Paris no reason for war in Syria that would kill many more
The act of terrorism in Paris, France, the murder of 129 plus Parisians is tragic. What is more tragic is the response by the United States' media and the Republican Party driven by the neocons.
Adjusted for population size, the death toll on 9/11 in the United States was five times worse than the death toll in Paris. That is no consolation for the visuals of the carnage. It is no consolation for the instilled fear in all of us from the feelings of insecurity and helplessness. Yet, we must not overreact in a manner that will likely make things worse.
The drumbeat to force President Obama into overreaction mode is already in full vogue. Recently in a CNN’s piece, Christiane Amanpour insinuated the reality that a lot of these acts are blow back for actions in the Middle East that we should not have been a part of in the first place. She then asks French Author/Commentator Bernard-Henri Levy a leading question about the political game changer that will cause the West to fight and defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“Leadership from behind is finished,” Bernard-Henri Levy said. “If Mr. Obama wants to have a good legacy, if he wants to leave office with a real moral success, he has to help defeat Daesh.” Levy went on to say that Mr. Obama must understand that if he does not get more engaged, there would be more blood on the streets. He said air power was not enough.
The irony is that when asked if France would be willing to put boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria, his answer was much less clear. The problem is that all the democracies around the world want America to lead wars for them. It is about spending American money and sacrificing American lives. Middle-class and poor Americans have been the pawns of western democracies and the American Plutocracy where all but them benefit economically from these wars.
‘Lead from behind’ is one of those Frank Luntz phrases to belittle what the President is currently doing. The reality is ‘lead from behind’ is a strategy that says everybody better be a part the game, a part of the solution. No longer will America be the world’s warrior and police. No longer will all other democracies be able to build their social democracies, freeways, airports, hospitals, as America’s own infrastructure crumbles because they are spending to ‘protect’ the world and enrich the Plutocracy.
But that is not what the the neocons want. The reality is that it has nothing to do with right or wrong. It has everything to do with who commands the resources of war for profit. It is war by America at all cost, a very efficient way to transfer wealth from the masses to the few owners of the defense industrial complex. In fact, even as we know that the sect that wants war are anti-immigrant and racist, they use compassion for the other to send our troops to die for profit. This exchange with neocon Evan Kolmann is probative. Chris Mathews asked him why aren't fleeing Syrians recruited to fight and take back their country. His answer was stunning.
“If those people had faith in us,” Kolhmann said. “They wouldn’t be running from Syria. And I have to say, I understand their perspective. We once said there was a red line in Syria.”
Matthews interrupted him saying that he was not in the 'blame America club'. Later Matthews pressed Kolhmann on Syrians fighting for their own country. With complete disregard to American soldiers and their families, Kolhman said the Syrians are not fighters and that they had families with kids.
Syrian families are just as important as American families. However, many American soldiers have children they barely know as they have been continuously deployed. Yet this neocon shows a false concern for Syrian families as he disregards the American soldier and the American soldier’s family in order to justify a military industrial complex driven war.
ISIS is not an existential threat to America nor any country in the West. The 129+ dead in Paris is tragic. If these types of attacks are treated as they should be, organized crime, it would neuter ISIS. After-all, ISIS needs to seem more powerful than they are. They are no more powerful than a large band of thugs with weapons. America's Right Wing mass killers and gang bangers have killed more than ISIS has in the entire West.
Our own fears and prejudices distort our sense of security and who we should really fear. I can foresee another wave of anti Muslim sentiment in the making. I can see an overreaction. I can see Republicans forcing the hand of President Obama. I can see the Military Industrial Complex salivating.
It is time for Americans to grow up. Leading from behind abroad and taking care of home is what will keep Americans safe. We are over there because our extractive Plutocracy wants us to defend their ‘right’ for ever-expanding control and profits. We fight them over there so we do not fight them over here is a childish and a rather stupid statement. If we are not over there they have no desire to come harm us here. For those who would, our resources at home will maintain our security at home.
ISIS has no Air Force. ISIS has no Navy. ISIS has no standing army. They buy weapons from West. A war is simply a marketing bonanza for weapons manufaturers who supply both sides as families on all sides are destroyed. Will we allow ourselves to be played again?