• Let’s Not Have Another War (Syria Edition, A Handy Checklist)

    August 29, 2013

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Military



    This article also appeared on the Huffington Post

    Hah! You just crossed my red line with your chemical weapon eyes, clearing the way to me cruise missile you!

    But enough about me. Like me, I am sure that you are overjoyed at the prospect of the U.S. inserting itself even deeper into another MidEast civil war (I think it is still Syria at present but the U.S. could have invaded another place between the time this was written and when you are reading it.)

    The United Nations does not say to do it. The United Kingdom voted against it, the first time in two decades the U.K. has not supported U.S. military action. The U.S. Congress will not have an opportunity to vote on it, though many members have reservations. Many in our own military have doubts. Half of all American oppose it. Why does the president insist America must attack Syria?

    Obama’s reasons seem vague at best, something from the 19th century about “firing a shot across Assad’s bow” as if this is a pirate movie. Or maybe protecting the U.S., though Syria (and others) have had chemical weapons for years without threatening the U.S. Even Saddam did not use chemical weapons against the U.S. during two American-led invasions of his own country. To protect women and children? If that is the goal, the U.S. might best send doctors and medicine to the refugee camps, and nerve gas antidotes into Syria itself.

    Vagueness is a very poor basis for the U.S. entering into another war in the Middle East, throwing itself deeper into a chaotic and volatile situation it little understands.

    So let’s reprise our handy questions summary:

    The U.S. is intervening in Syria’s civil war because maybe it was Assad who used poison gas.

    The poison gas killed a couple of thousand people. A horrible thing by any measure.

    Close to 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war to date.

    The U.S. is thus going to war again in the Middle East because a tiny percentage of the deaths were caused by gas instead of artillery, aerial bombs, machine guns, tanks, rockets, grenades, car bombs, mines, bad food, or sticks and stones.

    Because it seems Obama is not asking himself some important questions, here’s a list he may wish to consult:

    Is it Iraq again? That went well.

    Does it have oil?

    Does it pose a direct threat to America, i.e., knife to our throat?

    Can you define specifically what U.S. interests are at stake (no fair just citing generic “world peace” or “evil dictator” or a magical “red line”)? Even John Boehner made sense on this question.

    Does the Chemical Weapons Treaty say it is the U.S.’ job to take punitive action against violators?

    Is Syria’s evil dictator somehow super-worse than the many other evil dictators scattered across the world where the U.S. is not intervening?

    Did Syria attack any U.S. forces somewhere? Kidnap Americans? Commit 9/11?

    Does the U.S. have a specific, detailed follow-on plan for what happens if Assad departs or is killed?

    Does the U.S. have a specific plan to ensure weapons given to the rebels, some of whom are openly al Qaeda, won’t migrate out of Syria as they did in Libya?

    Does the U.S. believe its secret deal with the “rebels” whoever the hell they are to hand over Syria’s chemical weapons after they take power is airtight?

    With that in mind, can the U.S. tell with accuracy the “good” rebels from the “bad” rebels?

    Has the U.S. considered in detail what affect a rebel (Sunni) victory in Syria will have on chaotic Iraq next door and the greater Middle East?

    What are the possible unintended consequences of another military strike? Are they worth whatever is hoped to be gained by the strike?

    Obama, if the answer was “No” to any of the above questions, you should not intervene in Syria.

    BONUS: The U.S.’ use of white phosphorus and tear gas against civilian areas in Fallujah during the liberation of Iraq, and the use of depleted uranium munitions during the Iraq and Afghan crusades clearly do not in any way constitute the use of chemical weapons. Nor did Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Obama: “When you start seeing chemical weapons used on a large scale… that starts getting to some core national interests that the United States has, both in terms of us making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region.”

      1. The US is the world’s most prolific supplier of weapons of mass destruction.

      2. Where did Obama get the idea Syria’s chemical weapons were a threat to our military bases? Is this a finding in yet another fabricated CIA NIE lie?

      08/29/13 12:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      08/29/13 12:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...

      3

      Where in the Constitution does it grant authority to ATTACK other countries?

      One more time:
      68 years of ill-legal and un-Constitutional National Empire State Activities (NESA)

      08/29/13 2:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Obama says it’s not an act of war if it only involves a few missiles. Of course, if Syria fired just few missiles at the White House…

      08/29/13 6:03 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...

      5

      But there’s this news.

      Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services.

      Like anyone trust any of them any more or ever did.

      08/29/13 6:49 PM | Comment Link

    • kyzl orda said...

      6

      “jo6pac said…

      But there’s this news.

      Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services.

      Like anyone trust any of them any more or ever did.”

      How do we know for sure it was our intel that monitored the communications??

      The Post article below mentions there are about 2000 foreign language anaylsts employed by these agencies. According to the graphic, about 1000 are Arabic language analysts. It seems a small number considering the trillions of dollars spent on programs and two wars plus Egypt, Syria, Libya, and etc etc

      Would be nice to be able to have intel that can warn BEFORE chemical weapons etc. are launched. Fortunately, they are too busy monitoring Americans, a most dangerous bunch

      In comparison, there are more speakers of spanish and a heck of a lot more speakers of undefined languages. Would be interesting to know what are those other languages

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/29/spy-agencies-have-fewer-than-2000-people-proficient-in-middle-eastern-languages/

      08/29/13 8:46 PM | Comment Link

    • kyzl orda said...

      7

      *A clarification: The article says there are about 2000 foreign language analysts covering Arabic and Persian, not 2000 foreign language analysts per se

      08/29/13 8:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      08/30/13 1:23 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...

      9

      May be this real.

      http://original.antiwar.com/Dale-Gavlak/2013/08/30/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/

      kyzl orda said…

      I agree those damm Amerikans are not to be trusted, hell the next thing us Main Streeters will want is to have the so called govt. to arrest banksters on ws.

      08/30/13 8:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Michael Murry said...

      10

      I think ex-congressman Dennis Kucinich recently said that “bombing Assad makes the U.S. Al Qaeda’s air force.” And since the U.S. still considers itself “at war” with Al Qaeda and its “affiliates,” doesn’t providing these declared enemies with military aid and comfort make President Obama a traitor? Literally. By definition.

      I don’t think the Constitution or even the quaint notion of “law” means a damn thing in the United States today. “In Oceania there is no law.”

      09/2/13 3:07 AM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      11

      “I think ex-congressman Dennis Kucinich recently said that “bombing Assad makes the U.S. Al Qaeda’s air force.””

      “The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.”

      Syria: Does Obama know he’s fighting on al-Qa’ida’s side?
      BY ROBERT FISK – 28 AUGUST 2013

      09/2/13 8:06 AM | Comment Link

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