Syria and the MIC

by Jeffrey Polet on September 6, 2013 · 4 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Short

In my judgment, military action against Syria would be both a moral and political failing – which means, of course, it is likely to happen. I’ll be surprised if we haven’t begun air strikes by the end of the month (which, of course, in Orwellian fashion, our leaders steadfastly refuse to call an act of war, even though someone flying planes into three of our buildings is manifestly an act of war).

My fear is that the decision will largely be made as a result of electoral calculation and, mainly, by the demands of the military-industrial complex, which, be assured, has a distinct interest in bombing Syria. The Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard McKeon (R-CA) is busy making it clear that the Syria “crisis” is a fine opportunity to undo the effects of sequestration.

“My concern is the readiness of our troops, not just on this [Syria] mission, but on the next one and the next one,” McKeon told the Free Beacon, adding that the debate over the use of force on Syria is “the best chance we have since this mess started” to reverse the cuts known as sequestration.

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ray Johns September 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm

President Obama needs to link limited U S force to a workable containment strategy for Syria that doesn’t escalate to more difficult to control preventive war . Leslie Gelb shows that the United States has a natural ally in Iran who shares their fears of radical Sunni jihadism in Syria exploding if Assad extremism finally defeats him . http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/books/review/unthinkable-by-kenneth-m-pollack.html?smid=pl-share

avatar Peter Daniel Haworth September 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I hope you are wrong, but this means the dirty deed is even more likely to occur. If it does, however, the resulting turmoil will be another blow to the neoconservatives’ already diminished political capital. At least we can find solace in that prospect.

avatar Siarlys Jenkins September 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

There are good moral arguments for not allowing use of chemical weapons to pass without a stern response. But, that horse is long since out of the barn, and there are also good pragmatic arguments for not expecting that anything we do is going to put the fear of God or even of the USA into the next megalomaniac who wants to use chemical weapons.

There are good arguments for building up a militarily strong non-jihadi Syrian opposition, but that horse has left the barn as well, and we didn’t have the stomach for it after the debacle of Iraq and overstaying in Afghanistan.

I read that a senator from Connecticut candidly remarked that constituents are clearly opposed, but his office is under terrific pressure from non-constituents who insist he should vote to support a mission.

When all options are morally and logistically bad, and fraught with a plethora of unintended consequences, its probably best to do nothing.

But, if Assad falls, and al Qaeda is about to get their hands on his chemical weapons stockpile, we may need to launch a very risky and bloody mission to seize control of, and neutralize, the whole supply.

No good answers to this one.

avatar Thaddeus J. Kozinski September 7, 2013 at 12:31 am

It is astounding to me that anyone believes that Assad is responsible for the chemical weapons attack. It has all the signs of a false-flag set up. It’s Iraq II. Paul Craig Roberts is the one to read these days to get to the heart of the matter: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/09/05/the-us-government-stands-revealed-to-the-world-as-a-collection-of-war-criminals-and-liars/

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