, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 31, 2013

In Syria fight, Obama raises questions

I had just about finished my coffee by the time Big Freddy showed up so I waved to the waitress for a refill as he scrunched into his side of the booth.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“What’s up is us going solo into that not-so-good night in Syria, and what that’s going to mean for Obama,” Freddy said.

“Well, we don’t know all there is to be known yet,” I said.

“What we know is he’s lost the Brits. France is not going to be far behind, and Germany wants to leave it up to the Security Council,’” Freddy said.

“I was surprised by the Brits’ vote,” I said.

“They did the right thing by taking it, and it turns out ‘No way, Jose’,” Freddy said.

“That was really big, and it’s just as well it did. There was no way Congress would vote on it, even if there was time, because the way public opinion is going, Obama would lose.”

“But delaying counteraction would give those responsible the time to cover their tracks,” I said.

“But there’s a larger question. Why is he insisting on going ahead anyway when there’s so much opposition?”

“Why did Kennedy open the door to Vietnam, and Johnson go through it?” Freddy said. “Why did Bush do the same in Iraq?”

“National self-determination?” I said.

“And they did it without a declaration of war by Congress,,” Freddy said. “We haven’t declared war since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and we’ve been warring like there’s no tomorrow.”

“You’re stretching things,” I said. “All things considered, what just happened in Syria, as awful as it is, wasn’t against us, it was against Syrians.”

“But by using poison gas on innocent men, women, and children,” Freddy said. “That’s an international no-no.”

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