How long should all the untimely deaths, fleeings, maimings, and numerous other affronts to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness be allowed to continue to mount in Syria, through the use of weapons of every kind, before someone is finally allowed to do something about it? This is the Big Question that seems to be occurring to almost no one, and instead you just see people, mired in legalisms, doing the 2013 equivalent of the medieval urge to determine how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.
Various strains of progressives, who -- in their zeal for having a third party that, however, they are too powerless or too slothful to form -- have been against Obama almost from the start, are overjoyed at how this latest White House Syria initiative has given them new excuses for their attacks on the President. Meanwhile the real and most virulent enemies of everything worthwhile, the Republicans, are most likely chortling with glee. Rest in peace, eternally stillborn Progressive Third Party!
Meanwhile, in the widespread efforts to prevent Obama from directing the U.S. military to take a more active hand in affairs in Syria -- a move that can take many forms besides the "bombing" that most of today’s would-be peaceniks are so busily shouting to the rooftops -- the pseudo-peace drums are being pounded harder than any war beats that I've been able to hear so far. And I keep wondering why Obama's initiative -- the most serious-sounding and substantial in response to the long-running slaughter in Syria -- that he's taken so far -- can't be seen above all as a humanitarian one, above discouraging the use of chemical weapons. After all, if you're killed by sarin, you're no less dead than if you are taken out of here permanently by a bullet or bullets -- the fate of many thousands of Syrians long before the current big thing, Chemical Weapons, began to be mentioned.
Except for a few small changes, the rest of this diary consists of a comment that I submitted on Juan Cole’s “Informed Comment” a few days ago, in response to an article he wrote titled “Obama Goes to Congress on Syria as his International Support Collapses.”
"As his international support collapses?"
I agree with the earlier commenter who said that if the British Parliament had not undercut the British Prime Minister, Obama would've begun his Syrian initiative by now, without the backing of the Arab League, Congress, or anyone else, but not without Britain and France. his two standbys (and stand-ins) in Libya. All he really needed for his international support was that pair of the largest and most active European nations in trying to do something about al-Assad's slaughter of his own people for little more reason than to keep the rulership of Syria purely a family matter. Meanwhile the rest of that "international support" mainly seems to have stood idly by while over a period of several years, many thousands of Syrian citizens have been killed. to the tune of as many as 100,000 by now.
And that is the whole point of why I think American military intervention is not a bad idea, and that's been true for some time.. It would be a truly humanitarian effort to cut down and even end this bloodbath, as one was cut short in Libya, thanks in part to the help that Obama and his several NATO partners gave to the insurgents, and meanwhile I don't think the number of operative crystal balls is anywhere near the number of dire predictions about Syria -- should Obama give the order -- that are being flung all over the place. And what better use of that unbelievably expensive American military machinery that otherwise merely sits rusting and corroding away, on the seas, in the air, and in a great many countries all over the planet, to no visible great end?
It's too bad that Obama let himself be spooked into consulting that body of do-nothing baboon-butts called the U.S. Congress. While he wastes that time, more Syrians will be fed into the al-Assad death machine who otherwise had every right to live as long and as comfortably as anyone else in this largely indifferent world. And that will also happen for sure if the U.S. merely resumes sitting in the bleachers – where the British Parliament is already perched, secure in its self-satisfaction.