Dear Dirty America


Contemplating A Military Strike: Do You Even Know Where Syria Is?

Contemplating A Military Strike: Do You Even Know Where Syria Is?
August 27
14:56 2013

And the media is off to the races in promoting a military strike on Syria and Assad’s forces. I caught about ten minutes of an NPR radio broadcast weighing the United States’ military options against Assad’s regime. Despite lacking any hard evidence that it was indeed the Syrian government who unleashed the chemical attack, every guest I heard speak said roughly the same thing: We’ve got to attack Syria. We’ve drawn a red line. What if Iran sees the US back away from its red line. We’ve got to get involved militarily, even if it’s just a series of surgical strikes.

Let’s forget that damned red line. Let’s not forget the mainstream media’s lack of critical analysis of the Bush administration’s evidence and justification to invade Iraq. Let’s also not forget how poorly our current president’s intervention in Libya went. Let’s not forget how real the consequences are of quick military strikes.

When the media keeps flipping pictures of dead children under screaming headlines about Assad and chemical weapons, our last response should be emotion, and our first should be skeptical. Despite the fact there are scores of dead children involved. Because military intervention is not simple. It’s not clean. And if you thought a lot of innocent people died from whoever let off that chemical weapon in Syria, that destruction will be nothing compared to what happens during a Western strike.

A US-led NATO attack will surely result in scores of dead civilians, rebels, and members of Assad’s military. Bombing campaigns are not precise, and their blasts do not avoid ripping to shreds innocent people. Libya is proof of this. NATO’s intervention, and Barack Obama’s “no boots on the ground so it’s not officially a war” approach was a catastrophe for those living in Libya. There was an untold measure of hardship and doom suffered by the general populace.

  • Can you even find Syria on a map?
  • Do you know how the al-Assad family stepped into power?
  • Why has the CIA has already been caught shipping heavy weapons, like surface-to-air missiles, from Libya to Syrian rebel forces during the attack on the Libyan consulate, where US ambassador Christopher Stevens was murdered, along with four other Americans.
  • Then, with even more discomfort, ask, Did you know there are al-Qaeda forces fighting in the rebel army? And once you’ve understood that, ask,
  • What is the penalty for aiding the arch-enemy of the United States of America? Or, twisted another way,
  • What would happen to you if you’d been caught aiding, either financially, physically, or militarily members of al-Qaeda?

Do you see the irony here? This doesn’t mean Assad is an upstanding leader. He’s not. He’s nasty and brutal. But a NATO intervention that will undoubtedly put more weapons and power into the hands of al-Qaeda, can surely not be a positive step for Western nations. Especially surface-to-air missiles.

If any airliners get taken down, or military jets blow up in midair, and it’s blamed on al-Qaeda, you must remember which secret government agency put those weapons into our enemy’s hands. You can be assured the CIA won’t lose its funding over such things, but you’d better believe there’ll be a further assault on your Bill of Rights.

And here’s another goddamned list of irritating questions:

  • Do you know who Syria’s allies are?
  • Do you know how tenuous the United States’ relationship is with Russia right now?
  • Do you realize there are Russian soldiers guarding some of Assad’s weapons compounds, to help deter NATO from bombing them?
  • Do you realize Iran has sent soldiers to help Assad quell the rebels’ Free Syrian Army?
  • Do you think America can withstand another messy campaign in the Middle East?
  • Would you say America is ready to deal with the consequences of Russia and Iran if even one of their soldiers gets so much as scraped by a piece of shrapnel?


Arming the Syrian rebels; What could go wrong?

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[artwork by Carlos Latuff]

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