OP-ED: Recipe for Increased Irrelevance: Independent Strike on Syria

  • By Joseph J. Honick 
Joseph J. Honick

Joseph J. Honick
America by now is the laughingstock of the Middle East, with Russia’s Putin no doubt sipping good Vodka to salute President Obama’s incomprehensible passion to fling missiles(weapons of mass destruction)at Syria for the use of chemical weapons…a fact that has yet to receive our intelligence authorities actual confirmation.  But “very confident” seems to be good enough for the President and his spokesman Secretary of State John Kerry, once the voice of protest when we overstepped our boundaries in Iraq and just about elsewhere. Reports already abound of Arab countries rallying to Syria’s tough guy Assad because the big bad United States threatens to make him a hero.  After all, what is the comparison of the two powers?  And what do we know of which of the rebels are nice people or just as bad as the ones we supported in Libya?

 Those are just a couple of elementary questions.  Perhaps a much more important inquiry might be what do Americans think of this maneuver by its leader who promised to stop all this costly foolishness in the Middle East that began a decade ago with the invasion of Iraq and seems to  feed on itself in Afghanistan….all without either victory or peaceful resolution.

Add to this equation the understandable refusal of the UK folks to join in the fun.  Certainly no one else is on board.

At the risk of being repetitious, there is something disgusting and eerie that not the President, nor the media and certainly not that alleged peace motivated operation called the United Nations…not one of them has demanded or at least urged Syria’s neighbors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to step in and use their ethnic relationships to find some rational solution.

After all, aren’t those the same outfits that didn’t wait a diplomatic moment before tossing in nearly $13 billion to the “new” Egypt after the military tossed out its first elected president in many decades?  I won’t try to  make out a case for the evictee, but surely the powerful and wealthy Arab leaders of those three nations alone didn’t wait for us to be any kind of heroes. So why now are they smartly letting us do something foolish….and dangerous?

Surely the Saudis with their $300 billion, more or less, military stuff bought from the U.S. in only two years still pretty fresh and well oiled could assert some influence.

I do not recall reading anywhere that we have been deputized to police certain hot spots in the world.  There are helpless people being  vastly ill-treated in Pakistan and other countries, but there we only dispatch occasional drones that seem to make victims out of innocents as well as guilty.  Why would not the same thing occur with a strike on Syria.

But suppose Dr Assad fights back and fails to concede and decides to take out his anger first on Israel who is a lot closer than we are?  The Israelis have a reputation for not taking a lot of guff from the Arabs and understandably would strike back powerfully, and then the tinderbox of the Middle East will be unleashed, hurting a lot more people than the chemical weapons at the heart of the Administration oratory.

If any American air casualties are taken, how could we rescue any crews?

These are just basic areas of reality and concern. What further boggles any mind or should is how poorly media are handling the whole  business.  It was left for the Financial Times of London this morning to note, just by the way, there is need for a strategy beyond the strike.  How dare they utter the obvious that way?

It’s hoped that this essay, if published soon enough, and many, many more around the nation and the world will return our leaders to some conscious understanding of what they are broadcasting so shamelessly.  It is not as lethal to figure out what we should avoid as it would be to carry out the proposed military actions before any understanding what would assuredly come next.

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Joseph J. Honick is a Bainbridge Island, WA-based  international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications, including www.huntingtonnews.net. Honick can be reached at joehonick@gmail.com.  


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