‘But’ the Bullshit

September 3, 2013

syriaCrystal-clear skies with stars twinkling all over — summer’s still here along California’s north coast and the living is more than easy.
Yeah, right!

No matter where you live and no matter what the skies look like, nothing is easy nowadays.

Although the US Congress is not due back in session until next week, the political shit has already hit the John McCain war fan: “A rejection of that, a vote against the resolution by Congress, I think would be catastrophic, because it would undermine the credibility of the United States of America and of the President of the United States. None of us want that.”

(Illustration found here).

Yes, that would be a disaster. The whole region around Syria is gone nuts, and not in a Marx Brothers way, either.
Just to flag the situation:

Israel’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it had carried out a missile test in the Mediterranean sea, apparently explaining news alerts run about an hour earlier after Russia’s radar systems detected two “ballistic objects” fired from the central Mediterranean toward the eastern part of the sea.
The Defense Ministry said that it, together with the U.S. Defense Department, had carried out a “successful test” in the Mediterranean and on an air force base in central Israel.
The test over sea, reportedly involving a missile launched from an Israeli warplane flying over the Mediterranean, came just days after President Obama made it clear he wants to carry out air strikes on Syria as punishment for the alleged use of chemical weapons by the government of President Bashar Assad.
A U.S. official in the region told CBS News that no missiles had been launched from American ships or aircraft on Tuesday.

This Syrian crisis paints a broader, wider problem — people, men, women and children are dying. And those doing the suffering don’t understand how the world operates and how the world functions under a political umbrella of self-serving bullshit. A third of Syria’s poplulation has been displaced, with more than 110,000 of them displaced for good.
Paul Woodward at War in Context paints the picture fairly-perfectly:

Imagine this: Every single person in California, Texas, New York, and Florida has fled their home.
Nearly everyone who once lived in California is now a refugee in Mexico and has little more than a sheet of canvas to protect themselves from the sun.
The rest of the world sees on their TV screens the misery of America and everyone agrees its awful but then carries on living their life as though nothing was happening.

And those literally under the gun (gas) don’t understand — from the Guardian:

“We thought, when he began to speak, the strikes on Bashar al-Assad’s regime were going to start immediately,” said one refugee, Abu Assam.
“Then he said ‘but’.” In Arabic “but” is “wa lakin”, but in both languages the implication is the same.
“It was when he said that word that everything came crashing down.”
He added: “Obama lied to us.”

Juan Cole makes a point in all this death and destruction:

I am not arguing that because the United States and its allies have indiscriminately killed large numbers of innocent noncombatants in the past, the Syrian government should be held harmless for its own gas attack at Ghouta, which killed hundreds of innocent civilians.
Two wrongs never make a right.
I am arguing that the United States is in no moral or legal position to play the Lone Ranger here.
The first steps Washington should take are to acknowledge its own implication in such atrocities and to finish destroying its chemical stockpiles and join the ban on land mines and cluster bombs.

A bunch of ‘but,’ however, does make a bunch of assholes.

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