As Glenn Greenwald points out, the advent of the Syria bombing campaign marks the seventh Muslim-majority nation that the Nobel Peace Prize winning US president has bombed, and the lack of any meaningful debate on the legality, let alone the wisdom, of this latest move in noteworthy but depressingly predictable.
The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).
It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it be at war, always and forever.
Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.
Once ISIS/ISIL beheaded the two American journalists, public opinion was quickly inflamed and the war machine made sure that this opportunity to exploit people’s desire for revenge was not lost.
ISIS/ISIL seems to want to lure the US into more war in the region. The US war machine wants war anywhere, at any time. It is a symbiotic relationship that was destined to be consummated.