I Oppose Another Needless War

I Oppose Another Needless War April 8, 2017

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by US Army https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by US Army https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/

I’m going to take a break from book-writing to go on record in opposition to the recent bombing in Syria and the subsequent escalation of United States involvement in that war. I do not want there to be any confusion about where I stand, going forward.

I gather that this recent bombing of Syria, which was a unilateral act by the President without Congress either being consulted or having anything at all to say about it, is a very popular action among the talking heads and war hawks. That is to be expected.

Certain cable news networks are always agitating for this nation to go to war with somebody, anybody. This has everything to do with corporatism and making money for the few by shedding the blood of the many. It is not a response to threats to the American people. It is a desire to make money off wars, to kill on a mass scale for cash.

As for the other news networks and their various hosannas about this bombing, all I can say is that none of the people who are so happy about this wear the uniform. None of them fight these wars. None of them get bombed. None of them suffer and die for their enthusiasms. They are wealthy, sheltered advocates for their various ideologies who have no flesh-and-blood stake in what they are espousing.

Wars are almost always popular — sometimes wildly so — at their beginning. Later on, not so much.

This nation has been economically at war since 1941. That, and not Medicare, is the reason why we have such a huge deficit. It is also why we have, over time, forfeited much of our democracy to a presidency which has become an elected dictatorship.

What President Eisenhower called “the military industrial complex,” and what some people now call “the deep state” profits from this. These same people have taken a strangle hold on both our political parties. One of these parties is frankly and outspokenly in favor of draining the people dry in order to enlarge the already vast wealth of a few. The other party talks a different talk, but bends its knee to the corporatists to raise campaign cash.

Corporatists have successfully sold a lot of the people on the ridiculous idea that spending the tax payer’s money on the tax payers is somehow or other socialism, but putting the entire government treasury and military might at the disposal of the very wealthy and the corporations is godliness. They do not invest in building this nation, or its people. Their favorite and most dependable activity is war, war, and more war.

For 76 long years, this nation has been armed to the teeth and ready for war. The usurpation of the war making powers which, according to the Constitution, belong to Congress, by a single person, i.e., the president, has put a hair trigger on this vast war-making power.

I oppose the bombing in Syria. A few years ago, when confronted with almost the same situation, President Obama chose to ask Congress for permission before bombing. The result was a sane refusal to put this nation at war in a war that we clearly cannot win. None of us has suffered because of that refusal to get this nation into that war. We have been better off for it.

From a military and diplomatic viewpoint getting into the war in Syria is a fool’s errand. It is a quagmire that can only suck this country deeper and deeper and deeper into an unending war that will drain us dry. In addition to this, the bombing which President Trump unilaterally ordered has the net effect of strengthening ISIS, since they are on the other side of the conflict from the position he has taken.

If you want to send your children to war with this man as their Commander and Chief, then I can not stop you. I can not and am not trying to persuade war hawks who are drunk on the joy of bombing people and showin’ em a thing a two that involving this nation in that war is a bad, bad, bad call.

War hawks just want war. They don’t much care about the circumstances or the reasons. They constantly agitate to get into this or that conflict around the globe. They do not fight these wars, and due to our invidious tax system which so heavily favors the rich and powerful, do not pay for them either.

That falls on the little guy in this nation. In World War II, our soldiers came from every economic strata and position of power. In World War II, arming this country was paid for from a tax structure that required the wealthy to contribute to the treasury, the same as everyone else.

None of that is true now. We the little People pay for these wars in every single way there is to pay. It is our blood and our coin. The people who constantly try to dream up a reason for America to get into another war profit from them. They do not fight them. They do not pay for them.

I am opposed to the bombing in Syria. I want to go on record saying that. I do not want any confusion about where I stand to arise in the future.

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32 responses to “I Oppose Another Needless War”

  1. Chemical weapons are an abhorrence that cannot be tolerated. Targeted destruction of the airfield that was responsible for dropping the chemicals makes perfect sense and it is a measured response appropriate to the act. It is not an act of war against Syria and needs go no further. It is a message that others in the world will not tolerate their use and the means that a country uses to carry out this heinous act will be taken away from them.

    It is in our national security interests as well since ISIS will not hesitate to use these chemicals against us if Syria’s possession of them becomes an opportunity for ISIS to acquire them. I am very supportive of what Trump did in this instance even though I am not a Trump supporter.

  2. President Trump did this without consulting Congress or informing them of what — if any — proof he has that the assumptions you appear to be making that this attack was launched by Assad are true. There is always the possibility of a false flag situation.

    As I understand it, Assad is winning the war decisively. There was no reason at this juncture for him to use these weapons. There are, however, political reasons for giving President Trump an excuse to involve America in this conflict. I do not know if this is the situation. However, I do know that no proof has been offered that any of the assumptions you appear to be making are true.

    In addition, everything you state in support of this action, including that it is a measured response appropriate to the act, that it will not go any further, that this bombing will somehow or other discourage ISIS from using similar weapons, is an assumption. There are no facts to support those assumptions.

    Frankly, I am flummoxed to see how this bombing would persuade ISIS not to use any weapon they have and want to use. We have bombed ISIS directly and repeatedly and it hasn’t dissuaded them from taking people into slavery, beheading children, burning captives alive and engaging in genocide.

    I also do not see how this is not an act of war. If someone bombed Chicago, I think we would see it as an act of war.

    War in the Middle East is a bowl of soup that never empties. It is not in the best interests of this country or of the American people to wade into that quicksand, especially not in the war in Syria, which has been on-going for quite some time.

    This is not a “message.” It’s a bombing using our military. It was inaugurated by one man, who is a known liar, without consultation, discussion or offering any proof of anything. Calling it a “message” is media talking-head claptrap, just like the “boots on the ground” blather. It’s a misdirection and a misnomer.

    However, as I said in this post, I am not trying to convince war hawks not to be war hawks. I am putting myself on the record. I do not want anyone to be confused about where I stand. I believe that you have done the same thing.

  3. Major General Smedley Butler in the 30s was right, he said war is a racket run by the wealthy elites.

    All us Americans need to repent of the endless violence we inflict upon the world.

  4. Pretty sure ISIS cheered when Trump bombed the airbase. ISIS, and other Islamist groups in the region, have chemical weapons of their own. They have and will continue to use them. If anything Trump’s response will encourage them to use said chemical weapons against civilians in the future.

  5. Putting aside the fact that Trump did not inform congress as he is legally required to do so-

    This pinprick strike barely rendered the airport unusuable for less than a day, and the airport is now back in operation and now Russia has stated they’re going to improve air defenses of the Assad regime.

    Tell me, what did we blow more that 50 million on cruise missiles for?
    From what I can tell, we just proved to Assad and Putin alike that Trump’s use of the military will be much like Trump himself – all show and flash, no substance.

  6. I think you misinterpret the facts. This is not the first act on the road to war. It is a response to a deliberate provocation – Assad testing how far he could go with this new President – and getting an appropriate smack on the wrist. The Secretary of State has said – and for once I believe him – that there will be no more strikes except in response to other violations of the ban on chemicals. After he said that, Iran and Russia, who had been silent till then, threatened military reaction – if there was that very same further action that Tillerson had explicitly said would not happen. This is playacting. Trump wanted to show that you can’t slap him in the face as some of these gentlemen did with Obama; he has done exactly what he wanted, and what I believe was needed, and I don’t think he will do any more. The silly pressure for a negotiatied solution (silly because such a thing is totally impossible) means that in effect nothing more will be done.

  7. Fabio, it is not in the best interests of America or the American people to involve us in this conflict. Nobody “slapped” President Trump in the face. This action had nothing to do with him or this country. Hopefully, the Secretary of State is telling the truth this time. Of course, this action makes all of them liars from the last time. But then, that’s just the reality. This administration lies to the American people every time they open their mouths.

    I am also wondering what the deal really was. Something about this whole thing; the use of these weapons at this time, the response, etc, doesn’t add up. Is this a false flag, or some other ruse? It was not in Assad’s best interests to use these weapons at this time. The whole thing is too pat by 20. As I said, it doesn’t add up, or rather, it doesn’t add up the way the news media is tallying it.

    The knee jerk flag-waving and nonsense I’ve seen is predictable. And stupid. (I’m talking about American response here. Not you.) We had a president in increasing trouble over Russian interference in the election, then, presto-chango, he launches a few missiles and poof! it’s all gone. Interesting. I spent too many years in elected office to just take things like this at face value.

    One thing I do know; believing Donald Trump about anything he says is a sign of mind-boggling naiveté.

  8. I think it is perfectly clear. Assad was testing the new American administration. That is what a bully does with the new kid on the block.

  9. In all respect Fabio, that makes no sense. Assad was winning his war. He had no reason to “test” our president. In fact, no one has a reason to test this guy. The dumbest little bunny in the woods knows that President Trump is nuts. He’s unpredictable, impulsive, a compulsive liar, a bully, and amoral to the core.

    Even if Assad did something as stupid as just dump a bunch of chemical weapons on people to “test” President Trump, it is still not in the interests of either America or the American people for the president to fire 60 million dollars’ worth of missiles at Syria. What the president did was either useless or the forerunner of worse things. I would also ask the American people to consider how many schools we could build, how much public transportation we could have, or how much shoring up of our other needs we could do with that money. If it was a “message,” it was an expensive one.

    There is also the possibility that the whole thing was a set piece, designed to deal with the president’s domestic problems.

    Now, he’s saying that North Korea is “looking for trouble.”

    We’ve elected a nut. All this rally-round-the-flag nonsense just feeds his nuttiness and encourages him to proceed down this war-making path.

  10. I think you are not reading this from the position of an Arab tyrant. He has heard from our media that this man is in the pocket of his big friend in Moscow. He has heard that he will not move out of his country. He is being restricted in what he can do to destroy his enemies – something which, in Arab culture, is pretty much anything you can think of. OF COURSE he is going to test whether what the media are telling him is true. Guess what? It was not.

  11. Rebecca, be truthful, this article is all about your dislike of Trump as President and Commander-in-Chief, isn’t it? I can agree with you that we don’t need another needless war, and I hope this bombing mission doesn’t escalate into a war as I think most people. This nation has been building its military for more than 76 years, The Great White Fleet, Remember the Maine all were US military dominance moves to show power and influence a world opinion of the USA. But I think most people will say a strong military has kept us safe. However, at times we have used it to protect the the wrong side. But there have been more times when we have used it to protect the innocent victim.

    Obama when faced with Assad’s first act, requested Congress (Warhawks) to support military action, however the Warhawks took your side and said NO. Wow if they are Warhawks why would they vote against something they love?

    I guess you didn’t know President Trump did advise a group of Congress from both parties of his intentions. Then he took action as I believe he should have. Assad had signed an agreement which he broke.

    Rebecca where do you stand on military action? You make a point to say you oppose bombing Syria, but if Hitler’s Germany existed today and he gassed his Jewish population would you take the same stand? If we could use force to persuade him not to kill as Obama, and then he still killed, what would you recomend to stop him? Trump took the action he believed would best work, but the loss of innocent life you leave out of this article totally. How do you separate it?

    Is there a difference between Assad and Hitler’s acts?

    Do you believe in a Just War? Or are you against any war?

    Do you agree with military action against ISIL?

  12. If you start from the principle that nothing that Trump does can possibly be good, justified, or sensible, then of course you will never understand what I am trying to say. I am sorry for that.

  13. Re Ja, it is true that the use of chemical weapons is wrong and this being the second time did warrant some increase response, I agree with you that the bombing could be an appropriate response and sanctions as well, however sanctions won’t hurt to much because they are supported by Russia and Iran. Unless we include both of those countries in the sanctions.

    I do agree with you that it isn’t an act of war, unless Syria, Iran or Russia chooses to make it. This attack wasn’t meant to kill or remove Assad from power, it was one country using its power and might to say we can’t tolerate this kind of action again and hopefully they will change any future acts.

    I hope that all administrations have learned from Bush, and Obama’s past policies that you can’t kill off or remove the ruling party and expect peace to prevail. Iraq and Libya should be examples of how not to operate. Those acts allowed ISIS to grown and brought instability to the region.

  14. AnonCollie, unless you have some other source that states otherwise, I have read articles that say he gave a group of both parties from Congress a briefing. He has to go before the full Congress to get authorization if he is are leaving troops over 60 days I believe. This point will continue to be argued by both sides as it has in the past.

    Why did Trump use 50 million dollars of cruise missles? Really? So he was to allow Assad to continue to kill his people by chemical weapons even after Assad signed an agreement that he wouldn’t. It’s not enough that we have allowed him to kill off about 500,00 of his people just by bombing, but we don’t want to get involved, we’ll just relocate you.

    You and the rest of America really don’t want substance to this attack unless you want war. He knew they would be able to repair the runways, Seabees were doing that in record time in WWII, now just hours.

    It’s the message that we don’t like what Assad did, and we’re will to spend a little money to say so. So stop it.

  15. Rebecca, maybe the intelligence is bad again as it was in 2003. So I place my trust in our Congress representatives to do their job and evaluate the information given by the White House, the military and our spy agencies.

  16. If China bombed Luke Airbase in Arizona, (which is also home to a Russian bomber squadron there was a connection) in response to a US bomber wing that dropped chemical weapons on Chicago’s citizens who were fighting a civil war against say the Liar President Trump’s country I think I would be asking for more from China, it would only be Trump supporters who would say this is an act of war. Which side is right? And which side are you on? Or do you just close the borders and put blinders on?

    China please stay out of our domestic business, we can handle it ourselves as the next chemical weapon bomber approaches ….(your city).

    We have to try to do what is right to save the weakest people, and sometimes that means you take chances with war as Kennedy did in the Cuban Missle Crisis.

  17. Is it perfectly clear? What is your evidence? The evidence we have is a state and a media had no problems lying about the same kind of thing with Iraq. We all know how that turned out…

  18. He sometimes does things I agree with. But he’s a demagogue and a liar. And saber rattling and war are the ultimate demagogueries. I don’t trust him or believe him at all. He has lied and lied and lied. He’s lied about big things and little things. He’s made up whole scenarios and just put them out there for effect. He doesn’t mind lying, and he doesn’t mind if people know he’s lying. If he said it was raining outside, I’d get up, go to the window and look for myself.

  19. I wrote this post for one reason: I want to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I do not want there to be any question going forward as to whether or not I supported this or other demagogic saber rattling and war making such as the nutso stand off we’re getting into with North Korea.

    I took exactly this same position when President Obama was faced with a similar situation. I also have a public record of statements going back decades of opposition to involving America in needless wars. Every single one of these events killed people. Lots of people, including Americans. it also wasted our national treasure and focused us as a nation on things that blinded us to our domestic problems which we should have been dealing with. I have been entirely consistent on this issue for a long, long time. I tend to be consistent about the things I believe. I don’t change positions based on personalities, hero worship or name-calling from fools.

    You, on the other hand, support this sudden turn to war-making without equivocation. That’s your call. I’m not trying to stop war hawks from being war hawks. I just wish the rest of us didn’t have to face the consequences with you.

  20. I am reading this entirely from the position of an American who wants what’s best for America and the American people.

  21. I don’t like being unkind, but this is an incredible bit of spinning. Just to play along, we had a thing here in the USA called the Civil War. Do you remember another little thing called Sherman’s March to the Sea? This didn’t involve the use of chemical weapons, but it was brutal warfare waged directly against a civilian population. I think it might very well quality as a war crime in today’s world. The whole world is better off because they stayed out of it and let us fight our civil war out on our own.

    As for your example, it’s too wacky to deal with directly. The only thing I will say is that if you’re so eager to “take chances with war,” I do hope that you are also going to be out there fighting it, or if you are too old for that, sending your kids and grandkids to die. Armchair courage ain’t no kind of courage at all.

  22. Sorry for the spinning, I was trying to see if you believed in a Just War? Theory.

    Thank you for your reply, I believe I am a bit clearer on your position on war and I can support it, it’s their war which they (rebels) started. So we USA should neither support nor assist no matter how evil it may get on either side.

    I did serve and would support any of my children’s positions of serving or not serving. And I hope our leadership keeps our best interest at the forefront.

  23. Thank you for this nice reply. I believe in self defense, and I extend self defense to nations as well as individuals. I do not support killing people for any other reason than self defense. We are made in the Image and Likeness of God, and we do not have the authority, in the order of things, to take innocent human life. That’s not precisely the just war theory. It’s much simpler. But it’s how I evaluate things.

    When I was in office, I had to deal with decisions where no matter what I did, I would have to hurt someone. That is the painful, hard — miserable — side of holding the power of governance in your hands. I thought about these things a lot, and decided that, at least when it came to the decisions I had to make, a just and stable government is always the greater good. Think for a moment about the vast human suffering and loss of life that an unjust and unstable government brings down on people. In today’s world, that kind of government literally has to power to kill everything, everywhere. That is the power this country wields. We can destroy all life on this planet. On the other hand, think of the prosperity, peace and good life that a just and stable government can give to its citizens, and, in the case of America, to the whole world.

    America has, since World War II, lifted much of the world out of poverty and into prosperity. We have kept the peace when a nuclear war seemed inevitable. But we have fallen in to a godless way of viewing the world that leaves us open to amoral and valueless leadership. That kind of leadership is destructive and deadly — always. Engaging in war — which is a terrible thing beyond reckoning for those of us who live within the shelter of our American borders — should never be done by leaders who are trying to prove how manly they are, or to gain economic hegemony, or for conquest, or to get a leader out of a difficult political situation. It certainly should not be done as a big get even.

    Our military is OUR military. It should be used to defend America and the American people. We’ve engaged in a number of wars that do not defend the American people or America. I have friends who are not here today, who gave their lives, for the hubris of the man who was in the White House at the time. I have seen what it does to their parents and their children. I know people who must live in institutions all their lives due to injuries from needless wars; NEEDLESS wars which were fought at the behest of the Imperial Presidency.

    We chose not to bomb Syria the last time a chemical event happened and nothing bad happened to this country because of that decision. Not one American died because of it, and we are not less safe because of it. The bombing last week was unnecessary. It did not defend this country. It was not in the best interests of America or the American people.

    It killed people for no reason except political reasons having to do with the man in the White House. His justification, that he was upset when he saw photos of dead children, is, if it truly is the reason he did this, specious to the max. His personal feelings and emotional needs are not a reason on any level to entangle this country’s military in someone else’s civil war. This explanation alone is an illustration of the dangers of the Imperial Presidency.

    We have veered too far toward a presidency which is an elected dictatorship. It is not the role of Congress to advise and consent after the fact of presidential war-making. It is the clear, Constitutional responsibility of Congress — and Congress alone — to declare war. We should not commit our treasure and the lives of our people to war-making on the off-the-cuff decision-making of one man.

  24. I haven’t clicked on your blog because I thought you were planning to be off of it for 6 months. Guess I should have checked just in case! Will comment more on what I see are more recent dates. I agree—we do not need another needless war. I”m so disappointed in this man—but honestly never have liked him and have and still don’t trust him.

  25. I doubt we’re actually going in with troops, but you can see what the results have been because of a lack of American leadership. Obama was disasterous. If you want stability and not have refugees across the world, you need a policeman. Unfortunately providence has made the USA the policeman of the world. We need to step up and stop the Obama retreat from the world. We need to engage the bad guys and check their power. Sorry, but I completely disagree with you here.

  26. Aloha has a point. You said: “If you want to send your children to war with this man as their Commander and Chief, then I can not stop you. ” That’s not addressing the policy but assressing Trump.

    You took the same position with Obama and it was proven to be disasterous.