Trump has recently organized an response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria. The United States along with England and France have come together to missile some targets of known chemical weapon storage and research. This post will be about this newest Syrian Intervention but it will also generally cover the track record of failure with interventions. I have actually written about this in December 2016, when under President Obama decided not to get involved in Syria despite the humanitarian crisis. (Post is linked here)
Allies: Syria and Russia
The bombing of targets in Syria in response to a alleged chemical attack comes with more controversy than usual. The Russia President, Vladimir Putin warned against the US trying to take action against Syrian President Assad. The reason is that Syria and Russia are allies. Russia has been helping the embattled Syrian President fight against the rebels in their seven year civil war. This means that Russia is very territorial about who intervenes with the civil war. I think Russian goals in Syria are pretty clear, they want to expand their hegemony in the middle east. Putin probably has no real humanitarian interest in the Syrian people. Similar to Russia invasion and annexation of the Crimea, the nature of their allied relationship with Syria is to project power on the world stage.
False Flag Attack: Did it actually happen?
Another interesting aspect of this particular situation is that reports came out that the chemical attack was a false flag. This means that no chemicals or possibly no attack ever occurred. Interestingly enough there is still a question about the legitimacy of the attack. Of course, Syrian President Assad has a history using chemical weapons against his own people. This alone is a serious offense especially if you consider the Geneva Convention protocol. Geneva Convention refers to the rules of engagement and genocide. The murky nature of the civil war with many different factions makes it a complex situation. Its not clear to me or to experts that there is a genocide occurring in Syria.
Another point about false flags is that many wars have started because of false pretenses. I think that this is a theme which can found throughout history especially in United States since 1917.
Precedent False Flags in US History
I believe that the intervention in the Syrian conflict is not unprecedented. The US has a history of going in on wars with the basis of a lie. For the sake of length, I want to start with the Vietnam war. The Tonkin Gulf incident occurred in 1964, it was a false attack on US ships. It led to the escalation of the Vietnam war. Moving on to the Gulf War, which had rumors about Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait. More recently, we invade Afghanistan under the pretense of fighting terror. Ironically, the terrorists main goal was have to us overreact and spend trillions upon trillions of dollars and nearly 3000 lives to kill an enemy so small. Then we got the Iraq war, which was started over the rumor that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We still never found any weapons. Then you have Libya, where an NATO coalition decided the Muammar Gaddafi had to go, not for any particular reason but oil. Obviously, there are numerous examples, but the point is that lies are a great pretense for war.
Benefits of Intervention
I believe that history would tell us that intervention doesn’t work out as intended. Just look at Vietnam for example. The US mission in Vietnam was to keep the communist North Vietnam from invading the south and turning it communist. The US lost the war by a lot. The US had superior military power, bombs, 500,000 troops and state of the ark equipment. The US lost to a bunch of farmers in the jungle. Sad life. (Note that Gun Control advocates ignore this fact, farmers with guns can defeat the US military) I think that Vietnam and others beg the question: Is there any benefit to intervention?
The answer is both yes and no. Let’s start with no. There is no benefit to the American public. War is very costly, if you add up the cost of the wars since the Korean War, the total cost is nearly equal to our national debt of 21 trillion dollars! The other costs include military causalities, lots of injured veterans, and instability in the region of conflict. There is no benefit to the American People. So you may ask who DOES benefit? I am glad you didn’t forget because ironically, the government and military contractors benefit the most. The government benefits because its a justification to raise taxes and spend more of your money! Military contractors are corporations who are given (usually awarded them) contracts to produce military equipment and research. The Department of Defense is responsible for this process of handing military contracts. Unfortunately, the DoD does a horrible job of holding these companies accountable. Many times the military contracts are exploited, because companies spend more money and take longer than they are supposed to. This lack of accountability wastes TRILLIONS of dollars. Its a big problem and a big topic for another post!
Conclusion: Intervention Sucks
Ultimately this intervention into the Syrian conflict will come back to haunt us. President Trump has shown himself to be no different than his peers (past presidents). Its a shame that the America people don’t hold the government accountable. One of the reasons for the sudden explosion of intervention is the President’s ability to declare war without Congressional approval. This needs to change. The founding fathers gave Congress the power to declare war for a reason. A President with the power to declare will eventually become a tyrant. Its a dangerous precedent. The benefits of giving congress war powers back is that Congress can’t agree on anything and therefore it will prevent 99 percent of new interventions. A great victory for the American people!
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