The drums of war are being beaten again!
Those who advocated an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq are now pounding the drums to get us involved in the Middle East again -- this time in Syria.
We're told that Syria is much different than Iraq. If the word 'wolf' comes to mind, ignore it. These are the same people that wanted to attack Iran less than a year ago because they were eerily close to a nuclear weapon.
Is Syria really different?
Of course! There's a 'smoking gun' -- sarin gas -- and it's so obviously clear that the Assad Regime has crossed the arbitrary red line that has been firmly established and visibly drawn. Isn't it?
It's only necessary to convince a coalition that our intelligence is sound...this time! To convince them that if we don't act now we may have to react to the 'mushroom cloud.' Now that Assad has resorted to chemical weapons, forming a coalition should be easy.
We've been here before, presented our case, asked for help, then acted unilaterally when our allies balked. That was a mess -- a huge mistake costing us hundreds of billions in treasure and way too many lives. For what?
Where was our outrage when Saddam gassed and killed 100,000 Kurds and used it against Iran? Why haven't we stopped the genocide in Darfur where as many as 300,000 civilians have been slaughtered?
It was devastating to our credibility when it was discovered there were no WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in Iraq, when it was discovered that the 'smoking gun' had not been fired in decades, and that Iraq was never purchased 'yellow cake' and never close to creating a 'mushroom cloud.'
So why are our allies having difficulty believing us now? Why aren't they falling in line to assist in this Syri...us matter?
Why? Because this is serious!
The risk of failure: of escalation, of a greater war, of Syria falling into the wrong rebel hands, of more civilian deaths, of greater involvement of America's military-industrial complex, is potentially more devastating than a minor success.
Congress is insisting they be involved in the decision -- that they be able to vote before the U.S. takes action. The President has agreed to accommodate them.
Both houses will begin debate this week. Both houses will determine how much ownership they're willing to accept.
The President is advocating, a 'limited strike' on Syria -- backed in a corner by his bold red line!
What will a 'limited strike' accomplish in the Middle East? Haven't we screwed that region up enough?
Syria is complicated beyond anyone's comprehension. Ramifications from even a 'limited strike' are impossible to predict. The possibilities are endless: retaliation in the form of more gas, launching missiles on Israel, or forcing Russian or Chinese involvement; creating a larger war amongst the various Middle Eastern countries; being forced to arm the rebels against retaliation -- maybe groups we shouldn't be arming; having to escalate our involvement because our involvement escalated the civil war beyond Syria's borders; and finally, losing more of our credibility because of a unilateral decision.
The British understand this and Parliament told the Prime Minister, David Cameron, No!
American's, like the British, are 'war weary.' But some in Congress will vote to strike despite polling that indicates 'the people' do not want to be involved in Syria.
How will we pay for this? How many deficit hawks will recklessly vote to intervene in Syria -- at any cost -- after voting to extract $2 billion in food stamps from children, seniors, and needy families?
Eisenhower warned us, not only of the military industrial complex, but of the domestic costs of war and war toys in his speech, The Chance for Peace: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed." Additionally he explained: "The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities."
Hell, we can't even get Congress to spring a few billion dollars to update all the schools in the country, but these idiots can spend billions in Syria because al-Assad used gas on 1,300 people? That's insane!
Recent Congresses have shown a propensity to embrace insane ideas despite warnings from Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike, FDR, and JFK.
What Congress will do is a mystery, but at least there's a willingness to take ownership, and we must hold them accountable for their vote.
Congress is hoping, should the vote be in the affirmative, that this is Libya, that our military engagement works and doesn't become a mess. That there are no lives lost, that it ends quickly, and that it costs less than building 30 schools.
No, this is not Iraq and no one is suggesting we embed the United States in another trillion dollar quagmire like Iraq.
This is not Iraq, but this is equally Syri...us!