When we went to war in Iraq, we had a goal: regime change.
You could argue we didn’t have our ducks in a row for what would come after. Plenty of people tore down the entire idea of getting rid of Saddam for that precise reason. OK, from an Iraq War supporter, point taken.
So what exactly is the goal as we attack Syria? Teach Bashar Assad to respect our red lines? Blow up his airfields, smash his aircraft, incinerate his chemweapons depots? Change the regime without calling it that?
After all, that is a phrase Bush-phobics dare not employ. To use that hated phrase would bring an anti-Bush liberal uncomfortably close to another word: hypocrisy.
Bret Stephens argues boldly in the Wall Street Journal that our goal should be to kill Bashar Assad and the Assad family members tied up in the political power structure of Syria. Reason? To show other world leaders the penalty for using chemical weapons is, well, death.
We haven’t heard yet what exactly our goals are. Frankly, I wouldn’t expect the Obama team to say outloud that they were out to kill a head of state. The President hasn’t been shy about bragging he killed bin Laden. Nor has he demonstrated much reluctance to kill al Qaeda leaders (and their families) with drone strikes. Nonetheless, I sense a hesitation on Obama’s part to say he’s going after a national leader. Once again, way too Bushy
Maybe the President will deliver a speech (Bush-like) as hostilities commence, explaining our national purpose. It would be advisable. He isn’t getting Congressional approval, he won’t have a UN Security Council mandate, and the latest polling shows the public approval for this attack is a measly nine percent.
If he does give that speech to the nation, he should say what we’re up to in the coming attack, what our purpose is, and why we are doing it. It helps to explain more about the why, considering the seriousness of the use of chemical weapons, and the American public’s near unanimous disapproval of action this time.
But most important will be an explanation of precisely what we’re trying to do. It’s a shame liberals, including Obama, gave Regime Change such a bad name.
It would be a handy phrase to put to use today.