Friday, April 7, 2017

“Nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war” by Glenn Greenwald





"...Trump is going to see – and feel – the establishment and media respect he craves, the sensations of strength he most lacks, by dropping bombs. Every person, let alone Trump, would be tempted to keep pursuing war as a result of this warped incentive framework. Indeed, Trump himself has long been aware of this motivation as he accused Obama in 2012 of preparing to start a new war in response to falling poll numbers...

"Indeed, Democratic Party leaders have explicitly praised Trump’s bombing. They will have to continue to do so even if Trump expands this war. That’s what the Democratic Party has turned itself into to; indeed, it’s what it has been for a long time...

"As it always does, the U.S. media last night was an almost equal mix of excitement and reverence as the bombs fell. People who dissent from this bombing campaign – who opposed it on the merits – were almost entirely disappeared, as they always are in such moments of high patriotism...

"It should be startling and infuriating that Trump is able to order a new attack on the Syrian Government without any democratic debate, let alone Congressional approval...

"What happened to all the warnings about Trump’s towering incompetence and core evil? Where are all the grave predictions that he’s leading the world on a path of authoritarianism, fascism and blood and soil nationalism? They all gave way to War Fever...

"[H]ere is Trump – less than three months after being inaugurated – bombing one of the Kremlin’s closest allies, in a country where Russia has spent more than a year fighting to preserve his government. Will any of this undermine or dilute the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin controls the White House? Of course not. Warped conspiracy theorists are not only immune to evidence that disproves their theories but, worse, find ways to convert such evidence into further proof of their conspiracies...

"If humanitarianism is what motivated the U.S. in Syria, it would take in massive numbers of refugees, but it hasn’t. If humanitarianism is what motivated the U.S. bombing of Libya, it would have given large amounts of aid to that country in the aftermath to help it deal with the ensuing anarchy and misery, but it didn’t. That’s because humanitarianism is the pretext for U.S. wars, not the actual motive...

"Those who oppose Trump’s new bombing campaign – or any U.S. bombing campaign – are instantly met with the predictable objection: we must 'Do Something' about Syria. This mentality is predicated on a terribly false, and terribly dangerous, premise: that the U.S. military can and should solve every world evil...

"[T]hose who insist that the U.S. has a moral obligation to remove Assad or at least bomb him become tongue-tied when it comes to assessing Obama. If, as many claim, Assad is our generation’s Hitlerian figure – and recall how many recent foreign leaders were depicted as The New Hitler when some wanted them attacked – does that make Obama this generation’s Neville Chamberlain for his refusal to attack Assad? And does it mean that Trump has acted more morally than Obama by doing what Obama refused to do?...

"Ultimately, what is perhaps most depressing about all of this is how, yet again, we see the paucity of choice offered by American democracy. The leadership of both parties can barely contain themselves joining together to cheer the latest war. One candidate – the losing one – ran on a platform of launching this new war, while the other – the victor – repeatedly vowed to avoid it, only to launch it after being in office less than 100 days.

"The one constant of American political life is that the U.S. loves war. Martin Luther King’s 1967 denunciation of the U.S. as 'the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today' is more accurate than ever."


For the complete article, "The Spoils of War..." by Glenn Greenwald, click here.


2 comments:

  1. “…[T]his is a president, a cabinet, a White House with no military or diplomatic experience, with no understanding of the complications of the roiling Middle East conflicts or the consequences of war, and with a personal eagerness to demonstrate power. This is not a president accountable to a political party, to Congress and its constitutional role in military decision-making, and certainly less accountable to international law.

    “Trump's incoherent reaction on Wednesday showed the lack of any strategic understanding in his foreign policy. He blames former President Obama for the crisis in Syria, while Trump of course had urged Obama not to attack Syria after the chemical bombing of 2013, tweeting in all caps ‘DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA — IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.’ He continued that criticism of Obama, but then switched gears to brag about his ‘flexibility,’ noting that ‘my attitude towards Syria and Assad have changed very much.’ It was a clear implication he's considering a military response, although he pulled back from any clarity on that as well. Asked what his message would be to the Iranian militias supporting the Syrian military, Trump first went off on an unrelated attack on the Iranian nuclear deal, eventually circling back to a threatening but vague ‘You will see what the message will be. They will have a message.’

    “…[W]e know two crucial things, things that were true then, and remain true today. We know that using chemical weapons—of any sort, in any war, against any target—is a crime. And we know there must ultimately be accountability for those who use it, regardless of who they are. That will take time.

    “In the meantime we know another truth: that a US military escalation against Syria (because we must not forget that US Special Forces and US bombers are already fighting there) will not help the victims of this heinous chemical attack, it will not bring the devastating war in Syria to a quicker end, it will not bring back the dead children. It will not defeat ISIS or end terrorism, it will create more terrorists. It will almost certainly cause more casualties, more injuries, and more dead. Maybe dead children. There is still no military solution. This is what we know” (Trump, Syria, and Chemical Weapons: What We Know, What We Don't, and the Dangers Ahead).

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/06/trump-syria-and-chemical-weapons-what-we-know-what-we-dont-and-dangers-ahead?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

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  2. “Let’s not pretend that Thursday night’s U.S. missile strike on Syria’s Al Shayrat air base has anything to do with concern for the civilian victims of the regime’s apparent April 3 chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.The unilateral military action was ordered by the same President whose proposed budget would make major cuts to programs that have provided relief to Syrian refugees fleeing the violence of the regime and has tried to bar any of the refugees from entering the United States. With no direct threat to U.S. national security and with no congressional authorization, Trump’s use of force was illegal…

    “[S]ince Trump came to office, nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed by U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq—including up to 200 civilians in Mosul and around sixty civilians in the bombing of a mosque in al-Jena (not far from the site of the chemical weapons attack) this past month. These deaths raise serious questions as to whether Trump's bombing of the Syrian base has anything to do with protecting civilians. Waving the flag of fighting terrorism, the United States has been bombing Syria since 2014, conducting more than 8,000 air strikes against opponents of Assad, and not only the so-called ‘Islamic State,’ resulting in thousands of civilian casualties…

    “As Andy Borowitz observed, ‘Cruise missiles are specially designed to distract the media with pinpoint accuracy.’ The manifold war crimes of the Assad regime, including this latest atrocity, should not be denied or minimized. However, unilateral military action is illegal, unconstitutional, and almost certainly counterproductive. It must be categorically opposed” (Trump’s Unilateral Strikes in Syria Must Be Categorically Opposed).

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/20037/trump-unilateral-airstrikes-syria-isis-assad-chemical-weapons-obama

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