So overnight, word came that the air strikes promised (in usual, idiotic form on Twitter by President Assface McDicktits) after the use of poison gas, allegedly by the leadership of Syria, have occurred. This post, however, is not about the specifics in this conflict, or the Mongoloid-in-Chief, or whether this particular strike was justifiable in the context of the current situation. This is because I don’t know all the specifics, and I’m certain that no one is sharing all the facts. And that’s the problem with this bombing, and the perpetual war.
Governments throughout history have used partial, and sometimes misleading, and more-often-than-we’d-like-to-admit false information to gin up support for wars, whether justifiable wars for freedom, or wars of naked aggression. And being libertarian, I’ve heard arguments all the way to the extreme that ALL our wars since our war for independence have been immoral wars. Some of those arguments have merit, others may not. But what everything from WWII and before had was a clear resolve by the government, and specifically our elected representatives, to commit ourselves to war.
After that, the waters became murkier. We had the stalemate of Korea and the great clusterfuck that was Vietnam. That was followed almost immediately by the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which was supposed to check the power of the President to commit us to war without authorization by Congress, specifically through an Authorization for Use of Military Force, known commonly today as an AUMF (more on this in a minute).
After this, we had various little police actions, the occasional lobbing of a bomb here or there for some reason or another, until 1989, and the first Gulf War, which was a lot of buildup with a week of ass kicking. This was the culmination of a pattern of sending in military forces to deal with a local or regional issue, fixing a strategic “problem” for the US government, but planting the seeds for another problem in the future.
Something of note, Saddam Hussein had that big military because we were helping him against Iran, who was our enemy since 1979, when they kicked out the Shah, who was effectively the puppet leader for the US Government. And as a result, we had a lot more soldiers in Saudi Arabia, which pissed off a guy named Osama bin Laden, who consequently tried organizing bombing some buildings in New York, before getting it right in 2001, when 18 mostly-Saudi terrorists pulled off the most successful and horrific terrorist attack in our history.
After this, we’ve gotten two of those AUMFs. In 2001, to go after the terrorists in Afghanistan, and in 2003 to go after Saddam Hussein (again) and a whole bunch of WMDs (which magically disappeared, maybe to Syria?).
I look at that last line and thought it sounded jokey. Then I realized it wasn’t.
Because after 9/11, even a limit like the War Powers Resolution really ceased to mean shit, since presidents since have been using those authorizations to “bomb the shit” (using the current idiot’s vernacular) out of whomever the US government has decided is a terrorist (in the broadest sense possible).
For those who want to blame Bush, it took 7 years of increasing neglect by Congress. Then we had 8 years of 0bama destabilizing shit through bomb slinging (despite talking about peace all through his campaign). And now we have the jackwagon supreme trump keeping up that tradition.
And none of this is meant to excuse people being gassed, most likely by their own government. But our inability to not rush in and blow shit up every time someone looks askance at us, or an ally, or someone we might have sympathy for, has led us, in effect, into a state of perpetual war, often over things that are not at all a vial national interest (despite what any POTUS says).
The problem with an interventionist foreign policy is twofold. First, there will always be assholes murdering their people and doing things we don’t like. To try to police all of this is both ineffective in the long run, and conversely, it tends to breed more problems in the future (ex. ISIS). Second, we often do this with the support of allies. The fact is that we spend massive amounts of money to keep the military going, as much as the next ten or so nations combined. And most of them are allies. As long as we’re willing to pay to police the world, other nations have no reason to police themselves, or each other.
The fact that we’re lobbing bombs yet again, for some country’s civil war, and trying to reawaken some good ol’ cold war standoff with Russia in the process, is a prime example of how ridiculous our foreign policy has become.
So everyone needs to step up to protest this, whether you despise the doofus in the White House, or you some how support him. ESPECIALLY if you support him, get him to stop the war. Because at some point, US foreign policy will ignite a larger war. And if trump wants a legacy for people to point to, ending the perpetual cycle of war is one that we could all embrace, and rightfully hail him for achieving.