Loose lips sink ships was a favorite expression of my dad, a proud Navy veteran of the invasion of Okinawa.
Loose lips also may result in another foreign intervention quagmire for the U.S. That's a lesson learned the hard way by President Obama—and now all of us.
It's unfortunate that an off-the-cuff statement uttered by Obama to staffers over a year ago about Syria crossing a "red line," if it either moves around or uses a "bunch of chemical weapons," now has America standing on the brink of another Middle Eastern adventure.
Obama finds himself in a no-win situation. Because of his impromptu words, the country's credibility with Russia, Iran, China and North Korea is at stake.
There are only no-win scenarios for the U.S. The Navy and Air Force can launch all the missile attacks that it wants on suspected chemical weapons launchers and Syrian military facilities. There's no guarantee that all the sites will be taken out.
The gift of time compounds Obama's woes. Undoubtedly, Syrian leadership is using the time leading up to a potential U.S. strike to hide its poisonous gas stocks. What happens a week following U.S. missile attacks when Syria launches a more devastating chemical weapons attack on civilians and rebels. Do we go in again and again and again? The President is blowing smoke when he tells Americans that any missile strike is a message or a shot across Syria’s bow.
Scenario two features a successful U.S. attack on every Syrian target and the capture of all chemical storage depots. Then what? After Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans have little stomach for a prolonged occupation of Syria. Who's going to run the place after strongman Assad is gone? Don't expect a moderate and secular Syria to emerge under the leadership of the fractured and rag-tag rebel groups? Didn't we learn a lesson from the ouster of Saddam Hussein in Iraq?
The current leadership void in Iraq has triggered the greatest wave of violence there in years. Similarly, Syria will explode into chaos.
The Middle East has become America's version of Black Flag's Roach Motel. As the tagline from Roach Motel’s classic 1981 TV commercial says, "Roaches check in, but they don't check out."
Paul Carey (Aug. 29, 2013): What I think is that it is irresponsible to assume that Assad would gas his own people. There is ample evidence to the contrary.
What I think is that the writer formulates their opinion from the lame stream media and Whitehouse PR. Naive.
What I think is that the American people should take to the streets to save Syria from our military. Sure, 300~1,300 were killed. Most Likely by the rebels (Al-Qaeada et al. What I think is that if we launch missiles, when it is all over, 500,000 Syrians will be dead and untold millions will suffer.
Does the writer know of Wesley Clark? The writer might find this interesting.
Ronald N. Levy (Sep. 3, 2013): If our destroyers fire missiles at Syria, should we foresee that Syria will fire missiles at our destroyers? Does it seem likely to us that Russia--which sells weapons to Syria the way we sell weapons to many countries--can supply missiles capable of sinking destroyers?
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Sep. 3, 2013): With Boehner's backing and the ssme from McCain, the attack is certain. Nevertheless, remains an inexcusable mystery that not one American politiciab, from the President down, has even suggested the idea of the Saudis et al even getting involved...asnd the same goes for the media who have ignored the same idea.
Why do you think that is?
Ronald N. Levy (Aug. 30, 2013): We're not on the brink of "another Middle Eastern adventure," we're on the brink of murder.
If we kill people who are not attacking us and not threatening to attack us, we are murdering them.
We allow Charlie Manson and the unibomber to live although they had NO
reason to kill people, but we're going to kill Syrians because their leader used gas in response to attacks against Syria by revolutionaries?
If Americans shoot our police and soldiers and kill many of them, is it not okay for our police and soldiers to retaliate and try to stop the killing?
"Who am I to judge," asked the Pope about whether priests had a right to be gay so long as they remained celibate in line with their vows.
Should our President not show similar humility about judging which weapons a national leader should use when his people are attacked with guns and bombs by revolutionaries?
Who among us has the right to kill people because we feel that the national leader of people we kill chose the wrong weapons to defend his country?
Would it seem fair for any country to bomb your home and mine, or to
fire missiles that kill our children, because an American President used the atomic bomb instead of more conventional weapons to fight
armies that were attacking us? Hell, we didn't even nuke their armies, we nuked two civilian cities in Japan! And with conventional bombers we killed over 100,000 civilians in the university city of Dresden!
"Thou shalt not kill" is really not a bad idea. It is not far out.
It's God's law and American law and we can hope that President Obama obeys this law.
Joe Honick (Aug. 30, 2013): I've said it so many times I must be wrong...but I don't think so. The option not discussed by anyone who can do something is for Obama to demand the militarily heavy laden Saudis(with $300 billion in arms bought from us), the big shots in Qatar and other neighboring nations conduct a kind of "Crime Stopper" operation with Assad and company.
But of course they won't, and seeming neither will Obama have the courage to challenge them. Seems every time there is an upset in that area, we and a few others get booked in for starring roles.
Bottom line: there surely is another option and the major question is why it has not been even explored in the media.