By Jason Taylor
History repeats itself, over and over. Superpower rivalries are acted upon by proxy wars in other countries. It takes just a fuse to blow in a country with a civil war which could be self-limiting by itself. But it is an excuse for the super powers to fight with their big guns and fast planes.
Since there are Agreements and Treaties to limit or stop them from direct confrontation, this is a backdoor to do essentially that. And then each of them is joined by regional powers escalating the violence which becomes self-perpetuating. The real victims are the citizens who are caught in the crossfire. The current destabilized, primary victims are Syrian citizens — the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and it’s allied including the anti-Assad rebels on one side and Russia, Iran, Assad on the other. And the beneficiaries are the likes of inhumane, murderous thugs like ISIS and Al Qaeda who make religion an excuse.
We have so many wars going on now in the Middle East which has also a connection with the Israeli- Palestinian confrontation involving more different players. Again in Europe Ukraine and Crimea have the US and Russia taking antagonistic stances. In the Far East, there is North Korea ruled by ego maniac where US and China are the real superpower rivals with secondary players like South Korea and Japan. Then there is the real danger in South Asia, two countries with nuclear capability.
This missile strike in Syria was of virtually no military significance, and its symbolism is open to a wide variety of interpretations by friends and foes alike. It is by no means a policy statement. First. The attack was not improvised. In fact, the Russians had prior warning, which means the Syrians did as well. It also isn’t going to end Assad’s attacks on his own people, he’s a brutal dictator, like his father before him.
The strike, at a minimum, cost the U.S. taxpayers something like $70,000,000. This may be chump change to the Pentagon, but it would cover the basic travel and security costs for about 23 of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago getaways.
The policy of having no consistent policy is itself a policy, and frequently the worst of all.
President Trump as a businessman, as a candidate and now as president has a history of using misinformation and misdirection to further his own primarily self-serving ends. He has shredded his credibility. Is it any wonder that many suspect that the missile strike was chiefly motivated by Trump’s desire to deflect attention from his other numerous problems?
The “Strike on Syria” was a PR diversion tactic that Trump has used repeatedly in his crooked business dealings and it worked brilliantly! The Chicken-Hawks and closet Neocons of cable news were beside themselves with glee that “The World’s Greatest Military” could blow a few holes in the desert. Trump bankrupted a casino and hung the debt on others, now he’s starting another war that others will have to pay for and the Media is screaming his praise: Just like they screamed the praise of Bush/Cheney when they lead us into Afghanistan and Iraq. This was the act of an unstable man.
Donald Trump delivered on a campaign promise: “I am going to bomb the S**t out of them!” in a response to use of chemical weapons on innocents. The Tomahawk strike was not driven by “outrage” on Trump’s part; it was (cynically) political chaff designed to obfuscate Russian-Trump campaign staff relations investigations off their trail. The US military is now a shield for Trump.
The real time to stand up and be counted for courage was 2015–2016 when candidate Trump could have taken the position to support resettlement of Syrian refugees and compassion for the suffering there. He did neither and reading the public record, Trump’s comments show a callous disdain for the population of Syria and their plight. Trump could have aggressively called out Vladimir Putin’s policies. Trump’s public record is replete with deference to Putin’s policies/actions in Syria, going so far as to praise Putin because “….he has said nice things about me…”.
Syria has massacred as many of its people as the U.S. lost in all of WW II. After such bloodshed, the former Syria is history. With numerous religious divisions, rebuilding a nation so divided by war is a near impossibility. The Middle East is a jungle of problems, disguised as a desert. Wander in and it almost impossible to find a way out. We learned that in Iraq, and its why Obama chose the path of least resistance.
What could/should be done in the meantime is for the United States to open its doors wide and take in all the Syrian refugees wishing to apply for asylum. Now that would be the something to give hope to the refugees and let the world know that the United States still stands by; “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
This is the first presidential act for which Trump has received a great deal of praise. If you take a step back, it doesn’t take long to realize his use of military force has just been reinforced.
The world should not revel in the use of military engagement by a desperate man full of bluster in a never-ending search for approval.