Somewhere between a paltry 5 and 10 percent of the American public believe it is a good idea for the US to lead an invasion in Syria. Those numbers seem to be consistent across party lines. And since it’s incredibly rare to see a war that most Republicans don’t support, it’s an interesting development.
Obama should pay attention. It’s not that most Americans don’t understand the caliber of rank evil that characterizes the Middle East Hitler known as Assad. Any one of the poll respondents who say that an invasion is a bad idea – I’m sure would be glad to see a malignant Assad figure dangling from the end of a rope.
But this time it’s more complicated than that. On one side, you have a president with unfavorability continuing to climb. In recent months, the flaky Right has manufactured fantasy narratives about how Obama and Hillary Clinton were weak on international security because of the Benghazi fiasco. Add to that, a massive military industrial complex, flush with more money than they can spend, covered up with nifty new drone equipment, missiles, new aircraft, a couple of new ships in their fleet, and it’s clear that they are desperate to ignite another Iraq just down the road there in Syria.
Also, no one knows how troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are going to find work when they get home. Huge numbers of troops are still stationed right there in the region so this administration no doubt sees that a troop draw down in Iraq and Afghanistan can also mean a seamless transition for unemployable troops in Syria. Immediate employment through troop deployment.
Then of course we have the McDonnell Douglas missile maker types and the Brown and Root Halliburton war carnage profiteers who get a lean and hungry look on their face any time the Pentagon succeeds in hustling a president into a new, unnecessary war.
And then there are the not too successful advisors that have surrounded this President for 5 years. The ones who told him not to prosecute Wall Street banker thieves; the ones who have helped make him into a caricature of needless compromise on virtually every major issue ranging from education, to the environment, to judgeship appointments, to filibuster.
You can bet that it’s those same weak, Hobbit-like advisors who are telling him that most of the time a war president sits in a great position of authority. Sometimes it stops the approval numbers from dropping. I mean, we all saw that it helped the buffoonish little shrub and his political party at least buy a little more time in their position of control.
But here is the reality on the other side of all that. America is war weary. The majority of Americans want less of a military industrial machine sucking up all their tax money like a defective Hoover vacuum cleaner.
We have been lied to, hustled, and abused by the last administration that told us we must invade Iraq or run the risk of having WMD’s unleashed on us.
We listened to the breathless, ignorant harangue of corporate media trying to scare us to death with hokey, media sell stories like Anthrax in our water, aluminum nuclear missile tubes in the hands of Saddam Hussein.
We watched every major network with their nifty war plan maps and graphs spread all over the screen as that corporate media prayed to the advertising Gods for a good solid lucrative money-making war. Even when they also knew it was all based on lies.
Apparently, one important point to factor in here is that Americans are lie, hustle weary both from the media and leadership.
And then of course there’s that obvious question about how we have anointed ourselves as a world police force, ready to portray ourselves as always holding the moral and righteous high ground – willing to go bust up some heads under the guise of decency, morality, and justice. When we really know it is usually about oil or arms deal or Wall Street contracts with Boeing or Raytheon.
My advice, Mr. President, listen to what the public is screaming about on this issue. Leave that arrogant attitude of “I don’t read what my critics say.” Leave all that behind in this hugely important decision making process.
There are other ways to end the oppression and suffering that Assad has pushed on his own people. There is the UN, there is still a Seal Team Six, there is a well trained Massad right next door. There are smart missiles that we have bought by the thousands. No boots on the ground – that’s what America is telling you. So ignore Wall Street this time.
Recognize that corporate media will again help spin us into a war that is not necessary.
Ask your military contractors, the oil hyenas, the Pentagon war pimps to leave the room while you think. Most importantly, ignore those helpless advisors you have surrounded yourself with for these last 5 years and maybe reconnect with the wisdom of the people you are supposed to serve.