As far as the stated reasons the U.S. gives for unleashing cruise missiles on Syria, that the U.S. must warn Assad that he must never use nerve gas again, I see that as a vast hypocrisy. Simple math: 100,000 dead by other means, and no outrage of the sort that would lead to military action; 1400 dead by gas and now they’re upset enough to want to fire some ordnance ‘in a limited way’ at some unspecified narrow range of military targets, accomplishing, in effect, nothing good and very likely vast amounts of bad.
No. I can’t support that. Originally I did support such an idea, but no more. It makes no sense. We sat on our hands for two years while this murderous civil war went on, and now over what amounts to a minor killing we want to risk all out war in the Middle East. And war with Russia and Iran, the latter perhaps being the goal of the whole exercise. The neo-cons, the hawks, the draft dodgers, would appear to still be pulling the strings, pulling Obama’s strings.
Perhaps that’s why he decided to turn to Congress for a vote. If he feels he’s being strung along, he might have decided to open up the bag of influence peddling for everyone to see by throwing the matter into the lap of Congress. But Congress, this Congress, is most likely to do whatever they think will hurt Obama the most rather than what is right for the country. To ask this Congress to demonstrate a high moral standard or a high intellectual standard is to simply make a bad joke.
Frankly I think Obama should simply shut up about Syria, withdraw his request to the Congress, and instruct the military to simply kill Assad and his cronies wherever and whenever they can effectively target them. Assad is the core of the problem. The result will be considerable long-term turmoil in Syria, but that’s going to happen now no matter what anyone does. If the Assad regime collapsed tonight, the infighting among the factions would begin before the news of the collapse got out. If the Assad family and cronies were killed tonight, the infighting would begin before his body even began to cool. But that’s the cost of the world’s inaction for two years. Had the West taken the side of the rebels six months into the conflict, armed, supplied, and trained them, Assad would have been gone within a year, most likely, and Syrians would have stepped into the vacuum. As the situation stands now, the battle against Assad is not being waged solely by Syrians, but by outsiders too, all wanting a piece of the post-Assad pie.
I suspect Israel might want Assad to stay in power because a Syria under his dictatorial control offers less of a threat to Israel than a Syria fractured and factionated into Islamic groups that fundamentally hate Israel and which would make no accommodation with Israel. But then the Israelis are just as bad, frankly, and could easily be seen as wanting to create a fractured Syria so that Israel could grab more land from Arabs.
In a word, the Middle East is fucked. We do not need to drag ourselves into that shitpot of the world. But the oil, the oil… Yeah, if we had put the money we wasted on war in that part of the world into renewable energy in our part of the world the stinking oil wouldn’t matter. But the United States has been, and is, a stupid country full of stupid people whose only redeeming quality is their shortsightedness. And that chicken is coming home to roost.
I think we’re going to have our own civil war in the not too distant future. There are too many guns in too many hands, there are too many people carrying too much anger, and there are too many people who know nothing of American history, of politics, of civility.
Then who will we bomb?