The repetition of events that led up to previous US attacks on other countries gains pace. We are now at the stage of whipping up public support for yet another bombing campaign. It almost seems as if there is a standard script that is hauled out on such occasions in which just the name of the country is kept blank.
So now we learn that the UK is carrying out its usual role of carrying water for the US and will present a resolution at the UN calling for action in Syria. This is the obligatory nod to legality. When that resolution does not pass, there will be stern denunciations that the UN is not fulfilling its obligations and that the US and its NATO allies and whoever else can be roped in are ‘reluctantly’ being ‘forced’ to take actions through other channels, although these actions have likely been in the works for a while and only required an excuse. The UN is seen as worthy only when it does exactly what the US wants.
We already have the media salivating at the ratings boost that wars always give them. We have the return of familiar catchphrases and euphemisms such as ‘surgical strikes’, such a nice antiseptic phrase suggesting that one neatly excises a wound, rather than the reality that you are going to blow up a lot people immediately and destroy vital infrastructure that will result in misery for the survivors for a long time to come. We will learn of the wonderful new military hardware that has come online since the last glorious shock-and-awe. We also have the familiar troupe of of armchair strategists talking endlessly about the ‘end game’ and the ‘exit strategy’ and what targets should be picked.
And the reasons, purpose, and goals for this latest action? To punish the Syrian government? To overthrow them and replace them with another one? To tip the balance in favor of the rebels? To maintain Obama’s credibility after his stupid ‘red line’ comment? As usual all that is left vague so that warmongers can use any one that happens to be convenient at the moment, and seamlessly shift to another one when cornered by critics. All these warriors safely ensconced far from the battlefield also seem remarkably sanguine that this action will not result in an expansion of the conflict. It is surprising how much play Obama’s credibility is getting this time around as a reason for military action. Listen to this NPR report by its favorite warmongering correspondent Tom Gjelten.
It is not as if Obama has any credibility worth salvaging. For example, back in 2008, then candidate Obama was asked, “In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?” His answer? “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
The difference between candidate Obama and president Obama is like night and day. But of course, no questions will be asked as to why his shredded credibility on issues like this is not worth salvaging or why the people of other countries should be the ones who pay the price for his braggadocio. Whipping up support for another war to demonstrate US might is too important to get distracted with little things like the constitution.