Military Intervention is a Problem That Creates More Problems

Military aggression is wrong. War does not solve problems. It is a problem that creates more problems.

Currently, the Congress and Senate are discussing the question of using force. They are authorizing aggression because anything that is outside the UN Security Council is aggression. If it were a question of self-defense, it would not be aggression, but Syria has not attacked the United States.

US intervention does not bring peace or justice, nor will it restart the democratic revolution taking place in Syria before the civil war broke out. Indeed, it can be reasonably argued that it is the influence of US, Qatari, and Saudi Arabian arms and training (not to mention mercenaries) that has turned this battle into one more closely resembling a religious sectarian war than a struggle against an authoritarian and autocratic regime.

The latest plan worked out in the Senate limits the action to ninety days and forbids the use of US troops in a “combat role.” Two things come to mind immediately about this “plan.” Once an attack begins, it is near impossible to stop it once it starts. As any soldier, historian or intelligent observer will tell you, war has its own momentum. As for the no troops in a combat role provision, this limitation doesn’t preclude US troops acting as advisors or trainer. Nor does it prevent the use of mercenaries, special forces or CIA. As the history of the Vietnam war proved fifty years ago, any or all of these can become combat troops in a matter of hours once any of them are fired on. In addition, just because a soldier is in an advisory or training role does not mean they are not allowed to engage in combat. The US experience in Central America, Colombia, and several other regions of the world has proven this.

A greater likelihood is that the chaos of the civil war in Syria will create a situation similar to Iraq, where hundreds continue to die in sectarian violence years after the majority of US troops left the country. Any US military intervention will not only provoke further bloodshed, it will increase the risk of greater US involvement, sending US troops into another war beneficial only to the war industry and the Pentagon. On Sept. 3, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came to an agreement that opens the door to 90 days of bombing.

The evidence of a chemical attack may exist; however, the evidence certifying who is to blame for that attack is circumstantial at best. Given the lies used by Washington to “justify” its invasion of Iraq, we should be quite skeptical of the reasons being provided for any US attack on Syria. No matter what, the Washington helped create and maintain the Assad regime, even utilizing its prison system to send detainees it wished to have tortured.

Syria is an ally of Iran and supporter of Hezbollah, two of Israel and Washington’s biggest obstacles to domination of the Middle East. This fact is closer to the reason the US wants to attack Syria—its allies on warning. Washington’s claim that it cares about human rights in Syria pales when one considers its record in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Heck, it pales when one considers its record in the US and in places like Gitmo. Furthermore, if Washington is so appalled at the killing of civilians, why did it not attack the Egyptian generals after they overthrew the government in Cairo and slaughtered around 1,000 protesters?

If Washington really wanted to help the Syrian people avoid further bloodshed, it would take the energy it is applying to attack Syria and work with Russia and other nations on getting all sides in the conflict to the negotiating table. Instead, Washington is doing what it did most recently before attacking Iraq and Kosovo. It is insisting on conditions for negotiation it knows the other side will not accept. Then it uses that non-acceptance as an excuse to attack.

Israel has bombed Syria several times, taking out certain military and weapons installations. Why have they done so and why isn’t this being acknowledged more in the discussions about the Syrian situation? Also, it has been reported that Israel recently signed contracts to drill for oil on the Golan Heights—a part of Syria occupied by the Israelis after 1967.

Furthermore, the plan from Washington and other western capitals to launch an attack on Syria in “response” is not a solution. It is as morally repugnant as the alleged attack and just as likely to expand the death and killing as it is to lessen it. If one examines the overall policy of Washington towards Syria over the years, any response other than skepticism about its purported goals in its current policy ring exceedingly hollow.

Those championing military intervention into the Syrian civil war want us to believe that not only will an attack bring some kind of justice to the Syrian people, but it will make the United States more secure. This is nothing but a lie. Sending cruise missiles or, god forbid, something more lethal to attack Assad’s troops and military bases will not decrease Washington’s insecurity or that of its populace. Nor is it likely to cause any participant in that nation’s conflict to change their stance. Instead, we are likely to see an increase in all of the negatives associated with the war. The least of these negatives will be the claims of a higher moral purpose claimed by Washington and the worst will be the ramping up of the murder this and all wars revel in.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator's Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013. Read other articles by Ron.