“How does the old adage go? The friend of the enemy of the friend of the friend of our enemy is our… friend? Oh, to hell with it. Let’s just give them all weapons and see what happens 20 years from now.”
This seems to be the pretense of logic still emanating from the Pentagon today, as U.S. Navy Destroyers bearing cruise missiles mobilize along the coast of Syria for yet another heroic mission by Team America: World Police. After months of arming shady Islamist rebels to the teeth in their civil war with the Assad regime, recent reports of a chemical attack on civilians have President Obama and his warmongering cohorts jonesing to see some good fireworks as they prepare to attack the Syrian government.
What are the justifications being thrown around this time? To some extent, there’s the virtuous ploy to protect democracy and stop President Bashar al-Assad in his onslaught against his own people. For the most part, however, the White House is unearthing relics of the Cold War era, appealing to geopolitical fears that letting Assad stay in power will grant Russia and China dangerous influence in the Middle East. As an added bonus, the long-time favorite boogieman of a nuclear-capable Iran is getting tossed into the mix.
Nevermind that we almost surely had some part in the production and distribution of the chemical agents allegedly used by Assad. Nevermind that the rebel forces we’re backing carry their own massive laundry list of terror and atrocities, and that the toxic gassing will trigger a US military response at just the right moment to tip the scales in their favor. Nevermind that these very same policies of pot-stirring and rebel-arming througout the 80’s and 90’s came back to haunt us tenfold on September 11, 2001.
And who could forget those pesky provisions in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution that make this unsanctioned intervention explicitly illegal? Obama, apparently, who was placed in office by and large thanks to his sensational promises to stop doing this kind of stuff. The new boss reveals himself to be more and more like the old one with each passing day.
It’s a real shame that the supposed anti-war left have been conveniently missing in action since January 2009. On the whole, it seems most Americans would sooner find themselves outraged by Hannah Montana “twerking” on television than by the fact that children are actually being disintegrated by flying Terminator robots right now. With libertarians representing the only appreciable voice of reason in foreign policy, it feels like we’re beating a dead horse with a dead horse. And after more than a ceaseless decade of our govenrment bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, and orchaestrating countless other indirect acts of terror all across the globe, it’s a tremendous personal battle not to go completely numb to the pure chaos of it all.
But now is not the time for the defenders of peace in America to yield. The military-industrial complex presses on, toying with life and death, making vicious enemies out of otherwise impartial folk, and leaving us in the crossfire. If anything is certain, the global geopolitical house of cards is mere moments from its inevitable collapse. The power lies fully within us, and indeed it rests upon our shoulders, to permanently dismantle these cold and brutal machines of war. Let us do just that and, at long last, conclude a wearisome history of unnecessary human suffering.
War is hell. And we’re about to see a lot more of it. Someone, stop this madness.
Miguel Duque is a political analyst and contributor to The Desert Lynx