Monday, September 2, 2013
No, absolutely do question. Uploaded August 30th, an interview with Larry Wilkerson on the situation with Syria.
Although President Obama has said that he will put any decision to intervene up to a vote in Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry is now saying that Obama has the right to strike regardless of the vote.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition accused President Obama of "being weak."
So that's what we're worried about, huh.
Libertarian Senator Rand Paul predicts that the vote in the House will weigh in around 50-50, with the Senate basically "rubber stamping" Obama's request.
Meanwhile, our representative clock punchers are out on holiday until September 9th, and only a few showed up for a classified intelligence briefing to assist them (with what we'd hope would be informed decision making) about these weighty matters like war. (Remember, neither did they feel compelled to show up when Americans' unemployment ran out.)
Even mainstream opinion polls reveal that our war weary nation mostly opposes and/or maintains skepticism of U.S. military action in Syria (The refrain goes something like, "fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, shame on us.")
But that didn't stop Congress before, did it, so I suspect Rand Paul is correct, unfortunately. We are living the reality of Dwight Eisenhower's dire warning.
Below, via video posted August 31st, Chris Hedges and Paul Jay discuss President Obama's decision to pursue military action while seeking the Congressional authorization that both Obama and Kerry say he doesn't really need.
"Again," says Mr. Hedges (in an involved conversation on conflicts in the region overall, and specifically with respect to comments about Afghanistan), "It gets back to the whole arms trade [...] We are the largest seller of weapons and munitions on the planet, and these people don't care as long as they make money. And I think that is a lot of what is fueling these conflicts in places like Afghanistan. Companies like Halliburton and Raytheon, Boeing - they don't want to get out - they don't ever want to get out - they don't care how many Americans die - how many Afghans die - they don't care what happens in Afghanistan - they don't care what happens in the region. Look at their stock prices. Look at Halliburton - they've all quadrupled since 9-11. And that's sort of the unseen engine behind all of this."
On Sunday, the British Parliament ruled out any involvement in military strikes against Syria. French President François Hollande supports punitive military action in spite of similar skepticism on the part of the French public; unlike the U.K., he is not constrained by a parliamentary vote.
Amnesty International has called for alternative interventions via an arms embargo and the deployment of U.N. monitors.
The national chapter of ANSWER coalition has announced a major September 7th demonstration in Washington D.C. to vote "No War On Syria!" Further information here about local anti-war demonstrations continuing around the war.
War, Edwin Starr,
*Image credits/top, via Tea 'n' Danger, "War! Good God! Who Is It Good for?"/second, via Reuters, photographer: Jason Reed, Americans protest military intervention with Syria outside the White House, August 30, 2013.