Cross-posted from Wallwritings
The American public doesn't want to go to war unless there is something out there that frightens them.
Which explains why all of our wars have been preceded by dire warnings of what will happen if we don't militarily engage the enemy.
In President Obama's Wednesday night speech. he repudiated his own caution and prudence by falling in line with those who think there is no fear out there that war cannot overcome.
The New York Times editorial board sonorously endorsed the President's decision under a headline that informs the nation that the drums of war have had their efffect: "The Attack on ISIS Expands to Syria."
Gail Collins' Times column the same day, "A Man With a Plan," questions the wisdom of her editorial bosses, pointing to samples of the strategy congressional fear/war mongers employed to influence the President's decision:
Collins cites a Texas senator:
"'President Obama's chronic passivity has helped the jihadists,' John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said in a floor speech this week. Cornyn slammed the administration's 'don't do stupid stuff' mantra, claiming Obama 'doesn't seem to fully grasp the magnitude of the threats and challenges that America is now dealing with.'"
Collins reminds her readers of just why the President's earliest caution and prudence made better sense than his decision to yield to the likes of John Cornyn. She further comments on Senator Cornyn's call to action:
"Cornyn mixed up Iranians and Iraqis a few times, but concerned citizens understand that these things get complicated. More to the point, not doing something stupid is actually a super foreign policy goal. Just look back on our recent history of meddling in the Middle East and what do you see? A heck of a lot of stupid stuff we wish we hadn't done."
Norman Solomon's Global Research column sums up Obama's speech by pointing to what he calls "a liberal style of murmuring reservations while deferring to the essence of U.S. policies for perpetual war:... He conludes with this reminder that the Times is leading the national media pack with its support for Obama's decision:
"Like the vast bulk of the rest of U.S. mass media, when push comes to militaristic shove, the New York Times refuses to make a break from the madness of perpetual war. In fact, with rare exceptions, the dominant media outlets end up fueling that madness."
Charles Blow's Times column,"The Cost of War," reported on public opinion prior to the speech:
"According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published Tuesday [September 9], a vast majority of Americans see ISIS as a threat to the United States, a slight majority believe the president hasn't moved aggressively enough, and most support expanding United States airstrikes into Syria."
Blow is not swayed by public support for airstrikes in Syria. In his column, he writes:
"I implore the president and the nation to proceed with caution.
We can kill anti-American fighters and even their leaders, but we can't kill anti-American sentiment. To some degree, every time we commit our forces in the Middle East we run the risk of further inflaming that sentiment."