Saturday, August 31, 2013

High Drama American Style

It's the last of summer long-weekend in America - maybe even in other parts of the world people are enjoying the end of summer too. But that time for residents of the Northern Hemisphere has traditionally been a good time to lay a beating on the neighbor. The harvests are ripening and are available for the taking. Failing the taking, they can be ruined, leaving the neighbor to starve. In the bad old days, September could be a good time for ultimatums or invasions, or both.

Time hasn't changed us all that much and so we 'mall trotters' are watching a story unfold that could, if obtained, empty the stale ordinance of the ammo lockers of freedom.

This past fortnight saw a development in the Syrian CivilWar/Revolution that had been some time in coming. Assad the barbarian had finally acquiesced to a long overdue investigation of an incident last spring, in which, it was claimed, chemical weapons had been used on a 'rebel' enclave. UN investigators had appeared in Damascus to take up a long cold trail of evidence. Imagine the dismay (delight?) of most people when the nightly news was filled with the same kind of  foam-flecked images seen last spring. Apparently, we were told , to celebrate the arrival of UN investigators, the Syrian Government had gassed its own people, again.

There were delays (to hide the evidence?) before the investigation team could get to the affected areas. But despite being sniped on their first foray, the team was able to get into rebel-held areas to gather information. They concluded their work and left Syria yesterday. They had 24 hours to do that.

That was how close Pres. Obama was to his deadline - the one he warned the Syrian government about when he drew his Netanyahu-inspired 'red line' back in the Spring. The C in C was all ready to let slip the pups of war to punish those who used chemical weapons without a permit. He had a coalition of the willing and, forgoing the OK of the UN or any other say-so, he was/is prepared to 'go it alone' if needs be. Gassing people, as opposed to blowing them to bits with a chain gun, rocket projectile or guided bomb is not morally, politically or even physically acceptable, especially if the people gassed are 'innocent'. So he was getting all wired-up on the sure knowledge that Bashir did it, knew he'd done it, didn't say he was sorry and needed to be chastised.

The past two weeks have seen that message about guilt and responsibility repeated over and over until Obama stated it as gospel - chapter and verse.  While it seems he has the verbal support on most world leaders who count, very few, except for the gallant French, who led the last charge into Libya, are 'on board' for the expense of blasting Damascus. In fact, aside from the world leaders, Obama doesn't seem to have much support at all. Most people think it's Iraq and WMDs all over again.  And most people don't like the idea.

So in order to cheer up the weekend barbecues, Obama is defining what he means about 'going downtown' on Assad. He just wants to do a little bit of bombardment, nothing serious really, just as little boom-boom to let Assad know things could get worse if he doesn't get smart. A really surgical strike that most Syrians won't notice, or particularly care about, except the bad Syrians. Of course his Syrian 'allies' and the helpful Israelis will be helping him select targets - maybe at the 'end o'summer war-room popcorn and movie night'. He wants it to be just like the bombing Ron Reagan did on  whacko Khaddafi.  Gloriously cheap and effective and not committing America to any 'boots-on-the-ground' kind of thing. They did mess-up his favorite tent, and kill one of his kids - by accident of course. And it didn't bother Khaddafi at all - just ask the Lockerbie survivors.

But only the good stuff this time, OK?

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