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September 16, 2013

Obama’s “War of Choice”

Steven R. Berryman

They were tossing babies from incubators; we found uranium centrifuge tubes, we were attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, “Remember the Maine,” and the Bruce Ivins anthrax attacks from Fort Detrick, Maryland. Now we hear that death counts reported in Syria due to chemical poisoning were spiked with added hundreds killed by conventional means.


It’s a dirty business, but we have seen this game before. As ends justify means. Sorry, the rationale is above your pay grade.


No matter. In the run-up to a “war of choice,” it’s all good, and anything goes. The state controlled media won’t challenge it, and if contrary – and inconvenient – evidence is leaked, surely The Washington Post and The New York Times will be asked to sit on it for a month or a year “for national security reasons.”


And this silly war dance becomes oh-so much more strange when Cold War escapee, the Russian President Vladimir Putin, gets to spank the president of the free world, Barack Obama, in The New York Times’ op-ed that decries “American Exceptionalism.”


Mr. Putin would have you believe that our exceptionalism is born of ego.  President Obama would tell you that our exceptionalism is just the same as that exceptionalism owned by Greece, or any other nation.


In circumstances like Syria, the truth lies somewhere in between.


The operative question is (or should be): “Who gets what out of this deal?” We know that nations operate in their own best-interests – despite feigned co-operations within the United Nations.


Are we influenced by Turkey, where they may deny us the military use of our bases on their soil? Does Israel’s interest in avoiding death by weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) trump out interests? Is Saudi Arabia playing a trump card, using our oil wealth against us? Or is Syria useful for a gas or oil pipeline route for Mother Russia?


Could an unhappy Middle-East ruin America’s preferential monetary sovereignty –as the United States dollar is still the currency of choice for energy transactions. A displaced dollar could be the first domino to fall in a ruination of our nation!


And the world will always wonder whether Secretary of State John Kerry’s mumblings about exactly what would keep us out of an armed conflict were planted or our accidental plot.


Certainly the prospect of a civilized removal of chemical WMD’s looks good on paper, saves President Obama from a miserable “Hobson’s choice,” and allows Mr. Putin a “finest hour” opportunity.


Of course, the devil is in the details, and a diplomatic blind alley is now permitted, while Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is permitted time to entrench. The military option is only off the table semantically, of course…


And this Geneva Peace Accord concerning international inspection-inventory-disposal seems to be designed to fail. Was this a setup, as well?   Even absent a civil war and evil dictator, the process of burning hazardous chemical agents to death is miserable, time consuming and horribly dangerous, as we know from our own American experience.


So, is there a coherent argument for a “clear and present danger,” an immediate threat to the national security interests of our nation as The Constitution prescribes in order to go to war? NO.


No more than is the immediate threat from Iran, which suffers the advantage of being too big to attack with Tomahawk cruise missiles alone. So, why have we not bombed Iran yet? Syria will be oh-so much easier to bomb from afar…


Yes, when diplomacy predictably fails, and containment becomes impossible to verify, will we ultimately decapitate – by accident? Surely President Assad will be camping out near to one the 50 WMD stockpiles!


So, we arm even the al Qaeda moderate elements of Assad’s opposition only with small arms, as we know they will be used on us at some point, as is the treachery of the Middle East. Like firearms licensed to Mexican drug lords, they cannot be trusted.


Because sometimes, “the enemy of my enemy” can also be my enemy.


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