It’s hard to know whether Sarah Palin would be so quick to condemn a Republican president for venturing the idea that the U.S. should take military action against Syria in response to what the White House said is a documented chemical weapon attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on his own people.
But in a Facebook post called “Let Allah Sort it Out,” the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee-turned-Fox News personality let President Obama have it.
It was Obama, she said, who painted himself into a corner a year ago when he said that chemical weapons represented a “red line” that Syria’s president should not cross. (His actual statement was slightly more vague than what many people recall. But he did use the phrase “red line” and it did appear that Syria crossed it on Aug. 21, when some 1,400 Syrians died in Damascus suburbs as a result of chemical bombs.)
In nine typically antagonistic paragraphs, Palin managed to sum up the feelings of many Americans on both sides of the partisan divide who believe that Obama has not yet laid out a persuasive case for American military intervention in yet another strife-torn Middle Eastern nation.
“So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot?” wrote Palin, apparently still stinging at some of the barbs directed at her intellect during the 2008 presidential campaign and after, when she became a heroine of the tea party wing of the GOP.
“We didn’t intervene when over 100,000 Syrians were tragically slaughtered by various means, but we’ll now intervene to avenge the tragic deaths of over 1,000 Syrians killed by chemical weapons, though according to the White House we’re not actually planning to take out the chemical weapons because doing so would require ‘too much of a commitment.’”
(She seems to be referring to Obama’s statement Friday during a meeting with Baltic leaders in which he spoke of the need to take a “limited, narrow act” against Syria. “Again, I repeat, we’re not considering any open-ended commitment. We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach.”)
In any case, like many Americans, Palin wondered what the ultimate American goal in Syria would be: “President Obama wants to do what, exactly? Punish evil acts in the form of a telegraphed air strike on Syria to serve as a deterrent? If our invasion of Iraq wasn’t enough of a deterrent to stop evil men from using chemical weapons on their own people, why do we think this will be?... Do we really think our actions help either side or stop them from hurting more civilians?”
On Saturday, bowing to pressure that included a letter signed by 200 bipartisan members of Congress, the president unexpectedly announced he would seek congressional approval before deciding whether to bomb Syria in retaliation for what Secretary of State John Kerry called a "crime against humanity."
House Speaker John Boehner, the Ohio Republican, said that the House of Representatives would take up the matter the week of Sept. 9, after its summer recess.
Palin, whose statement on Facebook had garnered more than 77,000 “likes” by early Saturday evening, ended with a familiar snarky sentiment that she has expressed in the past:
“If we are dangerously uncertain of the outcome and are led into war by a Commander-in-chief who can’t recognize that this conflict is pitting Islamic extremists against an authoritarian regime with both sides shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ at each other,” wrote Palin, “then let Allah sort it out.”
Twitter: @robinabcarianCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times