Copy of a detail of “The Battle of Anghiari,” Leonardo da Vinci’s lost depiction of the futility of war. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Cross-posted from the Colorado Progressive Jewish News.
A few days ago, writing about the Obama decision to postpone a military strike against Syria, we speculated:
At the least, it buys time to build opposition to such a reckless course. At the most, it is the beginning of a change in direction. Too early to tell. we would hope the latter but fear the former.
Didn’t take long for the smoke to clear on that one.
Having lost a key ally as Great Britain announced it would not participate in a military strike, Obama saw his foreign base of support shrink to nearly naught. He made a tactically clever move: to shore up his domestic support to compensate for the loss. From the tenure of the discussion in the Senate yesterday, which we forced ourselves to watch (for a while anyway), it was pretty clear that the U.S. Senate will stand behind Obama and formally support military action. Although there are stipulations, limitations to Obama’s field of action (no troops on the ground, a sixty-day window for military strikes with the possibility of a further Congressional approval), war has a way of escalating from one set of conditions to another and those limitations might turn out to be “flexible,” as they were in the case of Libya where a no-fly zone transformed almost immediately into an “air attack zone.”