A Critical Look at Some of the Rhetoric of Obama’s Syria Speech

President Obama made his case for possible/eventual intervention in Syria last night.  Let’s jump right into some of the language with a critical eye.

Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country.

Clearly, the first 99,000 people that died rather horribly didn’t matter as much as the 1,000 that died rather horribly.  Now is the time for the world to show its morals and intervene more heavily!  The logic speaks for itself.

When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory, but these things happened. The facts cannot be denied.

And when elected leaders commit atrocities, like drone striking loosely defined “imminent threats” on foreign soil that violates international laws, they also depend on the world to look the other way.  The facts cannot be denied.22syria-cnd-articleInline

It’s also a danger to our security…I believed it was right in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security to take this debate to Congress…the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military….Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria.

…What?  Good luck following that logic.

Iran, which must decide whether to ignore international law by building a nuclear weapon or to take a more peaceful path.

An odd statement since, as previously noted here, U.S. intelligence has confirmed Iran has “decided” already not to pursue nuclear weapons.  He may want to check his sources before throwing out those accusations.

I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. (Which came after he said the following):
Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield.

If you are confirming you aren’t putting “American boots on the ground”, why would our troops “face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield”?  It’s kind of either one or the other.

Neither Assad nor his allies have any interest in escalation that would lead to his demise.

Which begs the question: why would he have ordered the use of chemical weapons in the first place since he knew it would up the chance of international intervention which would lead to escalation possibly leading to his demise?  This suggests he is somehow logical and rational while being very sadistic.  And if he is just sadistic, why did it take so long to order this type of strike and why hasn’t he ordered more since?  Or maybe he never gave the order at all, as has been suggested.

But al Qaida will only draw strength in a more chaotic Syria if people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being gassed to death.

Note to world: please ignore the undeniable fact Al Qaeda has drawn strength in a more chaotic Iraq because people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being killed.  And the strength they drew there is why they are now so strong in Syria.  Our bad on that one.

My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements; it has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world’s a better place because we have borne them.

See sentences immediately preceding that quote, then pretend that didn’t happen.  That’s how you are able to believe that as an accurate statement.

Also ignore the slew of actions by the American government over the past seven decades that haven’t made the world a better place (e.g. Vietnam, Iran-Contra, helping to overthrow democratically elected leaders around the world such as in Iran, supporting and propping up dictators like Mubarak in Egypt, etc., etc.).

What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?

If we chose to look the other way, I suppose we would live in a world where the U.S. helps a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, like we did with Hussein in Iraq, as was recently revealed.

…along with our leadership of a world where we seek to ensure that the worst weapons will never be used.

Please ignore the U.S. use of depleted uranium in the Iraq War.  Thank you for looking the other way world.

Maybe one day we will live in a grownup world where this type of ridiculous rhetoric that completely ignores history and is rife with hypocrisy will be replaced with a more realistic view of the planet and the things that occur on its surface.  We can only hope…

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