A letter to a friend re intervention in Syria:
It's not that my opinion on this remains fixed — no, it swivels & cycles — but it does tend often enough to come back to this: Americans are not for intervention in Syria; Congress will likely be divided about it; we're not leading an international coalition (NATO is not with us, not even England); we weirdly refuse to make the requisite gestures toward the U.N., genuflections though they might prove to be be; we support the opponents to Assad no more than we support him.
Yet Obama, who has tied himself in grotesque knots about this, will likely go ahead with military action.
I only hope it doesn't make things worse, much worse, than they are.
The odds are slim — though, admittedly, nonzero — that our intervention will make anything better.
Maybe I should just ask you, my friend, who support intervention, to say what good you hope solo American, not to say solo Obama, intervention will do.
Go on record about why you're for it. I've said why, despite deep doubts, and an admission that it's by now almost a done deal, I remain opposed.
History, it's bunk, to be sure. Still, Bush bled blood & treasure in a phony cause. Hence there's precious little of either remaining for the kind of commitment Syria entails and might have commanded. History stops being bunk when it comes to Syria. Syria reminds us of recent foreign policy debacles.
Whatever we do, after the Cruise missiles strike, Assad & the Syrian opposition, driven by Islamists, will go on slaughtering each other, until there won't be much left of the construct of Syria as we know it..
Sarah Palin has tweeted: Let Allah take care of it.
Tells you far gone I am that I almost —"almost" — like that.
I do like this, from Tom Cole (Republican representative, Oklahoma),
“It’s a civil war, it’s a proxy war between regional powers, and it’s a religious war,” Mr. Cole said in an interview. “Is there any direct security threat to the United States here? No. There’s really not.”
Well said: "civil war . . . proxy war, . . . religious war."
Too often Americans don't bother to analyze what kind of war it is we're about to step into. We just step. We are — or were — that powerful.
“Is there any direct security threat to the United States here?", Tom Cole asked. "There’s really not.”
Unless we're the self-appointed international Red Line.
Foucault said knowledge is power. Maybe not. Maybe there is more knowledge due to new media than even a declining sole & somewhat exhausted superpower can do much about.