I guess maybe it’s my dotage. I seem to have missed out somewhere along the way. I listened to President Obama’s speech but I do not seem to be any better informed than I was before. For example, he said, “There is no doubt chemical weapons were used.” That seems to be true, but I thought the controversy was over who used them, not that they were used. He then went on to describe in some detail how it was Assad fired the missiles, where he fired them, and there seemed to be no doubt Assad was the guilty party. The last I heard about it there was still some doubt about whether Assad used them or the rebels did. Did I miss out somewhere? Was I asleep when it was demonstrated “beyond a reasonable doubt?”
Then he said we could not just stand by and allow someone to use chemical weapons (neglecting to add, “Unless we use them ourselves”). And we have, certainly, used chemical weapons, white phosphorous, napalm, uranium, and who knows what all else. He did not hesitate to use the image of the children writhing in pain on the hospital floors. Perhaps there is a qualitative difference between writhing in pain on hospital floors from the effects of chemical weapons and writhing on the floor with your limbs blown off, your intestines or brain spilling out, or other terrible wounds, but I doubt it, and in any case it could not ever be measured.
Now everyone is excited about the possibility accidently suggested by one of the three stooges (Kerry, Hagel, Obama) that Syria could avoid being attacked if they gave up their chemical weapons. Amazingly, t he Russians picked up this idea and said they would convince the Syrians to do it, and the Syrians, even more amazingly, said they would do it. We are all aflutter because they have now admitted they actually have chemical weapons (a fact that was surely known by most everyone, an admission comparable to Israel admitting they have nuclear bombs that everyone already knows). Of course in the middle of their civil war it will be impossible to go there, find and remove them, and verify the facts of the matter. How will anyone know if they give up some of them, all of them, or none of them? And yes, they will have signed the ban on chemical weapons agreement, but so have other countries that almost surely still have such weapons, as I am sure we and the Russians must.
Obama’s argument seems to be mostly couched in moral terms (as if there are any morals involved in international affairs). He made no mention of the suggestion that attacking Syria might be directly related to our desire to harm Iran, or that it might have something to do with Syria’s involvement in a pipeline we do not want to see materialize. He emphasized that only the U.S. was in a position to launch an attack on Assad, obviously not true as other countries could do the same if they wished (but why should they when they can rely on moronic Uncle Sam to do it and save them time and money).
Far more important is the question of why does Assad and Syria have so many chemical weapons in the first place. It has been suggested recently they exist to protect Syria from Israel. That is, as Syria recognizes it cannot possibly match Israel military might (propped up, of course, by the U.S.), or compete on nuclear weapons, the one area that is relatively cheap and would represent a threat has to do with chemical weapons. I have no idea if this is true but it does make sense. And if it is true, asking them to give up such weapons is basically asking them to give up their protection from Israel. This would not be a minor matter. One question that might well come to mind is, what might the Russians do to convince them to give up their chemical weapons, guarantee to defend them from the Israelis if the need were to arise? As Israel and the Russians have been pretty “palsy-walsy” of late this doesn’t necessarily make sense, but, then, neither does anything having to do with this Syrian mess at the moment.
Frankly, I have no idea what the hell is going on. No one could be further “out of the loop” than me. I don’t even know why I bother to think about this stuff. Perhaps idle minds are really the devil’s workshop. I am pretty confident, however, that whatever is going on has little or nothing to do with what we are being told, and even more confident that we have no moral ground to interfere. If Syrians or others want to foolishly and stupidly kill each other, so be it. We do plenty of killing on our own.
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”