Your father’s international order, nowhere in sight.
How many warships does it take to remove chemical weapons from Syria? One more this week than it took last week, apparently. If you’re a big, important country with a big, important navy, you want to be involved in the good-citizenship exercise in Syria.
What a coup it would be, for Team Obama to turn two weeks of dithering and squandering American credibility on the Syria question into a narrative of courage under fire and successful brinkmanship.
Could it happen? It happened for John F. Kennedy. Granted, he had Arthur Schlesinger to write a narrative for him afterward. And his administration did a better job of keeping secrets than the Obama administration does. It was only years later that the public began to realize how big a concession it was to Nikita Khrushchev to resolve the Cuban missile crisis by secretly removing U.S. theater ballistic missiles from Turkey. Continue reading “Obama’s Cuban missile crisis”
I’ve been hearing about an analysis from Yossef Bodansky, reportedly alluded to by Rush Limbaugh today, in which Bodansky suggests that U.S.-backed rebels were actually behind the chemical attack in east Damascus on 21 August. (Warning: you may not be able to bring the link up on the first try. The avalanche of clicks from Rush’s listeners seems to have the site hammered at the moment.)
I don’t believe the rebels did this (which doesn’t mean I mistake any of them for the Green Mountain Boys or the Bluecoats at Bunker Hill. It just means I don’t think they conducted this attack). The character of the attack continues to finger the Assad regime, a theme developed by France’s recently released national intelligence estimate. If you don’t have the means to read it in French or run translation software on it, Foreign Policy has a pretty good write-up.
The site in question, if it was struck, was probably the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), long known to be a key facility in Assad’s chemical and biological weapons program. (See here as well.)