Tuesday’s NBC Nighly News included an interview with Susan Rice, the President’s national security adviser, about the upcoming attack in Syria. It was unexpectedly entertaining, but not in a good way:
Q: If you lose the vote in congress. what does the president do then?
A: …we have no expectation of losing the vote in congress. We are quite confident and indeed today. we’ve had a series of very constructive bipartisan meetings… a number of key leaders have come out of those discussions, making plain their support for this. on a bipartisan basis.
In other words, the fix is in, even though most of the electorate is against it, and many Congressmen are getting almost unanimous word from their constituents that going to war in Syria is a really bad idea.
Q: …Since when did we start announcing our intentions to the enemy. potentially giving the enemy time to prepare?
A. We have not announced our intentions to the enemy….
Huh? Our leadership has been about as subtle as Miley Cyrus. (And ten years hence, we’ll wonder what that meant.)
…in fact the united states has been making clear for years that it is unacceptable to use chemical weapons. when president obama made the statement last summer… that the use of chemical weapons is absolutely unacceptable.
You see? We’re not blabbing our intentions! We’re just telling everyone about them.
Q: Do you draw that bright a distinction between the death by an incendiary bomb by a school and death by chemical weapons? That appears to be the administration’s bright line on this?
A: All of this is horrific… if terrorists get hold of those weapons, other dictators get hold of those weapons, they can be used on a massive scale.
As opposed to massive use of incendiaries, which are OK.
Q: what about the measurable chance as recent history has taught us, that military action could in this case, make things worse?
A: …We think that’s a very limited risk in this case. in the first instance, Assad and his backers in Iran and Hezbollah, do not have any interest in seeing this escalate….
I did a double-take when I heard this the first time, and went back to the video and the transcript. What planet is she on? Iran and Hezbollah are spoiling for a fight, and will be more than happy to escalate. They can start by attacking Israel.
…they know that the united states will stand up for our own national security , our own defense. and that of our partners and friends in the region. it’s not in their interest to escalate, and i don’t think they would do so….
That’s almost as good as Bush belling us that the Iraqis would welcome us as liberators. Getting us into another interminable war, in the face of flagging public support at home, when we’re, in a word, broke, would definitely be in our adversaries’ interest.
…We also have to ask, what if we don’t act. what message does that send to those who would use violence against us or others with impunity?
Well, if we do act, it tells our adversaries that if they do something really bad, we’ll send in the missiles to make some pinprick attacks, and think we’ve done our job.
Do we have a national insecurity adviser? That could only be an improvement.