Carl von Clausewitz, an 18th century German-Prussian soldier and military theorist who stressed the psychological and political aspects of war, once said that “It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.”
The time of action regarding any beneficial U.S. strikes on Syrian regime targets has passed because during the past week of discussion and speculation on the part of U.S. President Barack Obama who at the last moment decided to kick it over to Congress, a move which drew snickers and jeers from Syrian state ran newspaper Al-Thawra that claimed the move was a “HISTORIC AMERICAN RETREAT” in the old familiar Orwellian tone of big brother controlled media – the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has taken the opportunity and time it’s been afforded to make strategic precautions – reportedly moving troops and military equipment into civilian areas.
There’s a price to be paid for vacillating in war and even so in similar “punishment strikes” which Obama claims is his reasoning for striking Syria – to teach Assad a lesson for alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians. But to announce your plans and then sit and think things over, hemming and hawing with your politician cronies – well that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever witnessed. The next dumbest thing I’ll witness will be the republican led congress agreeing to President Obama’s weak-kneed plan to attack Syria – a vote which we will most likely witness early next week.
I’m against strikes on Syria – and have been from the beginning. I agree the reports and images from that place are extremely disturbing and I have much sympathy for the innocent people who are suffering and dying there. Assad is reprehensible – but those fighting to oust him are no better. If there was a singular oppressor that could be identified I think more people would be willing to see a military intervention there – but both sides of that conflict are deserving of annihilation, according to what I’ve learned in 2 years of following the developments – annihilation which they will afford one another if given time and left to their own devices.
Now in light of the tentative instability that U.S. leaders are proudly displaying to the world and considering Asaad has theoretically castled his king and rook by repositioning his hardware and soldiers – I’m more convinced than ever that the United States should refrain from any further involvement there.
I’d like to know what President Obama’s plan would consist of should Assad move his remaining pieces into Damascus(he almost certainly will wind up there, eventually) because according to a confidential Syrian citizen source who’s currently stationed in that city and blogging his vantage point for NPR – the people of Damascus are hanging on every word that comes from the mouth of Barack Obama – terrified that bombs are going to begin raining down on them:
In the moments leading up to Obama’s speech, which aired shortly after 9 p.m. local time, the city streets fell eerily empty. As people hurried home to watch the U.S. president live on television, many could be heard speculating about what he might say.
“The strike is coming tonight for sure,” one man was overheard saying to his friend, as they both rushed to their destination.
“Oh, c’mon man, say a prayer before you speculate like that,” his friend replied.
“Anyway, strike or no strike, in the end it’ll be the anticipation that kills us,” the first man said with a nervous chuckle.
Their banter echoed the question that was most on Damascenes’ minds: Will Obama announce the start of a military strike against Syria?
Many believed he would.
… and they have good reason. In the hours leading up to Obama’s speech food prices more than tripled in Damascus, military personnel were seen hoarding provisions and stocking up on crates of “ammunition” of an unspecified caliber and peoples fears began getting the better of them:
If for days people had been systematically hoarding food, then Saturday evening culminated in a last-minute frenzy to prepare for war, sending prices of nonperishable foods three times higher.A can of tuna went up from 200 Syrian pounds ($1) to 600 pounds in just hours, and was impossible to find in the moments just before Obama began his speech. When available, a bag of pita bread sold for 350 Syrian pounds, up from 100.
Even the Syrian military and state security personnel seemed to feel the anxiety. In days prior to Saturday, soldiers had taken up shelter in empty schools around town, loading up on provisions of bottled water and fuel.
On Saturday, truckloads of fresh produce and dozens of packets of pita bread, a staple food in the local diet, were seen entering intelligence branches throughout the city.
There were also dozens upon dozens of crates of ammunition trucked into these buildings, causing alarmed residents throughout the neighborhood to further believe a U.S. strike was coming.
When workers arrived in one neighborhood with a truckload of metal tubing, panicked residents thought the workers were setting up an anti-aircraft missile launcher in their midst.
Damascus is currently home to nearly 2 million terrified people and is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world with scientific evidence of settlements dating back as far as 9000 BC! It’s mentioned throughout the Christian bible with much emphasis on the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah which predict the complete destruction of Damascus triggering the Tribulation.
Such lethal blows on Damascus could most likely only be delivered by Israeli counter strikes to Syrian attacks on Israel – possibly the attacks which Syria recently promised Israel in response to any U.S. involvement in their conflict.