The blog is a view of life, science, politics and education from an engineering perspective. As engineers, we are taught to view the world objectively. We can hope, believe and calculate a particular outcome, but natural laws are inflexible and pay no heed to who we are or what we believe. We must approach the objective dispassionately, while compensating for our own distorted perceptions. Balance is also a key element; balancing between the ideal and the pragmatic, balancing cost and functionality, balancing analysis with action, etc.
Scheduling routine critical self-analysis is the foundation to objectivity. If we do not fully understand and compensate for our own failures, tendencies, habits and skewed thought processes, we will not see the world as it is. Without a regular critical self-analysis we will see the world as we are and then fall prey to self-delusion.
Failure is a great teacher. When failure is coupled with perseverance, it produces the fruit of patience and humility. An engineer, fresh out of engineering school is typically set up for failure early and often. The failure breaks the new engineer of any ideas of self-importance, arrogance and book smarts. Only then can the new engineer be formed and molded into a productive element in the industry.
The Syria quagmire seems to be bringing out the worst in everyone.
On Wednesday, the administration made a pitch to the Senate to take action in the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration made a forceful statement that the US would aid the al Qaeda-led rebels in the conflict by ‘degrading Assad’s ability to wage war’. Note: This happens to be the same al Qaeda that killed over 3000 US citizens on 9/11.
The Obama plan: to take action in Syria.
This is not a real plan.
There is no mission objective.
There is no contingency.
There is no big picture.
There is no national interest involved.
There is no response analysis of the neighboring nations.
There is no plan to defend
There is no method of supplying Europe with natural gas, if
There is no analysis on how this conflict will impact the flow of oil.
There is no succession plan should Assad be overthrown.
There is no timetable.
There is no stated credible reason for entering this conflict.
There is no stated end game.
There is no contribution to peace and liberty in this action.
There is no answer to whether or not it will escalate into a larger conflict.
There is no effort to curb the genocide being committed by the ‘Free Syria’ rebels. If the rebels kill tens of thousands of people with conventional means (guns, knives, clubs) there are no consequences. But if the Assad regime is found to be guilty of killing 1200 people with Chemical weapons, then
And yet worse than this plan of action was Secretary Kerry’s performance in front the Senate. He did not present evidence that the Assad regime did, indeed, use chemical weapons. Nor did he provide a general picture of what he wanted to accomplish. He came to the Senate to ‘brainstorm ideas’. When asked if there would be boots on the ground, his answers were less than vague. He would prefer not to have boots on the ground but doesn’t want to rule out the possibility. On the question of this military action being a shot across the bow, he said that it could be quick strike or it could be more protracted. Kerry simply wanted to kick around ideas with the Senate and did not come prepared to present anything.
But even worse than Kerry’s performance was the behavior of the Senate Republicans. They agreed to go along with this non-plan. This is the same Republican party that is helping push Obamacare through congress. This is the same Republican party that is supporting Obama’s vision of NSA surveillance and immigration.
There are no political options available to the American people. The only option is the Democrats with only a slight variation in the Democrat –lite Party.
And then there is president Obama who insists on distancing himself from his own words and policies. He claims that he didn’t set the red line at chemical weapons. The red line was created by the media and the ‘world’. Obama claims that he didn’t threaten action if the red line was crossed; he was simply expressing grave concerns over the possible use of chemical weapons.
Where is the clarity?
Why has nothing been asked of Obama or Kerry?
Where is the debate?
Where is the accountability for this disaster?
Where are the anti-war activists; Cindy Sheehan, Gwen Moore, John Murtha, Russ Feingold, MSNBC and others who protested the Iraq war? How do they resolve the fact that Saddam Hussein killed over 100,000 Kurds in 1988 in which chemical weapons were used? (see Halabja chemical attack)
The media and American people are simply AWOL. We have received nothing but pap and praddle and we have not demanded good coherent answers.
Gregory III, the leader of the Greek Catholic Church in Syria spoke to AsiaNews. on Aug. 28. “Who created this hell in which our people have been living for months? Every day, Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them, even the U.S. has decided to send in more weapons.” “I state the categorical rejection … of any foreign intervention in Syria and any attack or intervention of any sort whatsoever,” Gregory continued. He said that armed intervention in Syria was “fueling hatred, fueling criminality, fueling inhumanity, fueling fundamentalism, terrorism – all these things are the fruit of intervention.”
“Our community dwindles every day,” he said. “Young people are fleeing, dying, families leave their homes and villages.” Foreign nations need to stop the flow of weapons and fighters into the country and replace it with humanitarian aid.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in a report released on August 20 that the Pentagon has estimated it would take “over 75,000 troops on the ground” to secure Syria’s chemical weapons.
In a speech at the National Defense University on December 3, 2012, President Obama stated, perhaps in reaction to recent reports of chemical weapon preparations: “I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable.”
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reiterated this policy to the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 18, 2013, that there are “plans in place to respond to the full range of chemical weapon scenarios.”
President Obama told reporters on April 26, 2013, that Syrian use of chemical weapons “crosses a line that will change my calculus and how the United States approaches these issues.”
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