A Pew Research poll indicates that most Americans are against a missile attack on Syria. And anecdotal evidence gleaned from members of Congress reflects the same general conviction among their constituents. Nonetheless our president and his team of advisers are tone deaf to these rumbles of war weariness and fatigue across the nation. And the winds of war seem to be gaining their inevitable momentum once again.
It is war we are talking about. To call it anything else is like putting lipstick on the proverbial pig. We are about to intervene in a civil war. The justification is the horrific use of chemical weapons by Bashar al- Assad, the Syrian dictator, an atrocity that killed over a thousand civilians including many children. This is a genuine war crime and Assad should be held accountable for it. Just as the ruthless, cold-blooded dictators in Africa should. They also have wreaked havoc upon innocent defenseless civilians and have crossed many times that red line civilized nations have drawn. Yet we oddly have never felt oompelled to "degrade and deter" their capabilities to commit genocides.
During their testimony before Congress, Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and General Dempsey have admitted that the unforeseen can happen; that there might be unintended consequences. We have been there, done that before.
Then there is the calculus of collateral damage, one of the most odious of euphemisms. General Dempsey puts it low on the scale of probability. He didn't go into any more specifics. It would hurt his sales pitch.
Can't we , at least, exhaust every channel of diplomacy? After all, that's why I voted for Obama in the first place.
Filed under: peace and war