How satisfying it was for many of us, including the Washington establishment, when we heard that our Navy launched more than 50 Tomahawk Missiles at a secondary military air base in Syria. We then watched the parade of the military/foreign policy “adults” and “hawkish” politicos across our cable news-screens, assuring the American people that this was a righteous action. The missile strike they opined was done in justifiable retaliation for the horror-filled videos of the aftermath of Bashar al-Assad’s use of “Sarin Gas” against perhaps 100 of his own Syrian citizens. All through the on-screen discussions, this military decision to attack another country, was characterized by statements to the effect that Donald Trump was finally taking the advice of the “adults in the room“. The meaning of course was that before that, the Trump administration was being run by the demented likes of Steve Bannon and his band of Alt-Rightists. This of course, was not to mention the fact that behind their impassive miens, most of the Washingtonian establishment believed Trump to be a crazy loose cannon.
Here’s the rub in all this, deconstructed down to the realities of the situation in bullets:
- Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Alawites, which is a sub-division of Shia Islam and is the faith of 12% of the Syrian people.
- Sunni Islam is the faith for 68% of the Syrian population.
- The Sunni-Shia Conflict is a bitter one and stretches back more than 1,300 years to the death of the Prophet.
- Iran is the leading nation of Shia Islam, whereas its’ arch-enemy Saudi Arabia is the leading proponent of Sunni Islam.
- Thus the “Civil War” in Syria is a religious conflict, whose roots stretch back 1,300 years, as well as a Geo-political battle for dominance between Iran and Saudi Arabia, over supremacy over Islam and the Middle East.
- Added to this toxic mix is the fact that the United States is a very close ally of Saudi Arabia and the Russian Republic is closely allied with Iran.
Just from the bullets above, anyone should be able to see that what is going on in Syria is a very complex situation that will never have an easy solutions. The real problem for our country is that its politicians, its Corporate/Military/Intelligence Complex (CMIC) and its citizens don’t handle complexity well. This is especially true when one factors in that when there is money to be made, or political power to be gained the politicians and the CMIC prefer propaganda to truth when seeking support of the citizenry. Each one of those 50 odd Tomahawk Missiles launched never to return, costs $560,000, Thus Raytheon Corporation should get about $30 million from this launch alone, to replenish our missile stockpile.
You might think that my putting this missile attack, into these terms, is too simplistic and far too cynical. Is it really? None of the talking heads on my TV last night believed that the attack would achieve either the goals of ousting Assad, nor of stopping his use of “Sarin Gas“. So what was the point of the missile attack based on my synthesis all the justifications I heard on my TV last night.
- The U.S.A. was sending Assad a message that we wouldn’t stand for his gassing of his citizens.
- The murderous gas attack required a message of our displeasure being sent.
- The U.S.A.could not let this attack go unpunished.
- The U.S.A. must signal to the world that we won’t stand for this barbarity.
My sense of this action and these justifications, is that they are palpably childish nonsense, performed by people who are interested more in saving face rather then actually accomplishing a particular set of goals. Ten year olds on the playground act this way and will use violence to save face, or to “solve” problems. When it comes to the “The Great Game” of world Geo-politics, a term incidentally harking back 186 years to a conflict between Britain and Russia over similar territory, it all comes down to wealth and power won at the point of a gun. In other words activity strikingly similar to the struggles of children on playgrounds. The term “adults in the room” is really a technique for cutting of discussion and questioning of military actions, by implying that critics are childish, where the reverse is probably true.
Bashar al-Assadis a very bad person, who if you read his history is but another ignorant little rich boy, making the Syrians his toys. If I had the chance I would cheerfully cut his throat, or shoot him in the gut, making sure he suffered even a little for his heinous crimes. I am not a pacifist, nor do I believe that war is always unjust. However, I feel that violence in display of power, is for the most part stupid and childish. I do weep for the lives of those innocent people destroyed by this horrible act, but you cannot convince me that the launch of some missiles makes up for it, or calls to account the perpetrators. I must note, without Schadenfreude, that Trump’s crocodile tears over the lives lost in the gas attack are merely the result of hypocrisy morphed into bitter irony. After all, part of his initial campaign demagoguery, was his wanting to ban Syrian refugees as potential terrorists.
Putting my cards clearly on the Geo-political table, I don’t have a clue as to what to do about Bashar al-Assad or Syria, or if indeed there is anything to be done. Whatever wiser heads than I come up with to deal with the horror of Syria, I am certain though that the path to a good solution wasn’t being trod by last night’s missile attack.