by Randolph T. Holhut
Chief of AAmerican Reporter Correspondenta
September 6, 2013
DRIFTING OWARD YET ANOTHER DISASTROUS WAR
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Sometime in the next week or so, U.S. warships are going to launch cruise missile strikes against targets in Syria.
A wide majority of Americans oppose doing this. The United Nations opposes doing this. Most of this nation's allies oppose doing this. Even the Vatican opposes it.
There is little support beyond the people in Congress who are always more than willing to have someone else die in pursuit of bad foreign policy ideas, and the military-industrial complex that always profits no matter who is fighting. Yet once again, the ridiculous idea of "humanitarian warfare" has been dusted off and used to justify attacking Syria, just it was in the bombing of Kosovo and Libya.
When it comes to warfare in the post-Hiroshima era, military force has nearly always made things worse, not better. A cursory reading of U.S. actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya over the past decade bears this out.
What's happened over the past two years of civil war in Syria is horrifying. The recent use of chemical weapons in Ghouta. a suburb of Damascus, was just the frosting on the rancid cake of a war that has left more than 100,000 Syrians dead and left more than 2 million Syrians as refugees.
A missile strike won't bring any of these dead back, and will do nothing to topple the Assad regime. What it will do is kill more Syrian civilians and low-level troops.
But the thing that should give every American pause is this - a U.S. missile strike would likely increase the levels of violence and instability in Syria and the rest of the Mideast.
The worst case scenario? Every U.S. embassy in the Mideast will be attacked, as well as U.S. business interests in the region. Syria might try attacking Israel, and Israel might retaliate by bombing Syria.
Iran could answers an Israeli retaliation with attacks on Israel, as well as U.S. military bases in the region. Israel then does what it has long wanted to do - bomb Iran.
Iran then blocks the Straits of Hormuz, where much of the West's oil supply passes through.
The vision of this Pandora's box of horrors should be more than enough reason for Congress to reject the rush to yet another unnecessary, unwanted, illegal, and immoral war.
And, after Congress votes no, it's time for President Obama to work on living up to the Nobel Peace Prize that he was awarded by calling on all the nations supplying arms to the Syrian regime - Russia, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan - to stop sending arms and start enforcing a ceasefire and arms embargo in Syria.
The UN can do its part by continuing the investigation into the recent chemical attack and have those responsible for the attack brought to the Hague to face the International Criminal Court. It can also help move all sides in Syria toward a politically negotiated settlement of the civil war.
In the last 15 years, there have been eight Western military interventions in Muslim countries. Nothing good has come from those eight interventions, and the ninth one will not improve upon that dismal record.
President Obama and Congress are poised to make a foreign policy decision that could be even more disastrous than invading Iraq.
The people of America, who are sick of being stampeded into war, must stop them.
AR's Chief of Correspondents, Randolph T. Holhut, holds an M.P.A .from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has been an award-winning journalist in New England for more than 30 years . He also edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.