Letter 2 America for September 13, 2013

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Dear America,
English: Bashar al-Assad under pressure

English: Bashar al-Assad under pressure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The complexity of the Syria situation continues to expand with each passing effort to vilify The President and ignore the manner in which this whole affair came to pass.  Vladimir Putin's opinion was published in the New York Times today, and it is a classic case of misdirection as has been much of the domestic criticism of President Obama.  To be sure, he has made too many ill-considered statements, including the first, which defined what eventually happened...the use of chemical weapons against civilians...as a "red line."  It was another instance of a politician creating a shibboleth that everyone subsequently threw around with abandon, and our politicians never learn.  Death panels, smell tests, bridges to nowhere, American exceptionalism and hundreds of others during my lifetime have snuck into the American political idiom and have become calls to meaningless political battles about nothing other than the phrase itself if you listened to the debates in our political arena.  And President Obama is no exception to the rule that the effort to capture popular sympathy for a position invariably pollutes the critical thinking process that should be taking place in lieu of the internecine, partisan debate that masquerades as careful consideration of the issues.  But all that should be set aside, and Putin's self-serving assessment of the American position on the use of these dastardly weapons of mass destruction thus reveals itself as an attempt to preempt the American effort to bring Syrian's dictator to heel on the issue of chemical weapons alone.  Putin's hollow praise of diplomacy as the solution to the Syrian situation belies the fact that over the past two years, Bashar al-Assad has demonstrated not a disinterest in negotiations and diplomacy, but an outright rejection of such efforts.  There have been no substantive conversations with Assad much less significant negotiations, and all the while, Russia has been providing the raw materials for the manufacture of more nerve gas to Assad's government whether deliberately or through careless inadvertency.  It is the inescapable fact that Russia has been an enabler for Assad, and for Putin to now claim to be the peacemaker begs the question of where he has been for the past two years if diplomacy is his real m├ętier.  

For purposes of clarity, the issue is singular as far as contemplated American military action is concerned.  Regardless of our political preferences, the sole purpose of the proposed bombing of Syria is to diminish his capacity and willingness to use chemical weapons again.  They are regarded univocally as a scourge that humanity and the governments of the world have condemned, banned by consensus and eschewed using for nearly a hundred years.  The issue is not the presence in Syria of Muslim radicals or political malcontents of various stripes.  It is not the debacles that "American exceptionalism" as a guiding principle has led us to over the past thirty years.  It is not the history of any nation relative to war, warfare, political organization or alliance.  The issue is destroying men, women and children with material that inflicts hellish harm and represents a form of sadism that is beyond perverse.  So, if Russia and Putin sincerely intend diplomatic intercession in this affair with the purpose of ensuring that humanity can continue to feel secure in the belief that no one will ever suffer the horrendous consequences of being exposed to nerve gas or other chemical weapons again, let them get on with it.  Let them acknowledge that the only circumstance under which Assad even admitted to having a chemical arsenal was when the United States government began contemplating taking military action.  Let them undertake their efforts in light of the fact that Assad blatantly lied about those weapons until admitting their existence seemed the only way to avert an American military strike, and let us all understand--American politicians and those in the rest of the world as well--that if that prospect of consequences is abandoned by the United States...if Assad is allowed to believe that he has squirmed out from under the threat by making false promises, false promises will be all that we are left with.

Let me be clear at least as to my own position.  I believe that President Obama has mismanaged a profoundly dangerous threat to humanity.  I believe that he said that we would act in future on the international scene only in concert with the rest of the world, but he then took to the same tactics as have his predecessors who have led us to war and misfortune time after time.  But regardless of his haplessness in the matter of Syria's civil war and the use of Sarin on the people of Syria, his purpose has always been one that no one will ever admit to rejecting.  The American threat to inflict physical damage on Syria's military infrastructure must remain pending for Assad to come to terms that will serve the purpose of ridding the world of the chemical weapons arsenal of a man and a nation that have demonstrated a willingness to use them.  And frankly, given Vladimir Putin's record in Chechnya and elsewhere in his sphere of political control, I don't think anyone will take his attempt to preach to even an errant American president seriously.

Your friend,

Mike 

Enhanced by Zemanta

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://letters2america.com/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/attymwol/managed-mt/mt-tb.cgi/497

Leave a comment

Categories

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 4.34-en

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on September 12, 2013 5:03 PM.

Letter 2 America for September 10, 2013 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for September 17, 2013 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Political Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory google-site-verification: google9129f4e489ab6f5d.html

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on September 12, 2013 5:03 PM.

Letter 2 America for September 10, 2013 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for September 17, 2013 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

google-site-verification: google9129f4e489ab6f5d.html