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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:32 PM

Tired of Perpetual War? What Can You Do About It?

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The warmongers are flooding the airwaves, beating the drums of war, even though UN inspectors have not even had time to investigate whether Syria uses chemical weapons.

The Financial Times is at the head of the list.

Financial Times Case #1

Writer Gideon Rachman says Echoes of the Iraq war are eerie but misleading.

The probable lack of a UN resolution authorising the use of military force in Syria does carry an unfortunate echo of Iraq. Indeed, the UN basis for war in Syria could be even harder to establish than over Iraq. While Messrs Bush and Blair were unable to get a second UN resolution on Iraq – unequivocally establishing the right to use force – they were, at least, able to argue that an earlier UN resolution gave them a legal basis for war. On Syria, partly because of the experience of Iraq, it seems unlikely that the Russians and Chinese will even agree to a weak first resolution.

However, while the international legal context on Syria has echoes of Iraq, the international political context is very different. In 2003, the open split in the western camp was arguably even more disturbing than the lack of a proper UN resolution. The fact that President Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in opposition to the war with Iraq will stay long in the memory.

This time, the French, far from leading the opposition to military action, are in the forefront of those calling for the use of force. The Germans also seem to be supportive. Turkey, another important US ally that refused to co-operate on Iraq, is also onside on Syria. Russia, it is true, remains adamantly opposed to military action over Syria. But this time it has no overt supporters in the western camp.

What about the failure to think through the consequences of military action? In some respects, the risks may be even greater with Syria.

But the other big difference between Iraq then and Syria now is more reassuring. It is clear that the scale and ambitions of any military intervention will be far, far smaller this time around. The Iraq war involved a full-scale land invasion, with the express purpose of toppling the regime and then reconstructing the country. In Syria, by contrast, even the most gung-ho interventionists are insistent that they are not contemplating putting “boots on the ground”.
Financial Times Case #2

Compromise? Who needs it? Let's just go to war. Financial Times writers Jim Pickard and Elizabeth Rigby say Cameron’s volte-face robs Syria vote of purpose.
MPs who rushed back early from their holidays for a historic Commons vote on military action in Syria will instead be engaging in a little more than a grand parliamentary gesture after David Cameron was forced into a last-minute compromise by Labour.

The prime minister started the day with ambitions to put military action against Syria into motion with a decisive vote in the Commons. But he ended it with little more than a “dog’s motion” after Ed Miliband threatened to vote down his plans.

The Labour leader had previously signalled that he broadly supported of plans to back the US in a missile strike on Syria after several conversations with the prime minister this week.

But his position shifted after Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, said inspectors in Syria needed more time to gather evidence of the alleged chemical attack in eastern Damascus.
Time? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Time

Time? Who needs time? Who needs approval either?

"Public opinion in Britain is largely sceptical of intervention, with a YouGov poll showing 50 per cent opposed and 25 per cent in favour."

Who cares about that? Obviously not Cameron.

Financial Times Case #3

In US and UK face fight to keep attack plan on track writers James Blitz and John Aglionby in London and Richard McGregor in Washington speak of the need to "keep the war on track".
The US and Britain were battling to keep their plans for a weekend military strike against Syria on track after the UN secretary-general said time was needed to investigate allegations that the regime had used chemical weapons against civilians.

As the White House and Downing Street prepared to unveil evidence setting out how they claim Syrian government forces launched chemical weapons in an attack last week, officials in London said the Security Council had a “responsibility to act” in response to the atrocity.

Mr Cameron earlier tweeted: “We’ve always said we want the UN Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria. Today they have an opportunity to do that.”
To be completely fair, the third article just provides evidence that warmongers want to rush to war as opposed to the writers making a case for war.

Nonetheless, I am quite tired of wars, warmongers, and their ilk, and articles slanted towards making a case for war.

Boehner Sends Letter to Obama Over Syria

In contrast to perpetual war proponent John McCain who hopefully will retire soon, the Wall Street Journal reports House Speaker Boehner Sends Letter to Obama Over Syria demanding an explanation of the mission.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) is sending a letter to President Barack Obama criticizing his level of consultation with lawmakers about potential military action against Syria and demanding a clear explanation of any mission in advance of its start.

Separately, 114 House lawmakers—some 97 Republicans and 17 Democrats—have signed a letter calling on Mr. Obama to seek congressional authorization before embarking on military action in Syria.

Together, the letters mark an intensification of pressure on Mr. Obama to consult with Congress about the potential move against Syria for the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.

Mr. Boehner's letter calls on Mr. Obama to inform Americans and members of Congress of his objectives, policy goals and overarching strategy in Syria before the first missiles are launched, according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Boehner also asks Mr. Obama to address the cost of a potential mission and to provide the White House's legal justification for the use of force in Syria, including why administration officials believe none of the military options under consideration require congressional approval.

"[I]t is essential that you provide a clear, unambiguous explanation of how military action . . . will secure U.S. objectives and how it fits into your overall policy," Mr. Boehner wrote.

He called on Mr. Obama to "personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve America's credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be part of our broader policy and strategy."
Perpetual War

Obama should make the case, but he won't. Bush should have made the case and he didn't. Colin Powell looked like a complete idiot in front of the UN as a consequence.

The only people who care about such things are opponents to the party in power. Republicans still support Bush. Democrats still support Obama.

If Mitt Romney won the election and wanted to intervene in Syria (and it is 90% certain he would have), would Boehner have sent the same letter?

Heck, would Boehner have raised an eyebrow if Romney wanted to attack Iran (and it is 90% certain he would have)?

The answers to both questions is "No".

If you have come to the conclusion perpetual war is nearly certain regardless what political party controls the White House, you are likely correct.

Tired of War?

If you are tired of war and needless interventions, please support someone who may actually do something about it. That person is Rand Paul.

Unfortunately, the task is not easy. Warmongers will try and discredit Rand Paul every step of the way.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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