Sunday, 1 September 2013

Weekly Poll Lowdown

Well it seems again that the voters in the #ThingsElliottSays poll are broadly representative of the nation. Just over 2/3rd of you don't want any form of intervention to take place in Syria with the remainder who favoured war preferring a No Fly Zone to be present. You may ask why I did not include a tactical strike by missiles as a punitive measure? The reason for this is that the missile idea was not at all publicly on the table till around Wednesday morning, indeed there was discussion of troops on the ground as a plausible move by Western Governments.

What is to be done in Syria?

We can't do anything more without causing more harm.
We should supply weapons to the Syrian Opposition.
We should set up a No Fly Zone.
We should put troops on the ground.

Total votes: 22

My views on Syria is quite strong and it is that we should not get involved in a situation where we could not meet any of our objectives and make the conflict worse. But considering our decision not to intervene has already been settled and that I have talked about the intervention itself till the cows came home I will not touch upon it again at this time. What is interesting now is what is going on in the United States. 

 Are the US going to war with Syria?

Looming war with Syria arose because President Obama said on the 20th August last year to a journalist, after some erring, "A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilised. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation." This on the spot arbitrary decision without any consultation made by President Obama is example of the terrible foreign policy which we have witnessed during his time in office. 

Let's just say Obama hasn't been great with Foreign Policy, especially in the Middle East.

No wonder that this rather peculiar few sentences from the President has caused so much chaos in his government for we have been constantly unsure of whether the US is going to go to war or not. This whole week we have been waiting for imminent missile strikes by the USA, yet this hasn't taken place. Because of this we get John Kerry, who is a terrible Secretary of State, saying there are "decisions that must now be made" on Syrian Intervention. Then the next day we get a softening feeling from the President on intervention. 

Do you remember John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Elections? I do, just. He ran his campaign as being against the war in Iraq however he had voted for it several times and then conveniently changed his mind when chosen as candidate.

Obama is either too weak to decide or too weak to control his government. It is likely that both of these are happening. Obama has shown weakness before in deciding foreign policy, just look at Libya where the US barley fired the odd cruise missile yet were supposed to be running the whole operation. Also, senior Pentagon people are not at all keen to fire a single bullet into Syria for the strategic mess which it would create. These people are fighting their corner and the President isn't doing well in fighting his.

The Republicans, rightly, and often use this phrase to describe Obama. Who do I use this phrase for? Comment below and the correct answers receive a prize of pride in knowing.

But at last now Obama is letting Congress take the decision of whether to go to war or not. I think this is about time as this is the only appropriate constitutional way for the US government to take military action. It is good in a democracy for the people's representatives to discuss and debate issues especially ones as serious as going to war, taking full account of what their constituents feel. Also they will be able to decide exactly what the approach should be, unlike the President himself. We'll just have to keep watching Congress. 

 It is now up to Congress to decide to go to war, as it should be.

Chaotic, ill-thought out, and weak seems to be the watchword of President Obama's foreign policy, or indeed President Obama himself. I'm a great advocate of the US-UK alliance, it's one that has worked very well before. But I am no advocate of blindly following a President of such a low calibre as Obama. Bring on the 2016 elections. 

Vote in the New Poll on the Sidebar.

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