This time, the American people are not particularly interested in jumping into another war in the Middle East. Good reason exists for this. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is clearly a monster but, amidst all the atrocities committed by both sides of the conflict, the United States has not been threatened. Also, the specifics of the conflict in Syria are complicated and the case for jumping into action is subsequently harder to make. All of this, along with the general war weariness felt throughout the United States, has kept public opinion firmly in the “opposed” camp nationwide. Representatives in Congress are getting an earful from constituents with a directive to keep the US out of Syria and some active members of the armed forces are even controversially protesting the possibility of war.
The only group of people in the United States that seem to be chomping at the bit to engage Syria militarily are politicians in Washington. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, representing Oakdale inside Minnesota’s 4th congressional district, recently released a statement regarding her position on the possibility of a new war in Syria (refer to a previous Patch article to read the statement in its entirety). This statement was no doubt carefully crafted to suggest that McCollum is in a state of deep deliberation on the matter but declarations sprinkled throughout about supposed “undeniable intelligence,” the necessity of “an unequivocal response from the US and the international community” and other nonsense about how “to do nothing... undermines fundamental global norms of conduct that keep Americans safe” reveal the opposite.
In other words, Betty McCollum plans to follow lock-step with the political establishment regarding a war against Syria. In repeating the bipartisan talking points in favor of a war in Syria and promoting this dangerous foreign policy that designates the United States as the policeman of the world, McCollum seems to feel that:
A) The US government (and its “allies”) can bomb any nation it chooses even if that nation has not threatened national security.McCollum may need to see something in writing before she signs on the dotted line, true. However, by repeating the administration-approved case for a new war in Syria, McCollum’s statement certainly seems to reflect a keen interest to serve first the best interests of the military industrial complex and the government ruling class. But what about Minnesota's 4th congressional district? Are the American people that McCollum supposedly represents as willing as she to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war? Doubtful. Americans are catching on to the unintended consequences that result from the foreign policy conducted out of Washington. The many decades of heavy political and military involvement by the United States has not made the Middle East a freer place and the state of the region will not be improved by any future bombing of Syria.
B) The possibility of a Russian and/or Iranian response to an attack on their ally Syria is of no concern to the United States... for some reason; likewise, a response from Syria itself against US allies in the region is apparently of no concern despite its probability.
C) Publicly announcing military strategies to the entire world, always stressing the "limited" part of the proposed strike (and therefore sounding awful threatening and effective, no?), is a really super idea.
D) The Syrian civilian deaths that would result from a US-led military strike are worth it in the long run to, as both the US and French governments have put it, "punish" the Assad regime.
E) Aiding the Syrian rebels, which includes elements of Al Qaeda and other government-defined terrorist groups, who have been actively and violently persecuting minority Syrian Christians, is in the best interest of the American people.
Thanks to Oakdale Patch for also running this piece.