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We Are a Paris Hilton People in an Apocalyptic World

Yesterday, on FB, I posed the question of whether, due to the extremity of the current crisis, the United States ought to launch a devastating military strike against Miley Cyrus.  Turns out I’m not far off the mark when it comes to the weighty issues that preoccupy the Wisdom of the Voters in our great Republic:

Google Analytics Miley Cyrus VS Syria

Google Analytics Miley Cyrus VS Chemical Attack Syria

Take it away, Jeff Goldblum!

Meanwhile, in Syria, I’ve lost track. Is the butcher Assad our noble ally in the Global War on Terror or are the murderous Al-Quaida fiends who oppose him our partners in peace and the glorious democratic future of the Middle East? I can’t wait to send our hyperstressed volunteer troops on yet another tour of duty to fight, suffer, and die for the latest something or other our Ruling Class class has decided to meander into doing without an exit plan.

Just in case somebody is likely to pay more attention than they did last time to the actual people on the ground suffering and dying in the name of Christ when we come to save them…

…here are a couple of quotes from the actual, you know, Christians in the area who turn out not to be super-grateful at the prospect of the gift of another ill-conceived war delivered to them by these United States. In fact, they unanimously oppose it. Perhaps they’ve noticed that between supporting and then making war on Saddam, supporting and then making war on bin Laden, making war on and now supporting Al-Quaida in Syria (so that we can fight them in Afghanistan?), and our firm commitment to our Dear Saudi friends (whose citizens attacked us on 9/11), the one pole star of our mideast foreign policy has been the consistent destruction of the Church there. Incredibly, some of the warmongers in my comboxes in years gone by have actually tried to suggest that the desire of Chaldeans not to be murdered and driven from their homes by radicals our braindead policies encouraged was “selfish” and that they were getting what they deserved for not backing our noble war of liberation.

Anyway:

“We must listen to the Pope’s appeal for peace in Syria. If western countries want to create true democracy then they must build it on reconciliation, through dialogue between Christians and Muslims, not with weapons. This attacked being planned by the United States is a criminal act, which will only reap more victims, in addition to the tens of thousands of these two years of war. This will destroy the Arab world’s trust in the West.” – Gregory III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkites

There’s something touching and quixotic in that line about “the Arab world’s trust in the West”, but charity believeth all things. He is right that if Our Dear Leader attacks it will be both criminal and massively stupid and counter-productive. But when you think about it with that beloved “prudential judgment” we use for blowing off the considered guidance of the Church you have to admit that “Melkite” is, like, one of those funny eastern groups that aren’t even Catholic, are they? And if they are, they wear different clothes than the Pope and besides there’s no encyclical *commanding* us to not go to war, so that means it’s okay to do it if we want to. Of course, it *is* Obama doing it, so we might want to reconsider supporting it since it’s always important to do the opposite of Obama on principle. But on the other hand, even a stopped clock is right twice a day and we are committed to salvation through the military application of democratic capitalism to all them Muslims we have to fight. So maybe just this once we will side with Obama, because Charles Krauthammer and Bill “The Most Massively Wrong Person in American History” Kristol never saw a chance to bomb Muslims they didn’t jump at and since when have they ever been wrong?

this modern world

Anyway, we haven’t really thought about it too much, because MILEY CYRUS!

Meanwhile:

“If there were a military intervention, I think this would lead to a world war,” said Mgr. Antoine Audo, Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo and President of Caritas Syria in an interview with Vatican Radio.

World War?  Hmmm… That could interfere with my cable access.  I might miss what Miley Cyrus does next.  That would be serious.  But don’t worry, the Principled Leaders of our Ruling Class will do the right thing and impeach Barack Obama if he launches an illegal war:

Oh. Wait. That’s only if a Republican does it. Never mind. Our Dear Leader is just and wise.

Now some of you may be worried.  Will this war affect the stock portfolios of the people ordering it?  Will their children have to fight in it?  Weighty questions indeed.  Whose heart would not break at the thought of Sasha or Malia in uniform, or Lindsey Graham’s doughy, feminine face wet with tears because his net worth dropped.  Don’t worry. We’re not talking about the precious children of our Ruling Class suffering, nor about their even more precious wealth and power being afffected. Virtually none of our Leaders have sons and daughters serving, much less going into harm’s way. So our Ruling Class can feel good about themselves *and* secure since it’s somebody else’s kid enlisted into the latest “Build the Great  Society at Gunpoint on Barren Muslim Soil” project!

The important thing is that when our battle-scarred volunteer troops return to broken lives, high suicide rates, and families destroyed by stress or living on food stamps, our troops will receive the thanks of a grateful nation that boots them and their service dogs from our restaurants, presumably so we can turn up the sound on MTV and have an unimpeded view of MILEY CYRUS without the damn dog barking.

  • Ben

    I feel sick thinking about the United States starting another war.

  • Bill

    Obama is very Romulus Augustulus-esque

  • BCSWowbagger

    All fair points. I was a gung-ho jingoistic idiot in 2003, and an awful lot of people paid with their lives for our overconfident intervention in Iraq. I was in 8th grade, so not exactly voting yet, but I can’t help feeling that that’s partly on me.

    At the same time: Chemical weapons are indiscriminate weapons whose purpose can never be to impede attackers, seize a position, destroy infrastructure, or otherwise degrade a mortal enemy’s ability to fight. They’re designed to kill — not injure, not disable, not incapacitate, but specifically to kill — as many human beings as possible, in a fashion too painful to contemplate. Those of us with any interest in jus in bello must recognize the infinite gulf that separates chemical weapons from their steel-and-gunpowder brethren. Their use must be condemned as lawless, inherently cruel, and utterly beyond the pale of what prudential judgement allows in the conduct of war.

    Mr. Assad has apparently used chemical weapons in conducting his war. Moreover, it seems that his possible defeat will hand control over those weapons to al-Qaeda. It grieves me to recommend involvement in another war, which seems destined to end badly no matter what we do, but, if we don’t respond by both (1) severely punishing the Syrian regime by some means and (2) preventing those chemical weapons stores from falling into anyone else’s hands, we are strengthening the hands of the monsters who would like to make mustard gas a part of conventional warfare again — to say nothing of what al-Qaeda would like to do with it, here and elsewhere and especially against the Christians.

    It’s easy to deride the Administration’s planned intervention as a terrible plan based on terrible reasoning and terrible motives with only terrible outcomes — Mr. Shea does a good job of that here. It’s much more difficult to present a good response that’s anything more than a risky, bloody gamble. (That includes the “response” of inaction.) I’d very much like to know what Mr. Shea proposes, because I don’t see any remotely acceptable options.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      How about instead of a war, a siege with humanitarian air lifts at the borders for anybody walking out unarmed?

      • BCSWowbagger

        A siege? Like, starving the entire country out? Do we enforce the siege militarily? How, given that Syria’s border is 2,253 km long and involves five other countries? How is that different from (or better than) a war? Air lifts to where?

        Not saying it’s impossible. Just saying it’s a long way from a “remotely acceptable option,” as I see it at this time.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Like simply cutting off as much of the country from outside imports as we can, while setting up refugee camps and airlifts for anybody who wants to leave. Enlist the 5 other countries in the effort as a humanitarian project.

          ONLY if this is allowed to burn itself out without outside intervention, can we avoid it turning into the next world war.

    • Joseph

      Umm… so Assad launched a chemical weapons attack because… the boob who’s been funding Al Queso to overthrow Assad says so? Or because his lackeys on the boob tube says so?

      Assad vehemently denies being the chemical attacker. Reason lends credence to his position: why would he order chemical weapons to be used in areas where his own troops are located AND why would he use them at all when it is unnecessary as his side has been winning militarily? Duh. You’d think that Assad would have thrown the war away a long time ago with that level of strategic stupidity. ‘Yeah, we’ve gained control in all key areas, let’s launch a chemical attack on civilians for the heck of it and incite all of the nations that have been funding and arming these Al Queso nuts to overthrow us this whole time… because instigating WW3 with our country as a flash point will not only be fun but will guarantee our victory. ‘

      The logical person would think, “Hmm… the side most likely to use chemical weapons would probably be the losing side. Let’s see, who is the losing side? Ah, Al Queso. Would they have a problem using chemical weapons in an act of terrorism? With funding and supplies from both the US and EU, including constant support from the respective intelligence agencies, could it be likely that Al Queso has greater access to chemical weapons than Assad? Wait, if we’re the good guys, why are we helping Al Queso in the first place?’

      • BCSWowbagger

        If Iraq taught me anything, it was to be skeptical of the global intelligence community’s conclusions. You could be right.

        Of course, if this is the case, it only reverses the dilemma: instead of punishing the Syrian regime, we need to punish the rebel front.

        • kmk1916

          Why do we need to punish anyone? Did you read what the bishops on the ground are saying? I was watching Fox this morning (only at the gym…) and the “expert” PhD from the Insitutite for Warfare Study or whatever it is called was talking about a gonvernment, an opposition, and then “extremist groups” with a map of Syria that looked like a jogsaw puzzle. Who the hell will we bomb? Where? And the most laughable piece of news was sending in teams from the UN to study it all before any sort of response (and we damn well had better study it!!). Well, they can’t even get in there due to the violence.
          I was 36 in 2003, lots of military in my background, and I too have learned a lesson from that. Why do we think this will help? And I wonder why we think we are the good guys. Do you know what would be prominently offered in any humanitarian aid (as mentioned by Ted below)? Condoms and abortion kits. Lord have mercy on those poor people over there who just want to raise their families and are caught in the maw of death.

        • kirthigdon

          Pope Francis, in a joint statement with the King of Jordan, has said that a negotiated settlement representing all parties is the only option for Syria. Maybe non-Syrian Christians will listen to the Pope this time and urge their rulers to negotiate rather than bomb. Dare we hope? Syrian Christians are already on board for a negotiated peace.
          Kirt Higdon

          • BCSWowbagger

            If any other party in Syria had shown any interest in negotiation or peace, I would be considerably more hopeful.

            • kirthigdon

              Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers are willing to negotiate without preconditions. They don’t, needless to say, accept the pre-condition that Assad step down first, as the rebels demand.
              Kirt Higdon

  • enness

    I can believe that. In fairness, though, I think there may be a wider variety of potential search terms for the latter, i.e. ‘weapons’ in place of ‘attack,’ etc. that might spread things out.

    On another note, I always appreciate when a writer makes it easy to trace a story or allegation back to the source, so don’t take this as a criticism, but just as a heads-up to others: I cannot visit the link without encountering that degrading photo not once but twice. I’m not nearly as eager to see it as people are to share it. I keep thinking, if this were my daughter, would I want to minimize or maximize her humiliation…

  • Steve

    Every time some wild pop culture event occurs, everyone is interested for a moment. Then begins the chorus of, “Why are you concerned with this and not the weighty issues of the world?!”

    And on the one hand, yes, everyone realizes the chemical weapons are more important. That’s why Miley wasn’t really “news”, she was a distraction. I don’t blame people for getting distracted. I was curious about what she did, so I’m I contributed to the hit-counters cited above.

    But give me a day and I don’t care anymore.

  • CC

    In defense of the wide, Google-using public, I would never use the phrase “chemical attack”. I would say “chemical weapons” (maaaaybe “chemical weapons attack”) or “poison gas” or “neurotoxin” or even “sarin”, but “chemical attack” is just not the sort of phrase that rolls naturally off my tongue (or typing fingers).

    • Andy, Bad Person

      This. “Miley Cyrus” is a very general search, while “chemical attack syria” is very specific. I’m not saying the results would be comparable if you leveled the playing field (for example, searching “Miley Cyrus” and “Syria” respectively in a news search), but this method is deceptive.

      • iamlucky13

        You can try other searches yourself. For example, lets make the first more specific: “Miley Cyrus VMA.” And use CC’s suggested search for the second “chemical weapons syria.” And let’s throw in a third line on the graph to test the broadest possible result, with a search for just “Syria.”

        http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=miley+cyrus#q=miley%20cyrus%20vma%2C%20%20chemical%20weapons%20syria%2C%20%20Syria&geo=US&date=today%207-d&cmpt=q

        For what it’s worth, I don’t give hoot what Miley Cyrus did. Unfortunately, I can’t read the news on my lunch break without being forced to learn that a bunch of people are talking about Miley Cyrus at the VMA. It’s almost incessant enough to make me curious who Miley Cyrus is, but it’s one of many names I’ve deliberately avoided learning anything about based on the context in which it is always used.

        Unfortunately, I expect someday I will have children and it will become a moral obligation to be better educated to be able to likewise educate my children lest they fall prey to the belief these are people worth imitating.


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