It’s Not War, So Stop Saying That

by William Rivers Pitt, Truthout, 9/5/13, excerpt:

…Secretary of State John Kerry made it abundantly clear during a congressional hearing on Tuesday that he is ready to ask someone to be the first to die for a mistake, and did so with a barrage of gibberish so vast that it bent the light in the hearing room.

He insisted with table-pounding vehemence that the president is not asking America to go to war by asking America to flip missiles and bombs into Syria, because it totally won’t seem like war to us. No one bothered to ask what it will seem like to the people on the receiving end of our non-war armaments. It won’t be like war, though, so stop saying that.

He declared that there will be “no boots on the ground” after saying it might be necessary, all the while not bothering to mention that “boots” are almost certainly already on the ground over there, in the form of Special Operations soldiers who are preparing the ground for whatever attack may come.

He, as well as any number of Obama’s to-the-knife defenders, filled the air with stentorian declarations that America will not be involving itself in the Syrian civil war by raining bombs down on one side of the Syrian civil war while contemplating allowing the Pentagon to step up assistance to the other side of the Syrian civil war, because that’s totally not getting involved in the Syrian civil war, so stop saying that.

Now, I’m no von Clausewitz, but it seems to me that the military theory here is pretty straightforwardly binary: 0 = no bombs = not involved, 1 = bombs = involved; 0 = no arming the rebels = not involved, 1 = arming the rebels = involved. Trying to argue otherwise amounts to the largest gob of doublespeaking half-assery anyone has heard since White House spokesman Ari Fleischer angrily announced ten years ago that those who wanted to see evidence of WMD in Iraq should go find it themselves…and yes, that actually happened.

As for arming those rebels, well, we have a pretty detailed history of arming people like the Mujahidin in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, only to have them morph into the Taliban and al Qaeda, and hasn’t that paid some bloody dividends. Our newfound friends in Syria have a very similar pedigree, but it totally won’t be a problem, so stop saying that…

read the rest of the article and links at Truthout


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Filed under Mid East other / S Asia, Peace, Security, Terrorism, War

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