A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Monday, September 09, 2013

War in Syria?

President Obama is in for a rough week.  Not that he has had an easy week the last five years or so, but this one will make the preceding ones look like an extended holiday.  This week he needs to convince his pals, his friends, his bosom buddies in Congress that America needs to lead a military strike against Syria.

Last month, a chemical weapon attack killed hundreds of Syrian civilians.  The Obama administration strongly believes that Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad ordered the strike.  Naturally, Assad denies this, but he has also offered no other plausible reason that the attack was executed by someone else.  Since then, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have been advocating for a limited military option to flex some diplomatic muscle in Assad’s direction.

The trouble is that no one seemingly beyond Obama and Kerry want to do anything this drastic.  A majority of the House is against it.  Polls show that 80% of the American people are against any action that could put us back into another war.  Our other allies are not exactly lining up for the idea; Great Britain’s House of Commons voted down a resolution to back the United States’ proposal for a military strike.  The United Nations appears to have fallen asleep on the crisis altogether.

A number of options have been discussed.  A “boots on the ground” approach seems to have been ruled out from day one.  A missile strike would send a good message, but somehow we have already leaked out the possible military targets which a strike would destroy.  We can only hope that the Syrians don’t have cable television that carries C-Span, which broadcast Congressional hearings that showed our military leaders bumbling around for a purpose of the strike in the first place…d’oh!
Even the old method of sending in military advisers to train and arm the rebels has been suggested.  After all, that method has never gotten us any deeper into a conflict in the past.  Oh, wait…did I forget the grand daddy of all American military disasters, namely, Vietnam.

Can I hear another d’oh?

Okay, so if we go to war we need to know on whose side we will fight.  Assad is, first and foremost a dictator; see Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.  Americans hate dictators.  On the other hand, his regime has prevented more widespread persecution of the Syrian Christian community from the Muslin extremists.  Americans are also supposed to hate intolerance, even though many practice it.

We could back the rebels; after all America was founded on a rebellion. It’s in our cultural DNA.  Ah, but not all of the rebels like us! Can we guarantee that our efforts to arm the right rebels will not backfire and actually arm the wrong rebels?  Also will the friendly rebels remain the friendly rebels for the duration of the conflict, or will they turn against us? This conundrum may explain the Obama administration's hesitancy to send the arms that were promised to the rebels months ago.

Normally, this would be a no-brainer. Kerry has emphasized that many children were killed in the attack.  Indeed, videos of the aftermath show images of the Syrian youngsters lying on the ground gasping for air.  The images have been horrifying and shocking.  Surely, this should spur us into action.

Unfortunately for Syria’s children, America’s cultural elite of the Christian right aren’t into saving actual children at the moment.  Oh sure, they will lecture endlessly about not leaving the children with a large national debt to pay off in the future, and they will legislate women’s reproductive rights away to save the children in the womb, but in between they won’t guarantee the children the opportunity to be fed or educated.  Now if only Assad had killed children by forcing millions of Syrian women to abort their fetuses, then - by God - we wouldn’t hesitate.  America would go into the crisis guns a-blazin’!

Christian right Tea Partier Sarah Palin seemed to summarize her followers attitude with her call that we should let Allah sort it out.  Further along, she has been quoted as saying, “So now we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria?  And I’m the idiot?”

Please God, give me the strength to pass up such an easy target!

Obama understands that Americans are weary of war, perhaps because we have not had the traditional American closure to our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  There have been no treaties signed ending these fights.  We just agree to leave and let the actual natives battle on.  There have been no parades of returning soldiers in America’s towns. There have been no cheering crowds in America’s streets.  Nurses have not been grabbed and kissed by military personnel in Times Square.  

People are wondering why we should get into another war when we haven’t finished the last two with a clear victory.  Fair question, but everyone on both sides has some valid concerns.  I can see Kerry’s concerns for Syria’s young victims, but can we, as a predominantly Christian nation, actually turn our backs on them?  Can we really give the dictators in the world a free pass when they unleash horrific attacks on their own people?

There are many great things about the American people, but sometimes we can come down on the wrong side of history.  We have looked the other way before (see Hitler again), and chances are looking very good that we are prepared to look away now.  Perhaps we should consider the big picture, as Obama is trying to do, and do the right thing.

(Thank you for reading.  I can’t take it any longer! Yes, Sarah, you’re the idiot!)


Anonymous Janey, Hater of Sarah said...

Send Sarah to Syria -- PLEASE!

September 9, 2013 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger David Jeffreys said...

This indeed is a complex situation. However, there is no one out there willing to redraw Obama's red line.

It would indeed be fantastic if the Russians do succeed in getting Obama and thus all Americans off the hook with their proposal to go in and get the chemical weapons out and under international control.

I'll admit that I am one of those who is war weary and think there is too much on the domestic front that needs money, so that we should not be wasting it on Syria.

September 10, 2013 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

I'd agree with you, Janey, but she is one of my better full of idiotic material! Thanks for your comment!

Hi David,thanks for writing. Yes, Obama needs a dignified way out of this and we can't afford another war right now.

September 11, 2013 at 8:21 AM  

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