Assad himself. Not to mention that, if we go to war with Syria, we’re essentially going to war with Russia since they’re backing Assad’s regime.

    And I’m glad that you brought up the Nobel peace prize… I always thought that giving him the award was stupid, especially since he didn’t contribute a damn thing to peace and hasn’t done that at all during his Presidency.

    1. The Nobel Peace Prize took the absurdity of the unwarranted worship of President Obama to new levels. Reagan said “Tear down this wall!” and the Berlin Wall actually came down. At the time Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, he had only built Styrofoam Greek columns in Denver. Hopefully, millions of Americans are realizing how dangerous it is to have cult-like devotion to a man.

  2. Already when Obama was running for his first presidential term, I realized he wouldn’t be any different than Bush in foreign affairs, when listening to his speeches and arguments. Why was he given the Nobel Prize for peace ? I speculate that the ones who are pulling the political and economic strings of the world (rather behind closed doors than publicly) wanted to decorate him with a “very big” applause ahead of the planned events of the future (such as massive military attacks on selected countries in the Middle East), so the world would respect him for his Nobel Prize, ironically on peace.

    The blood on Obama’s hands may have surpassed the blood on Bush’s hands by now, and as you also noted, Obama does it all in secrecy rather, while Bush was the Texan cowboy. When you look beyond party affiliation and lines, you realize that on foreign politics, both Democrats and Republicans are following a script that has nothing to do with either party and party principles. The big plan -regardless of party- is to destroy the entire Middle East and have permanent access to oil, minerals, land, etc. What is happening in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, is not coincidental. The so-called Arab Spring is meant to weaken the Middle East to the degree that the Machiavellian strategy (Divide And Conquer) is guaranteed to succeed. If you studied world history, you will know that the West always wanted to own the East. Excellent example: When the Ottoman Empire fell, the British army (along with Greeks and a few other allies) attacked what became the Turkish Republic around that time. The plan was to take Turkey, and from there the rest of the Middle East. Nothing changed since. The interests of the West are still the same. This is the 21. Century version of British attacks on Turkey.

    Syria is only an appetizer. The main dish remains Iran. Of course the discussion on chemicals, and the timing of the planned invasion, speak for themselves, as you well explained. The USA has to attach a logical sounding tag to their action, else one may ask what the difference is between Hitler and Obama. Fascism will come to the USA with a smile, somebody said. I agree wholeheartedly. It is here, and it will get worse. When the US attacks Iran, it will be presented by the propagandistic media as “necessary” as well. As Obama has a Nobel Prize for peace, he is entitled to blow up the world “in the name of peace”, and we must applaud him for it, else we are ignorant and should be eliminated in ….camps.

    One more thing: the so-called rebels in Syria are thugs, implants, people who have been selected and heavily trained by the West to aid with above discussed Machiavellian plan. They are exploited and used. Remember Afghanistan ? The US created the Al Qaeda to fight the Russians. What worked then, works now again.

    When the dust settles, a New World Order will be fully in effect. It is promised on the US Dollar bill. Look at a 1 Dollar bill, and you will see the future.

    1. Hi Nel. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You’ve provided an interesting meal for readers to chew on. In this instance I’ll sit back and let them digest.

  3. To latch to your professor theme, they are very good at the subject they know, and often don’t relate it to other disciplines. Whether you agree with him or not, to be objective, Obama will at least act with compartmentalized issues (there are uninsured so let’s make Obamacare, the terrorists are still active so let’s use drones) but he seems to have a hard time putting the whole puzzle together (ummm- we can’t afford Obamacare, oops- I panned Bush for his anti-terror methods). Syria is more of the same, if he was going to act; the beginning of the civil war would have been better. Now Russia and China have an organized resistance, Assad seemingly has the upper hand, and al-Qaeda has quite possibly rooted themselves into the situation…..to say nothing about Iran and Hezbollah.

    Putin must have a “Hope & Change” bumper sticker in his office, along with Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring, because this administration’s lack of vision has now let Russia effectively call the shots in this situation. I know it’s fun to rip on the other party, but Obama is President for all of us; I wish he could formulate a long term plan for his foreign policy; the rest of the world outside the teacher’s lounge is not taking him seriously, Nobel Prize or not. It’s Americans that can suffer in the long run for mistakes today.

    1. [I]f he was going to act; the beginning of the civil war would have been better. Now Russia and China have an organized resistance, Assad seemingly has the upper hand, and al-Qaeda has quite possibly rooted themselves into the situation … to say nothing about Iran and Hezbollah.

      Well said.

      I never really understood people who say “he’s not my president!” about the guy they didn’t vote for. It sends the wrong message. As you said, we’re all Americans at the end of the day, and while I be eagerly awaiting the moment when President Obama leaves office, there still needs to be substance behind why I’m opposing “policy x.” The “he’s not my president” line seems to be an easy way for someone to essentially wash their hands of an issue and avoid having a serious discussion about the decisions that will shape America’s future.

  4. you always know who the US wants to war with, by who they give arms too, or Chemical warfare weapons too such as they did with Hussein who used them on his own people, as was the story. I don’t get involved in that stuff .. like trying to stop a tsunami with a floor fan.. But I can’t be the only one who see’s that.. and Yet people keep hoping in their rulers.. as if a new election will bring anything of value.. ..

    1. Actually Joyce, the US was a very minor supplier of chemical weapons tech to Iraq back in the day. European nations such as Germany were much bigger pals to Iraq in that regard. That doesn’t absolve the US of its culpability, however. The CIA assisted Hussein’s government with logistics and such against Iran. At the time Iraq was considered the [much] lesser of two evils.

      At any rate, to Doug’s larger point, if Obama strikes Syria he’ll be as big a hypocrite as George W. Bush was with Iraq. Candidate Obama clamored about presidents using force unilaterally; candidate Bush in 2000 trashed the notion of nation-building … which we then promptly attempted to do in Iraq.

      *Sigh*

    2. This thread has individuals across the political spectrum, and it seems that pretty much everyone is in agreement that bombing Syria is bad Juju. If president Obama goes through with a bombing run it will be rather astounding.

  5. There’s much more to this than meets the eye: In port at Eilat, Israel right now is USS Kearsarge, an amphib carrier with 2000 shock marines and aircraft, and just two weeks ago the nuclear carrier Harry S. Truman and its associated striking force ships entered the Red Sea through the Suez Canal.
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2013/08/mil-130819-nns07.htm

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-aircraft-carrier-docks-in-eilat/

    “…HST CSG includes Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10; aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75); guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64); guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Mason (DDG 87); embarked 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron staff; and embarked Carrier Air Wing 3 and its squadrons: Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 32 ‘Swordsmen,’ VFA-37 ‘Ragin’ Bulls,’ and VFA-105 ‘Gunslingers,’ Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 ‘Checkerboards,’ Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 ‘Seahawks,’ Electronic Attack Squadron 130 ‘Zappers,’ Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7 ‘Dusty Dogs,’ and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74 ‘Swamp Foxes’.”

    This is enough firepower to obliterate Syria and a good chunk of Iran as well. I doubt a ‘surgical strike’ is what the CIC has in mind as these are very recent deployments and kept very quiet. It’s not just a few 1,000 pound warheads on cruise missiles on four destroyers in the Med.

    As the son of a Vietnam carrier veteran I stay abreast of current naval activities.

    1. And now this:
      Russia is mobilizing a fleet in the Med (first in years) ..
      http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-sends-at-least-12-warships-to-syria/
      as the State Department admits it knows nothing..
      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/29/state-dept-spokeswoman-admits-u-s-doesnt-know-if-assad-ordered-chemical-attack/

      The talk at the local diner this morning is fairly unanimous: the glass parking lot option should have been exercised years ago.

      There’s no way this can end well.
      “The worst form of corruption is incompetence” — Politician in “Electra Glide In Blue”

  6. We build schools and hospitals in Afghanistan, while closing them in our own country. We recruit and train police officers and firefighters in Iraq, while our own police and fire departments are suffering from budget cuts and layoffs. Both Democrats and Republicans do it, though each party complains when the other does it. And now our pacifist, Nobel-winning President wants to intervene in Syria. Maybe Obama hopes that a war will stimulate the economy. And, years from now, we will still have troops there, and the media will blame President Palin for the “quagmire,” while continuing to fawn over Obama. That’s assuming this mess “only” becomes another Vietnam or Iraq, and that it doesn’t escalate into another World War.

  7. great comments, Nel especially.

    it is amazing to me how the cosmopolitan Assads, who once had the interest of Esquire, and Gaddafi, who once got Beyonce to bounce for a pile of cash, are both getting regime-changed after being such loyal torturers for our WAR ON TERROR. there are pics of Gaddafi and McCain shaking hands from 2009, if I remember correctly, and both Libya and Syria hosted prisoners in CIA run black sites.

    there is a growing libertarian/leftist coalition on foreign policy issues like this, and I hope we can find more and more common ground.

    strikes are being messaged to us now as imminent. we await to see the shock waves in Lebanon and Jordan and Israel and Turkey and Iraq and Iran and and and and

    1. And let us not forget how Barbara Walters was more than happy to play the nepotism game for continued access to Assad, sending personal emails to get his aide inside the doors at CNN. Barbara got caught, but she’s not alone.

      In terms of common ground, I think you’ll continue to see it happen on these issues. The American people are “done” with the Middle East in particular. However, here’s the rub: If we ever have to go back there with a significant troop presence, it won’t be for “nation building.” I have to imagine that the next time we’re there in significant numbers, we’re going to be making a lot of glass parking lots. Obviously I don’t want that to happen, but I can’t imagine an American president in the near future who would want to explain to the people why becoming target practice for jihadi scum is worth a few schools and hospitals.

    2. They’ll just change the nomenclature from “nation building” to “humanitarian construction work” or something to make it sound more appealing.

  8. Hi Douglas. Thanks for your greeting. I’ll let the meal get digested.🙂
    And hi lizard 19.Thanks for your input.

    As the discussions on a military strike on Syria continue, Russia and China will most likely veto the plan to attack. The USA will not regard the vetoes and will strike anyway, as expected. The result will be horrific beyond words. This may indeed open the gate to the 3rd world war. 2014 is the anniversary of WWI, which started in 1914.

  9. Pingback: The Uh Oh Post |

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