What an embarrassment we have become in the world, that we bluster and threaten to rain destruction on a country already in ruins in the midst of a civil war. Our justification is to punish a bully by killing his victims. Doubtless we will be told that our air strikes and cruise missile attacks will be precisely targeted surgical strikes.
This is bullshit.
Recall the surgical precision with which we showered Baghdad with “Shock and Awe” while killing thousands of civilians. Recall the surgical precision of our attack helicopters the Iraq war in Collateral Murder, or our drone attacks in Afganistan. I do not believe that we will do any better this time. There is no safe way to wage war. No matter our motives, civilians will die because we have suddenly become high and mighty.
Or is there something else we want? Like control of a region bordering Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Iran—effectively isolating Iran. Or oil or natural gas? We always have a reason for being nobel.
Attacking Syria to punish Bashar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons on his own citizens by killing more citizens positions American foreign policy directly on the cutting edge of hypocrisy. Our president, vice president, secretary of state, and the rest of the power structure want us to believe this is really complicated. That is how they stay in power. But ask any third grader if it makes sense to discipline a bully by beating up his victims and they will tell you the answer.
Of course not.
It is the futile gesture of a crumbling empire.