American Military Intervention in Iran and/or Syria - To Do or Not To Do, That is the Question [126*-21/11]
AFTER SPENDING ALMOST TWO YEARS beating up on Conservatives, I finally have a chance to support them on two different, but still related initiatives. The first one, which the Senate has been working on for a little while now and has, I am pretty sure, enough bi-partisan support to actually pass; and that is a resolution giving the President the authority to conduct military operations to stop Iran from enriching Uranium to the point where nuclear weapons can be developed. The other is Senator McCain's call for immediate air intervention by the United States and other nations to support the people of Syria.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL
ACTION ON IRAN
Do You Agree that the Congressional Resolution Giving President Obama "Authority" to Conduct Military Actions in Iran is a Good Idea?See results without voting
THE PLAN FOR IRAN
WHILE IRAN IS NOT the humanitarian catastrophe that Syria is, it presents the more serious, long-term problem which could end up in the lose of even more lives than what is happening in Syria now. The issue is stopping Iran from being able to produce "the bomb" or just "containing" them such as North Korea is, hehe, "contained". The Doves, generally on the left of the political spectrum, prefer containment, or simply believing Iran's claim their activity is only for peaceful purposes, over the Hawks, those to the right of the spectrum, position that the right thing to do is bomb Iran out of existence. The latter option, of course, won't happen, but there is a great danger the former position may win out.
As almost everybody is suggesting, including the Israelis, negotiations, using sanctions and threats as a lever, are the best way to solve this problem. The wild card is if 1) the sanctions are sufficiently harsh to make Iran finally bend to the world's (well, except for Russia and China) will, and 2) Iran will believe our threats that we will really take military action, if necessary.
It is this latter point that the current effort on the Hill is aimed. What the Conservatives want to do, and it looks like many Democrats will go along, is to give President Obama the "authority" to intervene military in Iran if he finds it is ultimately required. They are not "requiring" the President to take action, just giving him pre-approved authority. They believe, and I absolutely agree, that this will put the necessary teeth behind our threats for Iran is very aware how our political process works, or doesn't work if you are talking about the last couple of years. This kind of non-binding resolution lets Iran know where America, not just the Conservatives, stand in our determination to stop them from getting nuclear capabilities.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN
PLAN FOR SYRIA
Do You Think Senator McCain's Idea to Create a "Safe Haven" for Syrian Opposition Forces is a Good Idea?See results without voting
THE PLAN FOR SYRIA
SENATOR MCCAIN'S IDEA is equally simple, provide the Syrian opposition a "safe haven" from which to organize and run operations in order to defeat Asad. He proposed to do this by using an international coalition, can you say NATO, along with the Arab League, by providing the same kind of air cover used in Libya; no ground forces, just planes, drones, and various kinds of GPS/laser-guided remote munitions.
These forces would effective eliminate tanks and artillery that could reach the safe-haven, and keep this zone free of enemy forces; a very plausible plan, which, to me, is a no-brainer and not particularly risky. McCain criticizes Obama for not trying to put together a coalition, but, I don't know that he is not trying; I certainly wouldn't be issuing any progress reports if something likes this is actually in the works, Secret and Top Secret would seem to be the watch-words when going to war.
The biggest problem with this idea is, what Syrian faction to you coordinate it with? In Libya, the opposition coelesed relatively quickly around one group; this doesn't seem to be the case in Syria. While we could create a "safe haven" working with several factions, for we need "eyes on the ground' to be successful after all, it would be highly complicated and prone to mistakes, especially if one opposition faction is trying to damage another faction, as often happened in Afghanistan.
I think before President Obama can do much, vis-a-vis the McCain plan, the Syrian opposition need to get their collective act together.
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