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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Between a Rock and the Impossible


“The Other Side of the Tracks”  a Socially Speaking commentary  by Perry Redd

For President Barack Obama, doing the right thing can be made to look like the crime of the century, which he’s probably on the brink of committing.  The tragedy which is Syria is again, playing out of the favor of the middle-of-the-road President.

We remember the Obama candidacy days when we just knew he couldn’t make a Right turn.  Then came his version of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…maybe you heard, although there’re no “combat operations” going on, we just had another soldier killed by militants the other day in each of those countries. So I dare ask the obvious question you won’t: Why do we still have American troops on the ground?

And now, we find ourselves on the brink of engaging in another war-like battle with another African nation…Syria.

Some are for a strike on Syria based on the premise that we must stop the Bashar al-Assad government from killing its people—with chemical weapons.  Never mind the fact he was previously killing his own people with conventional weapons…that was cool.

Now, we must act.  Then there are some who are against it, chiefly for one of three reasons: 1) non-interventionist theory, 2) the monetary and human cost to the US, or 3) no proof of any wrongdoing by Assad.  Any one of the three is reasonable, but what about the humanity lost to the weapon of war?

Some are against Obama’s move to act against Assad just because he’s Obama.  Republicans are split, but it is their opportunity to characterize Obama as ineffective because he’s got the bombing on hold.  He put the bombing on hold because it’s simply constitutional. But, what about the 1973 War Powers Act? Is it not relevant here?

Just for history’s sake, President Clinton sent missiles into the Sudan and Afghanistan without asking Congress and more broadly took part in the campaign in Kosovo, while President Reagan hit Libya with air strikes and deployed troops to Grenada.  Now, Congress did authorize President George H.W. Bush’s war against Iraq (albeit after a major troop build-up in the region already happened) and President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq over a decade later.

What’s so strange about this walk into war is that ‘war hawking’ Republicans are faking their aversion to another invasion of an African nation!  War is the language of economic Conservatives.  Right about now, General Dynamics, BAE, SAIC, Booz Allen Hamilton, Carlyle Group, KBR, Northrup-Grumman, Xi aka Blackwater, and the Granddaddy of defense contractors, Lockheed Martin, are licking their chops and dangling the carrot of campaign contributions in exchange for Congressional Republicans’ approval of Obama’s latest escapade.

Politically speaking, the President is between a rock and an impossibility.  The call for humanitarian intervention is loud and ringing, while the ghosts of Iraq and Afghanistan are ringing louder.  The Left is calling for a bleeding-heart Liberal response to say no to another prolonged conflict. In contrast, the Right is calling for a paternalistic, ham-handed response to al-Assad’s smashing of his opposition.  Obama is trying to please them both.

The two-headed monster, representing Americans, wants both solutions too.  Poll after poll shows that (not that I put a hell of a lot of stock in political polls).  So the question is:   Which option is the right one: non-intervention or “limited, targeted strikes?”  By the way, there is no such thing as “limited strikes.”  When you strike with Tomahawk missiles, you kill people.

Obama’s trying to sell this for the sake of the Democratic Party.  That’s why Democrats in congress haven’t played their anti-war card.  Now, everybody screams, they want the evidence, like the YouTube videos weren’t enough…please.

No, I don’t want to see this country get into another country’s business, yet, I don’t want to see innocent people slaughtered—chemically or otherwise.  So the solution is bomb the hell out of Assad’s army and let the chips fall where they may…’cause they will fall.  Islamic militants will make the lives of Americans pure hell overseas; and America’s law enforcement security complex will make ours pure hell.  The cycle continues simply because the United States never wanted to engage in talks with Assad years ago.  That Iran thing, you know?

At this point, President Obama finds himself between a rock…and the impossible.  It is now and here ever after, impossible to stay out of Syria’s internal conflict.  It is also impossible to simultaneously satisfy any moral obligation we may have to humanity.  It is hereafter impossible to be at peace with the results, no matter how “limited” your cruise missiles may be.  Killing people to teach other people that killing people…never mind. That lesson is always a no-win proposition…and we’re impossibly in it for the long haul.



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