It’s what the audience expects.
For months now, the Washington Post and the New York Times have been urging Obama to go to war. France and the UK have been beating the war drums even longer. Qatar and Turkey have been crying for war before the last one wrapped up. Eventually the naked emperor had to go out there and give his international fans what they wanted.
Obama was tentative when it came to his first war, but he’s an old pro at it now. He knows that no one who matters will judge him for anything that happens. It’s all in fun and it distracts the unemployed people eating soup out of a can from wondering if they’re going to be evicted tomorrow or today.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has grown up. He knows that the public doesn’t matter. He knows that Congress doesn’t matter. He knows that there is nothing between his will and the might and fortunes of a nation. And he’s doing what he will with them.
He might bomb Syria for a few days, as he’s claiming and as he falsely claimed of Libya, or a few weeks or a few months. The military has been cut to the bone and retasked to celebrating gay weddings and green energy, but there are enough bombs left over to make for some spectacular fireworks as the Al Nusra Front and their Free Syrian Army allies make it to Damascus to slaughter the last Christians there.
Every show needs a good closing number and the burning of the last churches in Syria while the bombs burst overhead will be the performance of a lifetime. Maybe Obama will even get Miley to sing.
There will be criticism, but as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Benghazi, “What difference does it make anyway?” What difference does anything make in the absence of morals. Without them, there is only power and the will to use it, whether it is the power to bomb a nation or take your clothes off.
The only way to prove will is through action. The ability to do a thing implies a need to do it. If a thing can be done, it must be done. And so will disproves itself as the ability to do a thing forces you to actually go ahead and do it to prove your will, without regard to whether you want to do it or not.
Our society sleepwalks towards these inevitabilities of power without ever asking who it was that decided on their inevitability. Transformed from a society of virtue into vice, we wonder why we are slipping into tyranny and corruption of every sort. Restraint is a virtue. With only the vice of power, the addiction of will, there is nothing between us and those who would destroy us but the nakedness of their power. And the moment that they can deprive us of our rights and destroys us, they will.
Tomorrow, Obama may fight Syria. But the rest of the time, he’s fighting us.