Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Argues With Flies



In a speech given on June 2 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado President Obama warned of isolationism as 'false comfort', and got to argue the case of his failed Syria policy yet one more time. This is what he had to say:

"Because we seized a diplomatic option backed by our threat of force, nations came together and we accomplished far more than military strikes ever could have," the president declared. "All of Syria's declared chemical weapons were successfully removed."

The U.S. was justified in its 2011 intervention in Libya, Obama said, although he lamented a lack of planning "for the day after, when deep-rooted tribalism plunged [the country] into disorder."
The current situation in Syria is "gut-wrenching," he said. "As a father, I see Syria's children and I see my own." Obama then tempered the statement, remarking that deeper military involvement has to be "fully thought through" and evaluated.

"If Iran and Russia want to spill their blood and treasure trying to prop up their Syrian client and get sucked into a quagmire, that is their choice," Obama said. "As president of the United States, I've made a different choice. The only real solution to the Syrian conflict is a political solution, including a transition away from Assad. And that takes diplomacy, not American soldiers being dragged into the middle of another civil war in the Middle East. Our foreign policy has to be strong, but also has to be smart."

To "seize the possibilities of our time," Obama said, all diplomatic and military tools must be considered. "Because we negotiated with Iran, we reached a deal that prevented Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, and we did it without firing one shot. With diplomacy, not war."

So, Mr. Obama says: “As a father, I see Syria's children and I see my own.” Really! I say. Shut the Fuck Up Mr. President. Had you thought for a single moment of the children of Syria as your own, you wouldn’t have dragged your feet on the question of intervention for five long years and let their slaughter escalate from one to a handful to few hundreds per month. You would have long realized that a person who was willing to kill the people and the children he was meant to protect and that those who are willing to empower him to do so care very little for your fucking toothless diplomacy. If you really thought of Syrian children as your own, if you cared a single iota about them, you would have at least taken more of them in, or at the very least made a strong case for that. But you didn’t. And what does that say about you?

The simple truth about this this latest self-assessment of yours, Mr. President, is that you were told by one of your advisers that your previous statements on the subject of Syria made you look like a coldhearted asshole. And they did, because you are. To you, the otherness of Syrians clearly made them seem less deserving of your help. That’s the long and short of it. You can dance around this issue to your liberal heart’s content, it won’t make the reality of what you did go away. It won’t make it acceptable. It won’t whitewash it.

But do you really care? Perhaps only inasmuch as it will reflect on your legacy. For it has surely been tainted, and scrub as long and hard as you may, the blood won’t come off.

Meanwhile, and as some continue to argue, if the Syrian conflict and the negotiations over the Iran nuclear program were indeed handled as separate issues by your administration, this does not seem be the case with Iran’s leaders. But whatever the case may be it does not make your policy any less immoral. Members of your very administration had described your nonchalant attitude during policy meetings on Syria, meetings in which you let them argue amongst themselves while you chewed gum and fiddled with your Blackberry. You didn’t intervene in their conversation because you didn’t care. Not only did you tie your hands behind your back by seeking guarantees that no one could give, you made sure that Assad and his supporters knew about it, you reassured them about your desire not to intervene in any way that could jeopardize their positon. The one time they seriously fucked up, you backed down, and were proud of it.

Now Assad still has chemical weapons and is still using them, Syria has become a battleground of all against all, and your decision to intervene at this stage and the manner and goals of your current intervention make you complicit in the mass bloodletting, the ethnic cleansing, the war crimes, etc. So, please stop telling us that you care. Your actions speak much louder than your words and belie them at every turn. The reality is, and as the Washington Post put it, the children of Syria starve as America looks on. That summarizes your attitude as well, Sir. The Syrians have a saying about a man who gets upset because the people around him seem unable to understand or appreciate him: he’s arguing with the flies around his face, they say. Stop arguing with the flies Mr. President.