Thursday, September 05, 2013

On Attacking Syria

Today is Thursday, 5 September 2013, the birthday of my Friend.

First, let’s examine some popular objections to military intervention in Syria.

Missile strikes wouldn’t do much good. 

It depends on targeting choices.

For example:  some claim that the bulk of the Syrian air force has been flown to Iran, and is therefore “safe”.  Yes, the planes would then be “safe”.  However, what if they returned after a strike to cratered runways on which they cannot land, fuel dumps, ammunition dumps, repair shops, and attendant infrastructure destroyed, command-and-control centers in rubble and on fire?  Should they then land on the Hafez al-Assad Memorial Expressway, refuel by means of jerry cans and a bucket brigade, and receive orders on their iPhones?

Ditto for tanks and helicopters.   Hide them as effectively as you wish, but they have very little utility without intact fuel and ammunition dumps, and repair facilities.

All major military HQs and command-and-control centers should be attacked and rendered unusable.  Again, hide the staffs and some equipment, and let them work out of secondary bunkers, 50-foot-long trailers, concealed wherever, etc.  The chain-of-command would thereby be degraded, and swiftly decay even further.

Same goes for the Syrian equivalents of KGB.

And etc., etc., etc.

It’s none of our business.

In August 1945, the American military machine and empire bestrode the world like Colossus.  The United States Empire (USE) swiftly began attempts to enforce its will upon the entire world, and particularly upon the Middle East, more often for evil than for good.

Deliberately blanking out uncomfortable knowledge before the current moment is ethically reprehensible, and even evil.  And, what is done to one’s neighbour today, may be done to one tomorrow.  Fabricated ignorance does not deflect History from biting one in the ass.

Maybe the Syrian rebels did it, to manipulate the USE.

This is not the Iraq of 2003, when the Bush-Cheney regime fabricated “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction as an excuse for war.  Syria is known to have had chemical weapons for many years, and to have used them before.  Like his dictator father before him, Bashar al-Assad is completely ruthless and without scruple. The only reasonable question is how many Syrian civilians were murdered by the chemical weapons of the Syrian regime, not if.

Conspiracy theorists, fabricating notions out of thin air, claim that the rebels did it, using poison gases supplied by Saudi Arabia.  Or was it “The Jew”?  Or the “Grey Aliens” from the Zeti Reticuli binary star system, operating from their vast bases in caves beneath the New Mexico desert?


It won’t make any difference anyway.

And ignoring Shoah worked so well, didn’t it?

Congress must be involved, right?


Of all the military activities of the USE, there have been only 5 Congressional declarations of war, and 13 approvals of military engagement.  That Congress must have ANY involvement in military action has not been the norm since 1789 and the inauguration of G. Washington.  NOT ONCE did Congress ever express the slightest interest in declaring, authorizing, or approving the most important USE war of all:  the conquest of and the genocide against Native Americans.
Isn’t this just a quagmire like Iraq?

NO!  That is the same as equating apples and zebras because neither are minerals.  Let’s look at the history.

Ca. 1988, “neoconservatives”, including Dick Cheney, began trumpeting the notion of attacking Iraq (in a war of criminal aggression, under international law, which the USE has undertaken to obey), claiming that its conquest and occupation would be a walk-over, and arguing that the rest of Middle Eastern nations would scare easily, and thus become vassals of the USE, fearing that they also would be invaded, conquered, and annexed to the USE.

That criminal enterprise turned out sweet, didn’t it?

A limited attack on the al-Assad dictatorship, on the other hand, would be an enforcement of international law, which the USE has previously, by binding treaty, committed itself to carry out.

C’mon, be serious:  one thing always leads to another.

Ah, hiding behind “Fate”.  Under such non-reasoning:  if you, dear reader, were to be repeatedly gang-raped and left for dead by a gang of male thugs, well, since whatever happens is what was supposed to happen, and ”everything happens for a reason”, then neither prosecution nor punishment should attach to them, leaving them free to do it again.  And again.  And again…

And the speculation that a limited military strike MUST lead inevitably to a wider war is just that:  speculation.

Yeah, but it’s not like the victims were Americans.
If you don’t believe that common humanity is more important than artificial nationalist, religious, or etc. distinctions, then I pity you and I fear you, for you are capable of any crime against anyone.

But United Nations authorization is required under international law.
So, were a nation to commence another Shoah, and a permanent member of the Security Council were to veto any attempt at a military defense of the imperiled Jews, the world should simply throw up its hands, microwave some popcorn, sit back, and watch the extermination?

If the Security Council is blocked, particularly by an ally of the criminal nation, sometimes civil disobedience on an international scale is warranted and imperative.

Advocating USE military action, even for the best of causes, does not come easily to someone such as myself, who has fought USE imperialism for over 40 years.  

In this case, however, I must take a decision such as that of the great German Lutheran theologian and ethicist, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  He knew that ALL killing is wrong, even that of cold-blooded mass murderers.  But, he believed that cowardice and vacillation had driven History into a dead end, and that only the assassination of Hitler, and the violent overthrow of his regime, could open History to a hopefully-positive path forward.  Therefore, he took an active part in the conspiracies to remove Hitler, culminating in the failed attempt of 20 July 1944.  He paid with his life, being hanged on 9 April 1945.

I therefore advocate a carefully-designed and limited military attack on the Syrian dictatorship, in an attempt to insure that it can never again murder by means of chemical weapons.  I accept responsibility for the deaths of innocents which would occur, but I believe that this is better than merely watching.


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