Throughout the last week or more as this drama in a dixie cup played out I found a critical option missing from the media menu.
We've seen bomb now, bomb later, boots on or off the ground, tomahawk here there and everywhere. I also see "heavens above, don't bomb anything it's none of our business what they do in their country." About 1500 people have died from Assad's criminal gassing but there are even more deaths attributed to both sides in the previous months, 50,000 is one number that comes up a lot.
The numbers that don't come up hardly at all are the numbers of survivors who have fled the country to escape the violence. There are well over a million in the surrounding countries and there is no national media circus or debate in Congress about them. BTW, a million's a lot more than either of the numbers of the two classes of victims previously mentioned.
If you saw Meteor Blades FP post today about this, congratulations. If you missed it, you probably overlooked it amid the clutter of the bomb/don't bomb posts. He asks for a public response to the crisis.
The third option I want to propose actually serves both a humanitarian and geopolitical purpose. Take the dollars that would be spent on all the missiles and no fly zone enforcement and put it into the UN led refugee relief efforts along with a lot of U S food packed up and ready to hand out. Instead of turning Syrians into bloody goo beneath the rubble, thus earning the enmity of their friends and relations and fulfilling the propaganda messages of Hezbollah, alQuaeda, and their co-conspirators, give a butt load of money to the relief efforts of the International Coalition of the Rescuers. Ferry supplies into Jordan, Turkey and the other refugee camps with the helos that could have been carrying troops instead. Let the US flag fly over the rescue effort instead of the proposed destruction of questionable value to our local image or the effect on the status quo of the civil war.
Wouldn't that just frost Assad's ass? Oh, and also the radical Muslim right. "The U S cares for the refugees while the Saudis et al sit on their hands." Put that all over Al Jazeera and see what happens to our image in the middle east.
It's the "Christian" thing to do after all. (Also Buddist, Muslim, Shinto, Zoroastrian, Rastafarian, et al.)
Does this need a Whitehouse Petition to gain traction or could we just tell the congress-critters to send aid not bombs when we call to protest?