By Scott Tibbs, September 19, 2013
The tangled web of arguments and counter-arguments about Barack Obama's effort war against Syria continues to get more bizarre. And yes, Obama is proposing a war. Having a little bit of war is like being a little bit pregnant - neither is possible. If another country sent their navy to launch cruise missiles at military bases inside the United States, we would justifiably consider it an act of war.
The historical context is interesting. The Washington Post recounted the story of a man who was "a volunteer soldier and just 14 years old when he was injured in an Iraqi chemical attack." That former child soldier is lucky he was not part of Iran's minefield-clearing unit, because he wouldn't be alive to tell his story. Iran would send waves of children into minefields to clear the way for Iran's army to go behind them - sending the children to be obliterated so adult soldiers could follow. You will understand if I scoff at the Iranian regime's concern for human rights.
In an editorial on the Huffington Post last week, the following paragraph deserves to be highlighted:
As a senator in the fall of 2002, (Secretary of State John Kerry) falsely claimed that "Iraq has chemical and biological weapons ... and [their weapons programs] are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War." House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is leading the pro-war effort in that chamber, insists that Syria's use of chemical weapons is "undeniable." On NBC's "Meet the Press" in November 2002, however, she falsely claimed that Iraq "certainly" had chemical weapons and that there was "no question about that."
The case that chemical weapons were used against civilians (including children) is strong, but was it done by Bashir Assad's regime? Could it have been a false flag attack by al-Qaeda to draw the U.S. into the war against Assad? We know al-Qaeda has no problem massacring civilians. We know the rebels have also engaged in brutality of their own, including beheading the Assad regime's fighters in front of children. The rebels have also murdered children and persecuted Christians - something that will get worse if they win the war.
Are these the people we really should be helping here?
In a comment on my letter to the editor last week, a user said:
The jury is in, conservatives support the slaughter of innocent children and would not lift a finger to help them.
What absolute nonsense. First of all, there is a rift within the Republican Party, between hawks like John McCain and Lindsey Graham against more war-averse Republicans like Rand Paul. There are conservatives - and Leftists - on both sides of the argument. Second, opposition to going to war does not equate to doing nothing. Other options include humanitarian aid for civilians harmed by both sides, sanctions and diplomacy.
We need to stay out of this mess and punching this tar baby will only make things worse as well as getting us stuck in another quagmire. Helping a man-child President save face is not a good reason to go to war.