Thursday, September 25, 2014

AMERICAN MIDEAST M.O.: "When in doubt, attack SOMEBODY!"

U.S. missile launch
I can't seem to get over the fact that exactly a year ago at this time, the antiwar community was striving to prevent the Obama administration from attacking Syria -- the forces of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, that is. That move to attack Syria was thwarted, thanks to the American public raising its voice and members of Congress forcefully resisting the aggression. But now the Obama administration has succeeded in carrying out attacks on Syria -- only by now the attacks are against the opponents of the Assad regime, and are being done in cooperation with Assad.

This has led me to two conclusions:

(1) It's way too easy to launch U.S. missiles. (Maybe if it were a little more costly, challenging, or painful to carry out these attacks, they would at least require someone to give an explanation that makes sense first.)

(2) Americans are happy as long as they're blowing something up. (At least this is how it must look to the rest of the world.)

"ALERT: Pentagon update on new U.S. military operations in Syria"
(Gen. William Mayville shown in screen capture of Fox broadcast.)

Some of us spend so much time going to Federal Plaza in Chicago to protest, I've begun to think we could just set up a generic protest in advance ("Protest U.S. Attack Against __________") and then fill in the blank closer to the time of the actual event.

Chicago, September 23, 2014:
"No More U.S. Criminal Attacks on SYRIA OR Iraq!"
"No More Wars for US Empire"
(Photo courtesy FJJ.)

I am shocked by the glee with which the Chicago Tribune pronounced yesterday "We're at war!" -- as if that were a wonderful thing.  ("Why America Is At War")

Given the reach of mainstream media like the Tribune, that's why it's especially important that we get out in public and deliver a counter-message. Federal Plaza and the corner of State and Jackson is a good place to do it.

Nick Egnatz, NW Indiana Veterans for Peace, speaking against US attacks
on Syria (and more). (Photo courtesy FJJ.)

How else are we going to get the message out?

(Additional photos at Emergency Rally to oppose Bombing of Syria courtesy Roger Beltrami.)

More resources

"U.S. military leaders: Strikes in Syria are just the start of a prolonged campaign" by Craig Whitlock in the Washington Post

Related posts

September 10, 2014 in Chicago - Andy Thayer introduces speakers from 8th Day Center for Justice, Anti-War Committee of Chicago, Gay Liberation Network, No Drones Network, Veterans for Peace, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and World Can't Wait, all speaking against the Obama administration's latest war escalation.

(See Obama Didn't Invent Permawar. He Just Perfected It.)

It's reasonable to ask what the titans of media who sit high atop the Tribune Tower think of the rest of us. Sometimes they let us know loud and clear.

Everybody needs to read the editorial that appeared in the Chicago Tribune yesterday. The editorial appears online under the title "America's drone program needs to keep flying."

(See DRONE LOVE: If the Chicago Tribune Represents American Public Opinion, the Republic is in Trouble )

In other words, pretty much anybody and everybody gets lumped together with "terrorists"; the vaunted "precision" of U.S. military strikes isn't precise at all.

(See U.S. "Precision Strikes" in a Nutshell )

Many people will argue that it was only because the U.S. made a threat of force that Syria offered to enter into an agreement on chemical weapons. The sequence of events certainly suggests some relationship between the two.

(See "OR ELSE!" (What the U.S. threat of force against Syria teaches us) )

How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons?  How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position -- will always be in the position -- to say, "No" ?  At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has the power and the rest of the world doesn't?

(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))