Thursday, September 5, 2013

Another issue in Syria

There has been a lot of talk that we need to bomb Syria in order to maintain the credibility of the United States. A while ago Pres. Obama proclaimed the use of chemical weapons as a “red line” which, if crossed, would invite US retaliation. So far there has been no action on the part of the US government even though it seems fairly clear that poison gas was used in Syria. Experts are uncertain who used the poison gas but our government claims to have conclusive evidence it was the Syrian government.
How serious is this feared loss of credibility? How long would it last? How credible will we be if we kill more Syrian women and children?
These are important questions.
But there other issues involved. Secretary of State Kerry has been an enthusiastic supporter of military action in Syria. He has declared with absolute certainty that it was President Assad who used poison gas against his own people. He has presented a glowing, and most likely mendacious, picture of the military opposition to Pres. Assad. He has made all kinds of claims which most observers regard as of dubious truthfulness. All in the interest of starting another war.
Secretary of State Kerry has presented the United States as the knight in shining armor that sees to it that the world live up to the same high moral standards as our government. He fought in Vietnam but he has forgotten the agent orange we sprayed on Vietnamese fields. To this day Vietnamese children are horribly crippled and deformed at birth as a consequence. He has forgotten that we used radioactive munitions in Iraq.
But many American voters and many of their elected representatives remain full of doubts and uncertainties. Others are plainly opposed.
In the face of all this uncertainty, among experts and ordinary citizens, of the left as much as of the right, Secretary Kerry is in danger of becoming a joke. Now his credibility is on the line. Now we have another credibility issue that we are about to go to war for.

How many Syrians will have to die to save the face of Secretary Kerry?