The drums go bang as the war liking secretary of state hyperbolic statement informs us: “President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.”
the symbols clang when the defense secretary brags to us: “assets [are] in place” and the Pentagon is prepared “to fulfill and comply with whatever option” ;
the horns they blaze away as Senator Graham notes: “We need to come up with a plan to secure these weapons sites, either in conjunction with our partners [or] if nothing else by ourselves.” Asked about sending in U.S. troops toward that goal, he said, “absolutely.”
McCain pumps the old bassoon advising“that this is now a regional conflict“;
while Obama the pipes do play like the Pied Piper of Hamelin the peace prize winner is piping: “If we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, ‘Stop doing this,’ this can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term” (my emphasis)
And Joey Biden tootles the flute about “Those who use chemical weapons against defenseless men, women and children should and must be held accountable,”
And the music is somethin’ grand, yes the music of war always warms the hearts of those who have never worn the uniform.
Discredit to old America is another War at hand.
Anyone who has studied just a little history and knows something about the Boer War of 1899 will recognize the same beat repeating itself over and over again in the media that becomes the cheerleader for the government. At least back in 1899 almost the whole British nation courtesy of the jingoistic press was for the war. That the media can make the case for endless wars we only have to look back at the Iraq war. Even though the majority in America now opposes attacking Syria, the folk will change their minds seeing the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air.
Today, even though the Americans are tired of twelve years of war the media and war profiteers aren’t. It doesn’t take a genius to see that war has been good to Washington, DC. A confused president is being pushed to attack another Middle Eastern Country. It is noted that the voices against war have been silenced: “Yet the Western mainstream media, which has obviously learned nothing from their past cheerleading on behalf of Team USA prior to the Iraq debacle, is now – as if war in an age of nuclear weapons no longer warrants sober-minded reflection – sounding the bugle charge against a sovereign state before the United Nations provides the world with its official report.
This headlong rush to war against President Assad – underwritten as it is by terrorists, statesmen and journalists alike – is all the more incredible when even a child may comprehend that the rebels had much more to gain from a chemical weapons being used in Syria than did the forces loyal to Assad.”
Ominously, Colin Powell, the general who did the masterful job spelling out fictitious facts to the UN and to the American people when he said on February 5, 2003: “We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more,” is not on board the president’s train.
It was played up in the media that in a recent interview he called Assad a “pathological liar.” Not highly noted was that in the same interview he rightly states: “We shouldn’t go around thinking that we can really make things happen. We can influence things, and we can be ready to help people when problems have been resolved or one side has prevailed over the other. These are internal struggles and parties insides those countries will have to sort it out amongst themselves.”
The president tells us: “we don’t have good options, great options, for the region.” He also states: “then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it [use chemical weapons] again. And that doesn’t solve all the problems inside of Syria, and, you know, it doesn’t, obviously end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria.”
It certainly won’t end the death of innocent civilians because we’ll be adding to their killing. Here’s my problem with sending signals. Sometimes the wrong message is received. So I’m really truly bothered by the law of unintended consequences.
I read in the Guardian that “Britain and the US are finalising plans to launch limited punitive military strikes at the end of the week . . . .” I read in the Washington Post, “President Obama is weighing a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration, designed to serve as punishment for Syria’s use of chemical weapons . . . .” The president said: “And if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about – . . . ” (my emphasis)
I have yet to read that Syria has agreed with the president that it will have a limited response to these attacks. Assad has said: “No doubt they can wage wars, but they cannot predict where they will spread or how they will end.” His full interview is worth reading. I take from it is his lack of braggadocio and his keeping his cards close to the vest a talk softly approach. It almost seems as if he is indifferent to whether we attack or not. It’s like he knows that the folly of our thinking may bring about some unpleasant results to us like plunging us into a massive conflagration.
Iran, as expected, issues dire threats against Israel. Israel will not sit back. It will go hard after anyone who is an aggressor against it. It lusts for any good excuse to hit at Iran and drag us along. Russia lurks in the background as a wild card. Much is up in the air. Perhaps the peace of the world.
I have to agree with Andrew Bacevich. He urges we stop and think what we are doing. “Yes. I think that’s indicative of how unserious this military action is. The real issue we ought to be discussing is not Syria but U.S. policy toward the Middle East more broadly. To think that anything we do vis-à-vis Syria is going to redeem the failures of U.S. policy that have occurred over the last 10, 20, 30 years is an illusion. So it’s time to step back. It’s time to evaluate how a long series of U.S. military actions in the Middle East have failed to provide stability, have failed to promote democracy, have cost us an enormous amount. It’s time for us to step back, rethink, try something different instead of this continuous reliance on military power as the preferred instrument of U.S. policy.”
I’d add, has also gained us many more enemies than friends. This is not the time for foolish actions or shots across the bow. We have to recognize that there was a limited action on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo. That limited action spawned a war that brought about 16 million deaths and 20 million more casualties as well as the mishmash of nations where we squander our nation’s wealth.
I hope and pray this is not the time. But some day after the USA makes one of its limited responses we will see: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, . . .”