“War…huh…good God y'all…what is it good for…absolutely nothing…say it again…”
I believe that you’d be hard pressed to find many ‘normal’ people, on either side of the pond, who would have a problem with the sentiment behind those words…certainly not those of us who were around at the tail end of the Vietnam War in 1970, when Edwin Starr sang them…or, for that matter, our kids' generations - in my case very young Gen Xers and very old Millennials.
I believe that if you asked most of us a question like this:
‘Do you believe that the people who lied to you about the existence of WMD in Iraq, in order to get your ‘blessing’ for their war…have now become worthy of your trust?’
I don’t think you’d get many yeses. If you asked this:
“Are you willing to go to war with the country next door to Iraq…on the advice of the same group of ideologues, politicians and the ‘intellectuals’ that ‘legitimize’ them?”
Again…I don’t think you’d get many yeses. How about this one:
“When you see pictures of innocent children who have been maimed and killed by nerve gas…do you believe the people who tell you that they know exactly who did it…within minutes of finding out about it…without any investigation whatsoever?”
I’ll speak for me – I don’t. Here’s what I do believe:
I believe that poisoning human beings is totally wrong…I believe that murdering children requires a twisted and perverted pathology…I believe, in my darkest moments, that I would like 5 minutes in a padded cell with whoever made that decision…and I believe that my government and my media want me to believe that they know who did…
But I don’t know who gassed those children.
I do know this:
1. Five days before the attack, the new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this: “The longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people”. This comment sent a clear message to the world that there has been a shift in U.S. foreign policy away from regime change in Syria
2. Upon hearing Tillerson's comment, the response of the two leading neoconservatives in the Senate was this:
"One of the more incredible statements I've ever heard…another disgraceful chapter in American history…I don't see any doctrine right now" – John McCain
"If…the Trump administration is no longer focusing on removing Assad, I fear it will be the biggest mistake since President Obama failed to act after drawing a red line against Assad's use of chemical weapons" – Lindsey Graham
3. If Assad ordered a chemical weapons attack guaranteed to incite the wrath of the whole world, at a time when he is on the verge of defeating the jihadists opposing him…and given what Tillerson had just said…then he is the most strategically stupid leader imaginable…a guy so dumb that he makes the adolescent brat running North Korea look like Sun Tzu.
We are being expected to believe, yet again, a group of people that will do anything to promote the sick ideology of US and western exceptionalism - a creed that requires warfare in order to justify and sustain itself. I speak purely for myself – I will not be giving my ‘blessing’ to any more regime change, in the Middle East, or anywhere else.