[Correction 4/8/2017: Sarin, as peteybee of Spread an Idea pointed out, is a liquid, not a gas.]
Back in 2003, I thought the U.S. invasion of Iraq might be a good idea.
I thought we Americans could atone for all the suffering we had caused the Iraqi people by the low-level war by the Clinton administration by overthrowing the evil tyrant Saddam—and, yes, he really was evil and a tyrant—and allowing the Iraqis to choose their own government.
The U.S. invasion made things worse, both from the standpoint of the Iraqi people and of us Americans. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed, hundreds of thousands became refugees.
Maybe there would have been a different result if the U.S. occupation authorities’ priorities had not been to get control of Iraqi oil and create money-making opportunities for American contractors.
We have to recognize that policy is going to be carried out by the government we’ve got, not the government we wish we had.
I think an invasion of Syria would have the same bad result as the invasion of Iraq.
I think a stepped-up bombing campaign in Syria would increase the suffering of the Syrian people, but would not punish the individuals responsible for the
gas attacks—if such attacks occurred.
The U.S. government has three options in Syria:
(1) Fight the so-called Islamic State, the successors of Al Qaeda and other terrorists, which is in the interest of the government of Syria.
(2) Try to overthrow the government of Syria, which is in the interest of ISIS, Al Qaeda and the other terrorists.
(3) Stay out of the conflict or try to act as a peacemaker.
The reason for attacking Syria is to strengthen the geopolitical position of Israel and Saudi Arabia and to weaken the position of Iran and Russia.
This goes back to bargains made with the Saudis by Henry Kissinger during the Ford administration, which were described in Greg Grandin’s Kissinger’s Shadow.
The deal was that the Saudis would keep the price of oil level, deposit their oil profits in U.S. banks and buy a lot of U.S.-made military equipment in return for U.S. protection and support.
I was brought up to think of us Americans as the good guys in any conflict, and that crimes and atrocities were aberrations – “not who we are.”
Over the years, especially during the past 15 years, I have come to see that this is an illusion and, even if the government were run by good guys, there are situations in which there are no good choices.
Why More Regime Change? by Charles V. Pena for The American Conservative.
This Isn’t the Foreign Policy Trump Campaigned On by Robert W. Merry for The American Conservative.
Trump’s War Whoop: a Gulf of Tonkin Moment? by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.