|Sunday, September 15, 2013||ISSUE #772|
How to win a war: keep quiet
Wow, the last two or three weeks a fellow that only reads a paper once a day has no chance of keeping up on the news. With President Obama, Kerry, Assad and Putin puttin’ in their two cents, the story on Syria changed direction faster than Miley’s twerking hips.
Remember when we had five warships in the Mediterranean ready to fire cruise missiles at Syria? Abruptly, the President decided to wait till Congress finished their vacation. Soon the war changed from missiles and B-1 bombers to "unbelievably small." For awhile I thought Obama had read my Weekly Comments where I suggested he challenge Assad to a duel… using water pistols. Squirt! Squirt! would be "smaller" than Boom! Boom! The question now is, is a "Squirt" larger than a Pinprick?
Secretary Kerry blurted that if Assad gave up his chemical weapons then we would back off, but he said he was sure Assad would never agree to do it. Before a reporter could even get that change of direction in print, Putin got wind of it and jumped in with an offer to arrange it. Oddly, we took Putin serious even though he had been assuring the world that Assad did not have any chemical weapons, only the rebels did.
Next Obama went on national television to announce a possible diplomatic end to an unbelievably small war before it started. Then Putin, or an impostor, wrote an editorial for the New York Times. I say "impostor" because it read like it had been written by an American, not some Russian who worships Stalin. Next Assad himself goes on NBC television, speaking English! What gives?
My, how things change. A couple of years ago, on the Egypt uprising, our President was leading from behind. Now, on Syria, he is leading from behind Putin.
Maybe we should let Putin have Syria, but only if he agrees to take Afghanistan off our hands. And he must leave Ukraine alone.
Nobody knows how this will end, or if it will end. I can tell you though how it got started: our President and his crew talk too much. He started it himself when he announced that Assad has got to go, and then piled on by drawing a red line. If they had shut up and kept Assad guessing instead of assuring him he was in no mortal danger, then Obama would be holding the cards instead of Putin. Instead of battleships off the coast, sneak in a couple of submarines. If you’re planning a war, follow General Eisenhower’s example, not Chamberlain’s.
Syria, Egypt and Libya are getting the attention. But Iran is the one to worry about.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
"The smartest statesmen are the worst fooled when anything comes up quick." WA #418, Dec. 28, 1930
"There is one thing no nation can accuse us of, and that is secret diplomacy." WA #45, Oct. 21, 1923
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