Holding a vision of a world that works for all..... "Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love." ~ Rumi
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Why These Missile Strikes Won’t Make Things Better for the Syrian People
We Americans need to inform ourselves, learn how to follow the money, shed our indoctrination into belief systems of American "exceptionalism," discern who can be trusted for information and who cannot, and recognize the hypocrisy and violence and lies for what they are. Another world is possible. - Molly
There are serious questions as to whether Trump’s bombing of the
Syrian base has anything to do with protecting civilians.
The U.S. bombing of Syria’s Al Shayrat air base has brought more death and destruction to that country and is unlikely to deter additional war crimes by the Syrian regime. It will not ease the suffering of the Syrian people.
But then it wasn’t actually meant to.
The missile strikes had nothing to do with any concern for the civilian victims of the regime’s apparent April 4 sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun. The unilateral military action was ordered by the same president whose proposed budget would make major cuts to the very programs that have provided at least some relief to Syrian refugees fleeing the violence of the regime and various armed rebel factions and who has desperately tried to ban any of the refugees from even entering the United States.
With no direct threat to the national security of the United States and with no congressional authorization, such use of force was illegal. By contrast, when President Obama considered authorizing military action against the regime following an even deadlier sarin attack in 2013, he respected such constitutional limitations on his power and—failing to receive authorization from Congress—did not do so, providing time for the Russian-initiated UN-backed agreement, which resulted in the destruction of the vast majority of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
Obama was willing, but not ideologically driven, to go to war. As a result, popular pressure and viable diplomatic alternatives prevented war at that time. And, despite Trump’s more recent criticism of that decision, he was at that time among the voicesopposing U.S. military intervention.
While Trump’s militarism, unfortunately, may be harder to constrain, the fact that the air strikes were fairly limited may be indicative that he recognizes that the American public is not interested in the United States getting involved in another major Middle Eastern war.
Rather than promoting dubious conspiracy theories exonerating the Bashar al-Assad regime from yet another of its many war crimes, the focus should be on how the United States has no right to punish Syria.
True, there is something uniquely horrific about chemical weapons, the use of which has been banned since the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the possession of which has been illegal since the Chemical Weapons of 1993 (belatedly signed and ratified by Syria in 2013.)
But know this: Since Trump came to office, nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed by U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq—including up to 200 civilians in Mosul and around 60 civilians in the bombing of a mosque in al-Jena (not far from the site of the chemical weapons attack) this past month.
This again raises questions as to whether Trump’s bombing of the Syrian base has anything to do with protecting civilians.