President Barack Obama has been evidently reluctant to go to war in Syria, but has started down the long and winding road by deciding to provide weapons to the insurgents. Why he is risking involvement in another conflict in another Muslim nation is hard to fathom.
However, the president did act only after former president Bill Clinton warned that Obama could end up looking like a “total wuss” and “a total fool” if the latter did not drag America into war. If there is anyone who should not be giving war‐related advice, it is Bill Clinton.
His “splendid little war” in Kosovo left a mess in its wake, including ethnic cleansing by America’s putative allies. Indeed, he always had a curious view of the purpose of war. He once expressed his frustration that he likely would not be considered a great president without prosecuting a major conflict.
Moreover, why is Clinton of all people accusing another president of looking like a “total wuss” and “a total fool” for hesitating to go to war? After all, as I relate in the American Spectator, he engaged in all manner of personal maneuvering to avoid being drafted to fight in Vietnam.
That’s fine by me. It was a stupid war in which tens of thousands of fine Americans died as a result of dumb decisions by foolish Washington policymakers. But it is striking how reluctant he was personally to go to war. Why, some people might consider him to have been a “wuss.”
As I pointed out:
Intervening in Syria is a serious mistake. The U.S. has no interest at stake that warrants entanglement in another Middle Eastern civil war. President Ronald Reagan learned that lesson three decades ago and responded appropriately, by getting out fast.
It’s bad enough if President Obama made his decision because he genuinely believes that the U.S. needs to fight another war in another Muslim nation. It’s far worse if the president acted to ensure that he doesn’t look like a wuss and a fool. For there’s no bigger wuss and fool than someone who allows Bill Clinton to manipulate him into going to war.
Read the rest here.