Russia moves ships into Mediterranean, ready to intervene if U.S. strikes
Situation could spiral quickly out of control.
Russian military forces are moving into position where they can possibly intercept Allied attempts to strike Syria. The Russian military has confirmed the movement of ships in the Mediterranean.
The anti-submarine (ASW) ship Admiral Panteleyev, has moved into the Mediterranean on a scheduled deployment there. At the same time, a Russian missile cruiser, the Moskva, is being deployed and will serve as the Navy's flagship in the Eastern Mediterranean.
These ships have the capability to intercept Allied aircraft and ships, and if properly positioned they could theoretically intercept cruise missiles as they fly towards targets in Syria.
Right now, it seems unlikely that the Russians would actually move to block a strike by Allied forces, however they are positioning to involve themselves if the conflict should widen. They are also pushing hard politically to discourage Obama from ordering a strike.
President Obama insists he has not yet made up his mind about a strike, but he is asking permission from Congress to conduct what he says will be a series of limited and precise strikes designed to "degrade" Assad's ability to deploy chemical weapons.
Critics have a lot of ammunition, and the positioning of Russian missile cruisers and other ships makes the case against strikes more compelling. Critics argue that the strikes will be limited in effectiveness because Assad has enjoyed ample warning. They also warn that Syria and even Iran could retaliate against Israel, which would prompt an Israeli response. This could cause the conflict to spiral quickly out of control.
Syrian and Iran both have pledged to strike Israel in retaliation for any Allied attack.
Conversely, Obama is correct that Assad must understand the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially against civilians, will not be tolerated. The problem is that no other nation, except for France and Saudi Arabia, seem to agree. The world condemns the attacks, but only a few are willing to actually do anything about them.
The United Nations has already demonstrated their spectacular ability to fail at peaceful resolution of the conflict.
This leaves the United States standing virtually alone against Assad, as only the U.S. has the means and will to degrade his weapons capability.
There are times when the use of force is justified. Against a mass murderer such as Assad, one can make a compelling case. However, there remains too many variables and too little chance of success to make strikes worth the risk and expense.
Of course, there is the sheer hypocrisy of it all too. Since Obama railed against Assad's Aug. 21 chemical attack on Damascus which killed 1,400, Obama's abortion policies have killed 45,000 babies in the womb.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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