You're Viewing the Archives
Return to IVN's Frontpage

Military Action in Syria

by Bob Conner, published

Predictably, media outlets worldwide are taking the debate of military action in Syria to the press and airwaves and just as with the responses from individuals, the various media outlets openly opine with a wide variety of reasons for either the benefit or the detriment of doing so. And, just as with the invasion of Iraq, the question of whether or not the US should take military action in Syria is generating a wide range of heated personal responses from around the globe.

In the age of instant information we find ourselves inundated daily with varied and weighty matters as never before; the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman, initiatives to control firearms, efforts to eliminate the rights of US voters, global climate change, taking military action in Syria, etc......

The volume of information is near endless and at times overwhelming, it can be both vital for the intellectual stimulation of the human race and a hindrance to survivial; we crave information more now than at any other time in the evolution of our species.

But; what do we do with all this information?

In most cases, I believe we use it to make quality decisions regarding our future.  Those who frequently research a variety of information from outlets which promote diverging points of view, rather than depending solely upon those with opinions similar to their own, are typically very well informed and capable of forming intelligent decisions regarding the issues facing us today.

And what could be more important than the decision facing us at this moment to send our men and women of the military in unnecessary harms way AGAIN by taking military action in Syria?

One of the most informed, honest and thought-provoking responses I've seen related to military action in Syria is that which came from Ron Paul on Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto show:

"Ron Paul pointed a finger of chemical-weapons suspicion at Al Qaeda, posited that "Assad I don't think is an idiot—I don't think he would do this on purpose in order for the whole world to come down on him," and stated flatly that "It's a false flag, I think, really, indeed."

Applying even a modicum of logic behind such a move should reveal to everyone that Bashar al-Assad has absolutely nothing to gain from using chemical weapons and virtually everything to lose.  While Assad may not be a text-book humanitarian in the eyes of some, no one can say he's a moron and using chemical weapons would be a moronic tactic even in the "How to Wage War for Idiots" manual.

On the other hand; who would benefit from our politicians blindly taking military action in Syria?  Al-Qaeda perhaps? One of the many other sectarian groups, or even the vast military industry in the US?  Hmm??

Rania Abouzeid, Al Jazeera published a very fascinating piece around the life of a physician on Syria’s front lines. The piece is as enthralling as it is informative, providing several vital clues that would dispel many of the rush to war responses if their purveyors would but take time to read and pay attention:

“The two men, both Arab foreign fighters, had been brought in three hours earlier. One had shrapnel in his right leg. The other, who was dressed in a gray shalwar kameez (trousers and tunics common in the subcontinent but not in Syria except among some Islamist fighters)….” 

"Salma isn't safe," Dr. Rami said, before listing the recent casualties, which included more than 25 members of an Al-Qaeda-linked group who were wounded when a barrel bomb hit their outpost a few days ago…..”

“The Chechen, Abu Khadija, had been shot twice in the right leg. His countrymen were all dressed the same — short hair covered with green skullcaps; beards; short, loose pants, so short they rode halfway up their shins. A redheaded Chechen was translating for him from Arabic..... 

"What brought you here?" one of the Syrian medical personnel asked the wounded Chechen. 

"We came for God's name," he replied in formal, stilted Arabic.”

Recall; Iraq was not a terrorist state until after the “coalition” invaded the country in 2003, an action which drew foreign fighters and weapons into that nation to kill the Western allies by the thousands.  Yet, here we see foreign fighters already in Syria fighting a purely sectarian war and we shouldn't, we can't, we'd be fools to expect anything differently resulting from military action in Syria than that which took place in Iraq (and Afghanistan), including another long-term conflict with no gain for anyone.  Except perhaps those delineated above.

As I said before; “In most cases!

For your edification; some of the more recent responses that easily fall into the category of patellar reflex from our esteemed members of Congress:

Charles Rangel, Democrat from New York regarding military action in Syria; (as if the American public doesn't already have a “stake in the wars we fight"):

"Before we commit our military personnel to another war, we must reinstate the draft. Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation. We must question why and how we go to war, and who decides to send our men and women into harm's way."

Before the next quote; a refresher from the CIA report on Iraq's chemical weapons program:

“While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.”

And now a word from the venerable Louie Gohmert, Republican from Texas:

“Yes, we knew that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,' Gohmert said on Washington Watch, citing Saddam Hussein’s 1988 gas attack against Kurds in Halabja. 'There were rumors about them moving over into Syria and other countries but they never were able to verify where they went but we knew he had them. So anyway, there was talk about nuclear arms, but we knew he had those and now we know Syria has them.”

The Pièce de résistance!

Especially infuriating to me and perhaps most telling as to who would be a top contender as beneficiaries if our decision would be to wage war; from Chemi Shalev, Haaretz a media outlet insisting that, rather than open-air politics which is somehow detrimental to a true democracy, these talks should be handled in secrecy behind closed doors and away from open debate over military action in Syria:

“By asking for authorization from Congress, Obama was transferring the question of the American response to the August 21 chemical carnage in Damascus from backroom strategic and diplomatic deliberations to the polarized, rough-and-tumble arena of open-air politics. He decided to share the onus of responsibility for dealing with what he described as the Syrian “assault on human dignity” with the representatives and senators who have been incessantly sniping at him without paying a political price.”

The United Nations refuses to bend to the political will of the West, stating that it will take time to develop the results of their research in Syria and even then, they'll not have the ability to determine who launched the chemical weapons.

In this age of instant information, it falls upon each of us to make well informed choices and to use that information to make every effort possible to apply influence upon our representatives to overcome the political atmosphere which has become so amazingly polarized our politicians can’t see logic, reality or even truth for their blind ambition in support of the party line.

Even though the decision was likely a result of political maneuvering, allowing the debate of military action in Syria to take place in open forum before Congress, President Obama made the right decision.  It is not only the right and popular decision, it is the constitutionally correct decision despite John Kerry's insistence that Obama has the right to do so without Congress' approval.

Democracy will only thrive in openness and honesty, and certainly waging war with half-truths or even absolute falsehoods is neither democratic, nor in the best interest of the future of our country and certainly not in the best interest of or our young men and women in the military.

Now, we can only hope our politicians do the true, the honest and the right thing with the information we so plainly see and avoid military action in Syria.

About the Author