Friday, August 30, 2013
What am I looking at here?
Over in the UK, David Cameron got a nice fat "No" from Parliament regarding striking Syria. It's pretty clear that polls are reporting that Americans would like this decision brought before Congress, and I tend to agree with that idea, even knowing that I do not know what the result of that vote would be.We could either be committed to DO SOMETHING or be left with DOING NOTHING. And it looks like most Americans aren't necessarily thrilled with the idea of actual war, and that, I think, is pretty understandable. But Congress isn't being called in to vote on this thing.
I don't want to say it looks like Obama is flexing, but it kind of does. It wouldn't make sense to vote on a thing that isn't going to happen, but it does make sense to tell Assad and his folks something very well might. Although getting involved isn't an ideal situation for the US, that doesn't mean Assad would want us to do any such thing. Assad's desperation move of using chemical warfare (if he did use it, after all) would be in the hopes of causing submission--doing something fucked up enough that his opposition just throws in the towel. That's something force can do. But if he gets bombed by the US or France, that's different. He loses the ability to create stability* through force. His quality of life goes down.
That by no means equals a happy outcome for the Syrian people, exactly. But the point of making out that we certainly could do something might be persuasive in having him not, at the least, engage in that atrocity again since it clearly does not get him the intended result.
That's just my guess and I could be totally off base. But it's a thought I've been mulling. You know. "Talk softly and carry a big stick."
*By "stability", I basically mean a situation that is still thoroughly sub-par and unsatisfactory, just with less of a headache for Assad. And no, I am not endorsing his silencing of people by gassing them. I'm just trying to understand what he hopes to gain through his actions. His only good outcome is the ability to stay put. The only outcome we're interested in is him not killing tens of thousands more people. If we could do that by not ourselves being responsible for killing thousands or whatever, that would be, well, conscionable?