What’s going on with this Syria situation?

In the midst of a lot of confusing and wild reports from all sides about the Syrian situation, I found three articles particularly clarifying. And they all suggest a US attack would be extremely unwise.

I highly recommend reading the three reports below. They include a phenomenal amount of information compared to other reports I’ve seen, each from a different angle but quite compelling. They all point to the likelihood of tremendous folly – and potential disaster – if the US proceeds with even “surgical” strikes against Syria.

The current drumbeat demanding attacks is filled with primal moral and emotional appeals designed to drown out logical debate – what one would expect from a kangaroo court or a lynch mob rather than a truly deliberative body politic or government. There are so many special interests at work here – from oil and gas interests, to partisan politics, to Israeli divide-and-conquer strategies, to historic conflicts among Arab and Muslim factions, to alpha male geopolitical “stand your ground” dynamics…and more…

It is very unclear exactly how to promote the highest common good, given the complexity of the situation and the unclean hands of so many of the participants. The US, for example, did not launch any attacks against Israel or Saddam Hussein – when he was our ally – when they used chemical weapons in the past, given what we (or, rather, elite oil interests) considered to be in our national geopolitical interest at the time.

The one thing that is becoming ever more abundantly clear is that US bombing intervention in Syria right now is almost sure to create a whirlwind of consequences, most of them profoundly undesirable to the vast majority of people in the Middle East, in the US, and in the world at large. The fact that Congress is at least publicly considering voting against it offers a small window for us to at least impede the worst…

Of course, if we had political and governance systems that promoted and EMPOWERED truly informed deliberations by ordinary people – as advocated continually here and elsewhere – this kind of mess would happen less and less instead of more and more. (Even in the best circumstances, we could not prevent all messes that are deeply engrained in the sins of history, but we could at least ameliorate them and not repeat them.)

So I suggest a larger question for us to take a moment considering now, is this:

When do we take our attention off the messes long enough to change the political and economic systems that make more and more of these messes more and more likely?


Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines
by Nafeez Ahmed

Your Labor Day Syria Reader, Part 2: William Polk
by William R. Polk

11 Reasons Why We Should Not Attack Syria
Remember the last time we were told military strikes were needed because a Middle Eastern despot had used weapons of mass destruction?
by Sarah van Gelder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.