An “[a]bsurd humiliating flip-floppy avoidance of war > war.” At least, according to Time magazine’s senior national correspondent Mike Grunwald, it is.
This bold declaration is open to debate. But even assuming Grunwald is correct, why assume it’s a binary choice? After all, President Obama din’t have to choose between a “humiliating” peace or war. He could have simply chosen not to intervene at this time — and skipped the histrionics.
That’s what my latest column for The Week is about.
Here’s an excerpt:
“[T]here is something to the ‘too proud to fight’ theory. After all, who says going to war always demonstrates toughness? Why should we — a strong nation — be pushed into war? Strong nations, after all, get to decide when and where to fight. Strong nations aren’t reactive. They proactively make decisions based on their own interests, values, and timetables.”
President Obama could have aggressively punished Assad for using chemical weapons — or he could have adeptly avoided intervention — without making America susceptible to mockery.
“Instead, from the botched “red line” declaration to the last-minute decision to seek congressional approval to being outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin to the meandering prime-time speech, Obama has had the worst of both worlds.”
There are a lot of problems with settling for a humiliating peace, not the least of which is that it rarely lasts.