By Greg Morin
On August 31 President Obama revealed (http://goo.gl/JfHvy8) to the world that when it comes to executive decision-making he has apparently taken a page from the book used by President Bush. Just as Bush justified interventionism in the economy by proclaiming that he must “abandon free market principles to save the free market” so too does Obama likewise make the oxymoronic case that in order to maintain peace we must go to war.
So, it is off to war in Syria then. The reasoning Mr. Obama laid out was one part demagoguery, two parts fear mongering. He opened with the age-old politician’s ploy of invoking “the children.” He thusly reminds us of the deaths of several hundred children in the recent Syrian gas attacks. However this example is somewhat hypocritical considering the U.S. government has killed at least a hundred children (http://goo.gl/5FD3E4) with its overseas drone strikes alone, to say nothing of the children “gassed to death by their own government” at Waco Texas in 1993 (http://goo.gl/Ma5hVI). Say what you will of the leaders at Waco, certainly their children did not deserve to be burned alive by their own government.
He then segues into the same tired justification trotted out for all preemptive wars: the risk of what “might” come to pass. If we do nothing, then: it might make a mockery of prohibitions on chemical weapons, it might endanger our allies, it might lead to more chemical weapons. Might, might, might. Here’s a “might” for you Mr. President. If we keep our nose out of other country’s business then they “might” just figure out how to solve their own problems, without our help. The losing side “might” not blame us for their loss, in which case the U.S. “might” not once again become the target of homicidal rage.
Secure in his reasoning, he smugly asserts that he is confident the U.S. can hold the Syrian government accountable for their actions. Since a necessary condition for being accountable to some other entity is being subservient to said entity, then clearly this President (and his predecessors) views all other countries as being subservient to U.S. authority. The United States, in their minds, is not so much a country as it is a global empire. And an empire must keep its quarrelsome protectorates in line. In the American Empire all countries, companies and individuals are accountable to the King or his Court, er, I mean the President or Congress. Let us hope China never decides they need to hold the U.S. government accountable for its actions by bombing U.S. civilians into the Stone Age.
But then, there was a glimmer of hope. Mr. Obama graciously acknowledged that even though he’s sure he is King and can do whatever he desires, he’s a nice guy after all and does have that annoying Nobel Peace Prize to live up to. So, he’s going to make us a deal. He shall deign to permit Congress to debate and vote on whether we should bomb Syria. How quaint – he’s going to actually follow the Constitution for once (which clearly states war may only be authorized by Congress (Article 1, Section 8)). I wonder how he’ll proceed if the vote doesn’t go his way. If that comes to pass then we will once and for all discover whether we have elected a President or a Führer.
OK, enough bellyaching about what we shouldn’t do. What should we do? A humanitarian evacuation. Send our naval fleet to retrieve every civilian in Syria who wishes to escape the crossfire of a civil war and immigrate to the US or any other country that will permit them entry. Without a population to support them both the rebels and the Assad government will crumble from within. Our “leaders” are only as powerful as the support we give them; upon its withdrawal they are as but infants.
Greg Morin is a member of the Libertarian party and CEO of Seachem Laboratories located in Madison. Constructive comments are welcomed to this paper or at gregmorin.com