Syria: Spine of Silly String

JFK-inauguralHeartless humorist P.J. O’Rourke reimagines Kennedy’s stirring inaugural address in a contemporary setting, as part of a cruel mockery of our rudderless but belligerent Chief Executive:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill—and since we’re not engaged in nation-building, every nation should wish us well—that we shall pay any price if it’s not too high, bear any burden unless it’s burdensome, meet any hardship unless it’s hard, support any friend if we have any, oppose any foe—although no nation should think of us as a foe because we’re not that kind of country anymore—to assure the survival and success of liberty, unless it’s a holiday weekend.

Mean-spirited, yes? Read The Whole Thing™, in which numerous stirring speeches of world and American history are recast in today’s Leading From Behind® vein. It isn’t too hard to imagine this guy on Bunker Hill: “Don’t fire until you see the whites .  .  . But we should not understand this as a racial issue.” But it takes an O’Rourke to make a full two pages out of it, and take it from King Leonidas to Neil Armstrong, then conclude on a quote that will not just buff out.

As far as Syria goes: air and cruise missile strikes will be ineffective and cause substantial unintentional damage and suffering if they are not guided by special operations forces, either military or from an other government agency, on the ground. That is the lesson of every ineffective bombing campaign in history, from World War II’s strategic bombing that did not disable German war industries, through the unsuccessful interdiction campaigns in Italy, Korea, and Vietnam, to the 95%-wasted bombing of Serbia and the futile cruise-missile strikes on Afghanistan in 1998.

It was only when eyes on the ground combined with thunder from the sky, in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, that the bombing became effective. It lost its effectiveness when this model was replaced with one based on armed drones working targets developed exclusively by ambiguous, easily-spoofed technical surveillance.

A Syrian attack that puts SOF on the groud is anathema to the electorate. One that does not will kill a lot of Syrians and blow up a lot of stuff, but will probably stiffen the regime’s resistance. (But bombing makes people give up, right? Well, the Air Force and the clueless, zero-days-in-uniform Georgetown/Harvard axis like to believe that, but take a moment to consider what bombing did to morale in London in 1940 and Berlin in 1944. The former fought through it to victory, and the latter resisted until overrun by Russian infantry and tanks).

And while it’s great fun to enjoy O’Rourke’s well-aimed barbs, we only have one President at a time, we have this one for the next 3 1/2 years, and no good comes of having a head of state and of government who is an international laughingstock. That he did it to himself is immaterial: he will not suffer for it; his vast fortune, his even larger self-regard, and his committed cult-of-personality in the media will suffer no dent or stain. The country, and any poor bastard that gets deployed on his watch, are the ones who’ll have to suffer.

8 thoughts on “Syria: Spine of Silly String

    1. Hognose Post author

      O’Rourke could never have written another word, but years ago guaranteed himself immortality by comparing giving money to Congress with giving whisky and car keys to teenagers. (Actually O’Rourke might have given them, metaphorically, “whiskey” but I’m more of a Scotch guy).

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  2. PJ

    “… we only have one President at a time, we have this one for the next 3 1/2 years, and no good comes of having a head of state and of government who is an international laughingstock.”

    This is exactly wrong in my opinion. No good comes from treating the ruling class as other than they are, a gang of criminals, thugs and thieves. The best thing we can do is laugh at them (although O’Rourke’s criticism is itself wrong – do we really want these people to do more than they are already doing?)

  3. Duck

    The object of our low regard should not be the limp-wristed little pretender in the White House, but the approximately twenty-two percent of our population, willful idiots all, who elected him in 2008. The first time was a mistake; re-electing him in 2012 was an act of sheer evil. Sixty million fools have made life miserable for all the rest of us; and have endangered our Liberty and the very existence of our Republic.
    “Clowns to the left of us, Jokers to the right….”

  4. Tom Wolff

    You all make some great points. I just LOVE the fact that Obungle has his tail section handed to him every time he opens his mouth, and I’m actually liking Putin for the first time in 15 years! O’Rourke is always great, and he matches my own mean-spirited style nowadays.

    But having this incompetent putz in the WH DOES make the entire country look bad. And the Free Stuff Army is dragging us all down quickly.

    This won’t end peacefully …

  5. revjen45

    As Rush said, it’s hard to run against Santa Claus. “Obama give us phones” was the money quote of the Obama years. As the Free Stuff Army grows the Productive Sector of society will be bled dry with the same results Stalin got from the same course of action. The major difference between the Democrats and most other parasites is that the Dems have no reservations about killing the host organism.

  6. B Woodman

    Who here has read and remembers Ayn Rand? Obviously NOT the Libtards. “Atlas Shrugged” lives. All one can do now is attempt to prepare for the inevitable. Durable goods of any and all kinds first, precious metals a close second, fiat paper money dead last.

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