Mercenary Work?

John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today that the Saudis and other Gulf Arab states have offered to pay the full cost of a U.S. invasion of Syria if need be…

“With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a hearing Wednesday, according to The Washington Post. “They have. That offer is on the table.”

“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.”

In response to this, Rep. John Fleming – the only member of the Louisiana House delegation to so far come out against Congressional authorization for President Obama’s Syrian adventure – had an excellent quote…

The US military is now for hire for mercenary work?

On one level that’s not quite fair. The Saudis picked up much of the cost of Operation Desert Storm, and that wasn’t seen as a mercenary operation since it involved the U.S.-led coalition liberating an ally, Kuwait, which had been invaded – we had the troops and tanks, and the Saudis had a lot of spare cash lying around. It was a question of allies pitching in what they had to give to mount an effort to do something manifestly in our mutual interest.

Why is this different? Simple – what we’re contemplating doing in Syria is not in our national interest like Desert Storm was. We’re not protecting any allies by bombing Syria. And so if Saudi cash bankrolling the operation is a reason why we’re going to do it, that would make Fleming correct. Obama and Kerry are talking about putting the U.S. military at the service of Saudi Arabia in exchange for a big sweaty wad of money.

The Senate Foreign Affairs committee voted 10-7 to authorize Obama to attack today. The seven “no” votes were all Republicans; so much for the Democrat Party’s dovish foreign policy throughout the Bush years.

Those 10 probably didn’t read Erick Erickson’s piece on Syria

A strike now is nothing more than the President trying to salvage credibility he dithered away over several years of ignoring Syria to focus on Libya only to see it blow up in his face. Striking now in an act of war the President refuses to call an act of war and making it known that the act is designed to hurt, but not end, the Assad regime, is an effete response only a liberal ninny could come up with. To be sure, Syria would take it as an act of war. In fact, in all the President’s dithering we should not be surprised if Syria has diverted resources to make sure we feel pain. They have certainly had time to do it.

The President could not say why we should engage in Libya, but not Syria. Now he wants us to engage in Syria because of a red line that has been crossed, but would not actually engage when the red line was first crossed. He would not engage when more than 100,000 Syrians had been killed with conventional weapons, but suddenly feels compelled to. And if in Syria, why not North Korea? Why not Iran? On what basis was Libyan assistance appropriate, but not Syrian, and now Syrian assistance is appropriate, but not others?

This Administration’s foreign and military policies make all the sense of a homeless schizophrenic off his meds running down the Washington Mall. They make even less sense when coupled with Administration rhetoric on the sequestration making it impossible for the military to do anything with the military. This is John “suspend my campaign and race back to Washington as a show of influence” McCain level un-serious.

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