Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Meanwhile and Elsewhere...

...Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered airstrikes into Syria, ostensibly to show how a real man takes out the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS, otherwise known as Dickless Thugs. Well, isn't that nice of Putin. After all, the terrors and atrocities committed by Islamic State have been condemned by everyone with even a shred of a conscience. So it's great that Russia and Putin are on board with helping destroy these thugs once and for all. 


You're probably thinking, eh, that doesn't sound like Putin at all. Putin is usually a real asshole when it comes to what the rest of the world wants, particularly if what the rest of the world wants is what the USA wants as well. 

So here's what appears to be happening. Reports are the real targets of Putin's forces are rebel forces who oppose current Syrian President Basha Assad. And yes, Vlad and Bash are like best buds, totally, you know? They have matching BFF bracelets and, like, everything. 

Yeah, I ship it: call 'em Bashmir. Works for me. 

Now Putin stands by his assertion that these airstrikes are meant to take out ISIS and only ISIS. This has nothing to do with propping up the regime of his best bud, Basha. Putin actually blames the United States for not cooperating in providing intelligence on where ISIS is or at least telling Russia where to not shoot. So if Russia took out Assad's enemies in the process, well, that's on the Americans. Russia is only trying to help. 

Damn, Putin is one slick bastard. He'd do great in American politics, wouldn't he? I mean, he would have the GOP nomination for President sewn up by now, for sure. Putin, shirtless, on a horse? Donald Trump wouldn't stand a chance! 

But you gotta given it to ol' Vlad. He saw an opening and took it. And it looks like American held the door open for him. 

Two years ago I wrote a post about the situation in Syria. I noted at the time that "President Obama, I think, can be too deliberate, too measured in his responses, in his actions." I added of course that he has an entire political system arrayed to counter him at every move.  

On that point, I noted that "John McCain and other GOP leaders chided the President for not taking action. Now President Obama is faced with the very real prospect that military action is needed to show that the use of chemical weapons will not stand; now the GOP is pulling back on the reins." 

Still, it seemed to me that President Obama would have to take some kind of action. I wrote, "Only history can judge if whatever decision the President makes is a good one or a bad one. But ultimately, a decision will be made." 

Except a little over 2 years after I posted that, it seems a decision was not made at all. Unless you can count "kick the can down the road" as a decision. 2+ years later and... 

  • Assad is still in power after using chemical weapons against his own people and suffered no consequences for that action. 
  • Civil war still rends Syria asunder which has left thousands upon thousands of Syrians dead. 
  • A refugee crisis threatens to overwhelm Europe's resources as Syrians do whatever they can to flee the deadly and desperate circumstances of their war ravaged homeland. 
  • The Islamic State continues to fester and spread across Syria and all of the Middle East like a cancer. 
Now here's an understatement if I've ever uttered one: figuring out what to do in the Middle East is hard. 

Well, duh! 
  • Diplomacy doesn't work. 
  • Economic sanctions don't work.
  • Dropping bombs doesn't work. 
  • Going in with boots on the ground and guns blazing doesn't work. 
But sitting it out and hoping for the best? That damn sure doesn't work either. And now Russia's showing up and showing off and we're looking like we've been caught with our pants down around our ankles. 

I'm no foreign policy expert. I'm just a schmuck with a blog who writes too much about comic books and Doctor Who. But I do know this much. No one ever won a fight by staying home. Our lack of action has cost all us considerable leverage and respect in the Middle East. And the real terrible end result of that is that tyranny remains in power and people continue to suffer as a result. Sometimes you fight a battle not because you're gonna win but because it's worth fighting for, even if you lose. 

That's all I got for today. I'll be back with another post tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You


Oh, if you're wondering if I'm going to post anything about the Democratic Presidential Debate....

Do I have to? I mean it was all rational and well behaved with a mostly intelligent discussion of real issues. 

In other words, it was boring. 

To sum up: 

  • Hillary didn't screw up.
  • Bernie didn't screw up either. 
  • Joe didn't show up.
  • Those three other guys did show up but we're not sure why they were there. And neither were they. 
Final result coming out of this debate: 

  • Hillary will still be ahead.
  • Bernie will still be nipping at her heels. 
  • Joe ain't gonna go.
  • Those three other guys are still those three other guys. 
In other words, we are where we were before the debate. 

The biggest gaffe of the night came not from the debate stage but from Twitter and no, it wasn't Donald Trump.  

No, it was from our pal, Mike FHuckabee

Racism exists because we have a sin problem in America, not a skin problem.

Which he then followed up with this: 

I trust with my tax dollars like I trust a North Korean chef with my labrador!

Now, don't be too hard on the guy. Remember, as the man said, racism is a sin problem, not a skin problem. 

OK, that's that for this post debate addendum. Now I'm really out of here! 

See ya back here tomorrow. 

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