There is an old saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
I don't know from where that originated, but I will say that over the 20th and 21st centuries, that reductive notion has gotten us into more trouble for our foreign policy than anything else I can name.
But that doesn't stop the 24 hour cable news networks, with their bloodlust for content, from trying to browbeat the Obama administration into another hasty battlefront in the neo-con foreign policy equivalent of "when did you stop beating your wife?":
WALLACE: One final question, sir, and we have less than a minute left. You talk about this is going to make it worse for Assad. After the president announced his decision, officials in Damascus were saying that the president had flinched, had made a joke of the American administration. A newspaper out in the streets of Damascus today calls this, quote, "the start of the historic American retreat."
Haven't you handed Syria and Iran at least a temporary victory, sir?
Oh help me, Rhonda. This blatant jonesing for military action ignores several important key facts:
Syria is a Western nations-created concept from the First World War. Like many other Middle Eastern nations, the borders of Syria were created without regard to the existing tribal, caliphate or religious realities. Syrians are primarily Sunnis, but also Alawite Shias, Kurds, Christians and Armenians, among others.
- President Bashar Assad is an Alawite. The sectarian strife comes from the majority of Syrians being Sunni.
- Guess what other nation is also primarily Shia? Iran.
- Guess what faction is Sunni? Al Qaeda, who have been allegedly assisting in the rebellion.
- And what nation has promised to assist Syria if we launch even a "limited" attack? Russia, whose president has been enjoying getting on President Obama's last nerve any way he can.
So in the classic "Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" equation that Fox News employs for all things Obama, Chris Wallace could just as easily asked Secretary Kerry why President Obama is helping Al Qaeda had Obama announced imminent attacks on Syria. A win/win for Fox News. Either way, they have Obama aiding an enemy of the United States.
And get this: now the Syrians are claiming the right of pre-emptive response doctrine that Fox News championed when coined by Dick Cheney. Yeah, this is one giant clusterf*@k that doesn't need cheerleading by Fox News.
The enemy of my enemy is clearly not my friend. Nor is the American media