Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sabre Rattling Over Syria

Here we go again.  Another economic boost for the military industrial complex.

The chicken hawks are calling for war in Syria, ostensibly because of a chemical attack on unarmed civilians.  At least, they tell us they were unarmed.  Pictures were circulated of dead people, and especially of children and we were told they were killed by poison gas.  Unfortunately, there are a few problems.

  • We don't really know what the people in the pictures were killed by.
  • We don't actually know if chemical weapons were used.
  • If chemical weapons were used, we don't know which ones were used.
  • If chemical weapons were used, we don't know who used them.
However, there are US politicians on both sides of the aisle calling for war.  We don't need to go to war with Syria.  What is going on in Syria is no threat to us.  If Syria's neighbors want to intervene, I could probably live with that.  But for the US to spend its money, and potentially blood on punishing a country (with a popular government, by the way) on an incident where there is reasonable doubt that it even occurred at all is totally insane.

Insanity may be the rule of the day.  Independent journalist Niel Clark says:

"The UN team will go there, they may find chemical weapons traces or they may not. But if they do, the US said quite clearly that the Syrian government is the only party capable of using chemical weapons, so they have made their minds up. If they don’t, then the Syrian government will be accused of moving them. The Syrian government will be damned if they do, and will be damned if they don’t, whatever the UN inspection teams find. The decision has already been taken. "
I fear that Mr. Clark is correct. 

The other thing that bothers me is why is the West so up in arms over poison gas.  If the Assad regime did actually kill those people, would there be any difference if they had executed them by firing squad or run over them with tanks?  Would we be talking about intervention then?

Some people are worried about the US reputation since Obama made his "line in the sand" comment a year ago over the use of WMDs in Syria.  They say that President Obama may have a credibility problem.  Like he doesn't already have one.  The president's credibility is almost nonexistent when it comes to foreign policy, especially in the Middle East. 

And yet, according to former UN ambassador John Bolton, we may cause ourselves more problems than will be solved by intervening in Syria.  A White House spokesperson claims that the President has incontrovertible evidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, and yet, that evidence is yet to be presented.  Where is it?

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