I hate to say it but it looks like war with Syria is now inevitable.
Philip Weiss reports that the Israel lobby, which was keeping a low profile on its views about Syria, has come out into the open with a full-throated lobbying effort in Congress to authorize a war with Syria. Obama’s statement that he seeks a broader goal than merely ‘punishing’ Syria and that he seeks to destabilize the government must have helped in its decision.
Why? Because it sees Syria as an ally of Iran and attacking Syria is seen as a blow against Iran. M. J. Rosenberg says that Israel has cultivated ties with Syria’s leadership and that it would not support an attack on it just to destabilize that government. But it sees this war as setting a precedent for attacking Iran and hence has signed on because if Obama is thwarted on Syria, he is less likely to attack Iran, and that is the main goal of Israel and its lobby in the US. Rosenberg, who once worked as a congressional aide, also describes how the lobby systematically works to influence members of congress.
Why now? Weiss says that what was holding the lobby back until now was the desire to not be seen as taking a stand in favor of one party. The key development was president Obama persuading Republicans John McCain, Lindsay Graham, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor to join him in the warmongering, making it into that perpetual dream of the Washington beltway class: a bipartisan consensus for war.
With the Israel lobby, the White House, and the congressional leadership of both parties (with it being only a matter of time before Mitch McConnell joins in) acting in concert, it is futile to expect Congress to vote against an attack on Syria, even though public opinion is overwhelmingly against the attack, even if it is shown that Syria used chemical weapons. They oppose even just arming the rebels. And the opposition cuts across partisan lines. But what does the mere opinion of the people matter when the government leadership and the Israel lobby want war on yet another country?
Once Congress passes the resolution, Obama will start his new war because that is how the dynamic works. [UPDATE: Obama is now trying to weasel his way out of his ‘red line’ mess in order to try and spread the blame for any fiasco that ensues.] And the major media of course loves a new war since it is great for ratings and visuals and we are going to wallow in ‘war porn’, the endless scenes of destruction and killing in the name of freedom.
So I am afraid that we need to brace ourselves. We are in an unstoppable mode towards war.