Friday, April 7, 2017

Airstrikes in Syria

I'm a nobody blogger. Nobody has asked my opinion on last night's missile strikes in Syria. I have no training or experience in matters of geopolitics. But, I am a pissed off citizen with an opinion, and this is America, so here goes.

I have read a stack of analysis of this thing over the past three hours( yes...three hours) and the only positive that can be said of this strike was that we did preserve the element of surprise...nobody over there expected a decision on a strike to be made and executed this swiftly. But, having said that...I fail to see the "vital National security interest" imperiled by the killing of Syrian babies by a dictator...just as I failed to see it when Clinton/Obama claimed the same justification for attacking Libya. As far as Iraq was concerned, I..along with most everyone in Congress,  believed Colin Powell's WMD speech at the UN and supported the action, and I was wrong to do so. When that intelligence was proven worthless, I was for a complete withdrawal. No matter who occupies the White House, the siren call of intervening in the Middle East seems too powerful to resist. It is infuriating.

If "vital national security interest" is now defined to include..."whenever horrible video emerges showing innocent people being treated horribly" then we better get used to a future of unending interventions. My son rightly asks, Will we now begin accepting refuges from a country we are officially bombing? All actions produce a reaction, and in the arena of military action, that reaction is more often than not unpredictable.

The only aspect of Trump's campaign that garnered any support from yours truly was his rather emphatic non-interventionist rhetoric. I could literally post a dozen or more tweets where he outlined his view that it was time for America to stop meddling in the Middle East, time for us to be willing to intervene more in Chicago's south side than some hell-hole in the desert. It was the only thing that encouraged me about the man...maybe this guy might be an idiot, but at least he won't be a globalist idiot. So much for that theory.

Let there be no confusion. My views on this subject have nothing to do with the military. Those guys follow orders and execute whatever assignment they are given with amazing efficiency. And, my views should not be construed as insensitivity to man's inhumanity to man. Do I care about the fact that babies in a hospital were targeted in a chemical weapons attack? Of course I do. It's horrifying and infuriating that this sort of thing happens in the world. But, how do these 60 Tomahawk missiles change anything on the ground. We destroyed one air base from which Assad could launch attacks on his own people. He has five more perfectly in tact. Furthermore, the other five most likely are crawling with Russian and Iranian equipment and personnel. To all of you cheering Trumpian "decisiveness"...you guys onboard for going after the other five, risking an all out war with a legitimate military superpower? All to protect Syrian civilians? Seriously? Is this what you were hoping for when you elected Donald Trump....more Middle East adventurism?