It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt ~ Thomas Paine writing on America's first Right-wing president, John Adams. Thomas Paine (2/9/1737 to 6/8/1809) was an English born American Writer and political pamphleteer, whose "Common Sense" and "Crisis" papers were important influences on the American Revolution.
The Left came out against former president bush when he illegally invaded Iraq, touting a baloney rational of needing to "disarm" Saddam. This despite the fact that the IAEA weapons inspectors on the ground at the time were saying it looked like the country was pretty much devoid of WMD. Now that a Democrat is president and it looks like we may lob a few missiles over there (Syria, this time) in order to take out their admitted WMD stockpiles, the Right is having a field day pointing out the Left's "hypocrisy".
Take, for example, a recent article by Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters, which is "a website dedicated to exposing & combating liberal media bias" that (for the most part) doesn't exist...
Noel Sheppard: When George W. Bush was president, Hollywood stars turned anti-war activists such as Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins were all over the airwaves touting peace. As America apparently heads to war with Syria under a liberal Commander-in-Chief, such folk are mysteriously silent. (Article: Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins Refuse to Comment on Syria, 9/9/2013).
If Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (who are no longer a couple) don't want to comment on Syria, whereas they did comment on Iraq... maybe it has something to do with the moderate "Blue Dog" President Barack Obama telling us the truth and pushing an accurate "chemical weapons out-of-bounds" angle. Remember that when these two celebs spoke out against bush's war -- it was a war that bush lied us into! I mean, objecting to a war where the stated justification is an out-and-out lie (and those paying attention knew it) is a little different than waiting to see how a possible military action against a country accused of breaking international law plays out.
This is the reason that I too have been silent on this issue. I did not want to jump to any conclusions, given the fact that we haven't actually done anything militarily yet! Has Obama ordered an invasion? No, he ruled that out during his address Tuesday evening (9/10/2013). The United States is not going to put any boots on the ground in Syria. Yet the Right is quick to break out the comparisons when it comes to who is a hypocrite for not objecting like they did when bush lied us into a boots-on-the ground war in Iraq!
With Iraq it was president bush who broke international law with his illegal invasion; whereas with Syria is it Assad who broke international law with his use of chemical weapons. Granted, the ideal place to handle this would be the United Nations... and I've heard very little on that front (I don't recall President Obama mentioning it during his speech). But now that Syria's foreign minister has admitted that they do indeed have chemical weapons and that the regime is "ready to accept a deal advanced by Russia... to place the weapons under international supervision"... perhaps now is the time to shift responsibility for this mess into the hands of the UN?
The loss of innocent life is extremely troubling; and that, coupled with the fact that Syria has broken international law... this has led me to believe that standing by and doing nothing isn't an option. But, on the other hand the American people are NOT with the president on this. That, plus, even if we only lob a few missiles over there... some innocent people are bound to be killed, and (as a result) some Syrians will surely end up resenting our intrusion (and hate us for it). Nobody is going to buy the "greeted as Liberators" crap that the bush administration was peddling prior to his invasion of Iraq. This time that won't sell.
This is why we've sat this out for so long, I believe. There are simply no good options here. And that may be why these "hypocrite" Hollywood celebs are staying silent too. I honestly do not know what we should do, although I would strongly protest any kind of prolonged engagement for sure; but this is something the President said was definitely not in the cards during his speech. Fact is, while it looked like a vote by Congress would be the route Obama would go for awhile (and that Congress would say NO), that too has now been delayed until the Russian proposal for Syria to disarm itself of it's chemical weapons can be considered.
So, what's with this rush to condemn people for not speaking out against "war" with Syria when it isn't clear what we're going to do? Obviously these people could not give a flying fig about war. It's politics. Period, end of discussion. That's why they're saying things like President Obama "backed himself into a corner" with his "red line" statement about Syria and their use of chemical weapons, when the fact is that, as pointed out by the president himself, "the world set a red line". Indeed, it is the world that has drew the "red line" and not President Obama... so we can dispense with this silly "painting into corners" nonsense...
Wikipedia: The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. A total of 196 states may become members of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including all 193 United Nations member states. Of the seven United Nations Member States that are not, two have signed but not yet ratified the treaty (Burma and Israel) and five states have not signed the treaty (Angola, North Korea, Egypt, South Sudan and Syria).
Still, this does not stop some from making this "corner painting" or "backing into" assertion. Truth be told, this argument first came to my attention via the Libertarian blogger William X. Hart. I pushed back against this absurd accusation, and what follows is a reply of his (the most recent to repeat the "corner backing into" claim)...
Will Hart: I said that he backed himself into a corner with this idiotic red line (which he's now trying to weasel out of by saying that the "world" set the red line - the world evidently not setting a red line when Hussein gassed tens of thousands of Kurds 20 years ago) comment of his. (9/11/2013 2:09pm)
How is President Obama pointing out the very real line that has existed since the Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited "the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of bacteriological methods of warfare" backing himself into a corner? BTW, the gassing of the Kurds occurred in 1988 when George HW Bush was president, and his administration's reaction was to continue selling these chemicals to Saddam. The world "evidently" did set the red line then, but the first Bush administration simply chose to ignore it. Now we have a president who choses to not ignore it, and all the weaselly Hart can do is criticize him (and clearly for political reasons)?
And, according to Mr. Hart the Leftist Hollywood celebs are "silent" because "as long as it's their guy who doing the killing, silence is golden". Concerning "people Like Bruce Springsteen and Tim Robbins" Will says they are "seemingly not giving a rat's-ass" about the non-existent possibility of "war" with Syria (a "boots on the ground" war that can not, in any way, be compared to Iraq, that is). Frankly, I think that Mr. Hart is pushing these lies from the Right is shameless. Utterly shameless.
Finally, Mr. Hart gives a shout-out to veteran Leftist Ed Asner who claims that "a lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama". Sorry, Mr. Asner, I've got a lot of respect for you (and I appreciate you taking a stand on Syria), but that's total bullpucky.
FYI, the real reason for the "silence" from Hollywood Liberals is because "an all-out war in Iraq under Bush... was a much bigger deal than potential missile strikes against Syria under the direction of Obama". That's according to Mike Farrell, another Hollywooder who is among the vocal celebs when it comes to opposing "war" with Syria (quotes from a 9/6/2013 Hollywood Reporter article by Paul Bond).
Also according to Asner (and on this I agree with him), "the lack of an organized effort against war in Syria is a matter of timing. Bush took months to make the case for war in Iraq, giving the antiwar Left plenty of time to prepare a response". It isn't that the "Hollywood Left" is being "silent" now, it's that nobody is sure what we're going to do yet, and (in the case of Iraq) bush wanting war was apparent for quite some time (and that gave the "Hollywood Left" time to organize it's opposition). And the lying too. We must not forget the lying.
Conclusion? These claims of "as long as it's their guy who doing the killing, silence is golden" are FALSE, and are being peddled by hypocrites and liars... or fools suffering from delusions of grandeur (Hart). This Hart guy views himself as superior to us "partisans" when he's the one who's guilty here. Guilty of taking his Obama-bashing cues from the Right and guilty of not seeing that we're dealing with an honest president here and a REAL red line... when the last president who made the case for war was a liar and tried to frighten us with imaginary "mushroom clouds" (something else Hart denies). Not to mention the fact that President Obama is specifically not advocating an invasion (something I would categorically oppose).
As for the bombing, I am not convinced that would be a good idea either. Let the UN handle this, or at least make a case there. The citizenry of the United States is clearly opposed to our taking the lead in Syria, and if President Obama pushes forward on this I think he will be making a mistake.
Correction 9/14/2013: I cited the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997 as the treaty that resulted in the world drawing a red line in regards to the use of chemical weapons in warfare. The red line was actually drawn with the Geneva Protocol of 1925. The 1925 treaty prohibited the use of chemical weapons while the 1997 treaty prohibits the manufacture and stockpile of chemical weapons. I know I knew this, but still made the mistake for some reason... maybe because I'm an "idiot" as pointed out by Mr. Hart. This post has been modified to reflect the correct information.