Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SYRIAsly, Can We Not Get Into Another War?

Image from Wikipedia. Did you know for sure
where Syria was?
We're in the last week of what is usually the "dog days of August," when the news is boring and nothing noteworthy seems to happen. Kids are going back to school, so for them the world is school this week, and the last three weeks were the summer careening out of control and crashing into school. I suppose parents of those children have a bit of a lift this week, but for the rest of us, late August is meh.

And blogging has been, even further back into the summer. Yes, stuff happened, but not a lot that I was eager to write about. Fortunately, summer gives a blogger some cover: nobody is writing quite at full strength in the summer, certainly not as stridently as usual. But here we are, with Syria. A deadly serious, deeply complicated, morally gray (as in, not knowing exactly who to support), politically gray (as in, Rand Paul and John McCain on opposite sides) fuster cluck.

I've already said in a previous post that Syria is past my pay grade (particularly since this is a hobby, and I don't get paid). Frankly, any Mideast crisis is out of my wheelhouse, and my deep personal interest. I'm not Jewish, I'm not fundamentalist Christian, I'm not Muslim. . .so, I have no emotional tie to Israel. I had to look up Syria on a map today (I was right about where it was, but I wasn't sure). I'm smart enough to know that there are implications that tie into relations with Russia and with China, and pissing them off is problematic. And I know that while President Obama has a number of options on his plate, none of them are good options.

Imagine having his job. Half a dozen shitty choices, none with clean outcomes, and all of them bound to draw fiery criticism from the right and the left. The left because they're already weary of war, and many are convinced that Obama is far further right than they thought they were getting. The right because they hate everything the President does from how he ties his shoes to how he licks stamps. The only thing almost everybody agrees on: "We've got to do something."

You know what troubles me about that? Those are the exact words my mother used, years after the Iraq War was started, as an answer to me about why we were in Iraq. As a Bush voter, and staunch Republican, she said that after September 11, we had to do something. I pointed out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Didn't matter to Mom, we had to do something. Apparently, even if "something" is just blowing some shit up in the general area of the perceived problem.

I have a reputation for being irreverent, callous and blunt. But I don't mean to give short shrift to the suffering of the Syrian people, particularly the children. I suppose it's the fact that the Syrian government was already killing them indiscriminately before last week, that's got me wondering why now. Is it the President's "red line" statement from a while back, and that the Syrians apparently crossed it? Also, truth be told, kids and adults are being killed in lots of countries around the world. Is it only if they're poisoned that we have to send in the military?

Anyway, for someone who feels ill-equipped to really blog about this topic, I've managed to ramble on at length. I guess I just wanted to put my thoughts out there for anyone who happened by. And to explain why there may not be a heavy coverage of the topic on the blog. I suspect that when Right Wing World really gets cranked up on the topic, there will be an opportunity to at least pick apart the details, and maybe flesh things out a little. The nuts at Free Republic (for example) can be so clearly wrong about something, that it can crystalize what is right. . .or rather, correct.  See? They're good for something!


Military strikes on Syria 'as early as Thursday,' US officials say

The U.S. could hit Syria with three days of missile strikes, perhaps beginning Thursday, in an attack meant more to send a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than to topple him or cripple his military, senior U.S. officials told NBC News on Tuesday. . .

Read more at: NBC News

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