The summary lists below are intended as a reference list and reminder that
Obama and Kerry are not simply blindered war-mongers, and
Anti-Militarists are not simply blindered pacifism-mongers.
Obama and Kerry are dealing with multiple (mainly hostile) audiences, including:
1. US military/intelligence industrial complex, which has a cultural predisposition and a self-aggrandizing and budgetary incentive to swing lots of hammers at every potential nail, and which brandishes carrots and sticks at all presidents and other politicians;Anti-Militarism Progressives also have multiple audiences and goals, including:
2. Republican establishment, which will leave no stone un-thrown against each Obama/Kerry action, for being too fast and/or slow, too long-term and/or short-term oriented, too aggressive and/or restrained, too risky and/or risk-averse, too unilateral and/or multilateral in respect of allies; too committed and/or uncommitted to involving Congress in decision-making, too different from and/or similar to what President W, Mitt or McCain would have done, etc.;
3. Teahadists, who are straining at the leash to impeach for Presidenting-while-Black, and would ecstatically leap to impeach in response to any Presidential exercise of Gray-area powers;
4. A world full of chemical weapons and other treaty-governed weapons, which might be used more frequently, and used as threats more credibly, if usage against civilians in Syria is not treated with sufficient gravity;
5. Putin, who may have emotional rather than merely realpolitik reasons for resisting invitations to negotiate a post-Assad compromise in Syria;
6. Jihadists, whose goals in Syria seem to include a more violent and sectarian war and a post-war base for Sunni Jihadism;
7. “Bandar Bush”-led Saudi (& Gulf State) intelligence services, which seem to have increased their risky support for Jihadists in order to remove Syria from Iran’s “arc” of alliances stretching through Iraq-Syria-South Lebanon;
8. Israel, which seems to put particular weight on the US demonstrating to Iran the gravity of crossing any US-identified “red line”;
9. Iran, whose newly elected (and likely vulnerable) moderate faction must weigh all of the above;
10. Turkey, which has long resisted allowing autonomous Kurdish entities to emerge in neighboring countries (and has its own domestic distractions);
11. All neighboring countries, which risk destabilization by more inflows of refugees from Syria, in a region where there are already many internal and external refugees from wars and drought;
12. US actual and potential voters, who wonder why their needs don’t receive the same intensity of attention as those of the military/intelligence industrial complex.
• Creating countervailing pressure on Obama/Kerry, in order to give them political incentives and excuses for resisting (wholly or partly) the pressures to take actions that are overly militarized and insufficiently long-term oriented;
• Highlighting the hypocrisy and villainy of defunding civilian solutions to domestic crises while spending freely, without related tax hikes, on military solutions to foreign crises;
• Demonstrating to every electoral incumbent and candidate, and to actual and potential voters, the increasing strength and social acceptability of US citizens’ suspicions towards
overly militarized policies,
world-wide policing, and
other actions (foreign and domestic) of the US military/intelligence industrial complex.