Syrian debate reveals gap between Americans and Washington
The heads of both major parties in Washington want intervention in Syria, but the American people absolutely do not. By wide margins Americans stridently oppose yet another US led foray into yet another Mid East quagmire. Unfortunately, that appears to be of little concern to America’s top political leaders.
House Speak Boehner and President Obama don’t agree on much, but they do agree that the US military should hurl punitive missiles at Syrian President Bashar Assad for the alleged use of chemical weapons. For Obama, it’s about “red lines” and “international norms.” For Boehner, it’s about sending a message to “enemies around the world that need to understand that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of behavior.”
Americans are not happy, and who can blame them. After over a decade of endless conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, what does the US have to show for it? The answer is tragically clear to most Americans, a raw deal. Americans have spent blood and treasure, and put their faith in Washington decision makers to tell them the truth and make the right decisions; they have done neither.
So here we go again: enter Syria. Washington’s abysmal record keeps piling up. First was Egypt. The United States pressured Mubarak to step down in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. Two years later Egyptian blood flows in the streets of Cairo, and the military is the only levy holding back the deluge. Next came Libya. America’s reward for helping to remove Gaddafi: a dead US ambassador and a collapsed state united only by a craving for Sharia Law and its hostility to the United States.
Of course “this is no Iraq and no Afghanistan,” President Obama proudly stated. Indeed, Mr. President, it may not be. But it is almost definitely another Libya, Egypt, Haiti, Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia and virtually any other botched intervention in recent memory.
This utter insanity is proffered by the sanctimonious, warmongering elites who dominate America’s power structure. Conflict, war, intervention means little to them; after all they will never be called upon to deploy, fight, and potentially die to uphold vague notions of so called “international norms.”
Boehner and Obama may be of different parties but they share the same Washington consensus. They and the power structure they command suffer from a toxic mix of arrogance and idealism. They arrogantly posture and grandstand from their Washington perch, barking moralism at the rest of the world while indulging in the absurd fantasy that launching a few missiles or slandering a few despots keeps the world in line.
It is time Americans wake up and realize that this madness will not stop until the Washington power structure is challenged and defeated. In short, Americans need to do more than light up C-SPAN call centers to vent their anger. America needs a new party, or more precisely a new movement, that mobilizes the frustration of the many against the haughty oppression of the few.
Cameron Macgregor is a former Naval Officer and graduate of the US Naval Academy. He is currently a graduate student at George Mason University.