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War Drums

April 11, 2018

The sound of War Drums can be heard in Washington, DC signaling a need to attack the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

The Assad government–or Russian military forces operating in Syria–used chemical weapons to attack a hospital in a rebel held city.

President Trump has expressed concern because the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that required a U.S. response in April 2017 in the form of launch of cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase.

Why that triggered a military response by a President who pledged not to engage in the imperial warfare practices of former Presidential Administration is cause for concern.

There are a number of aspects to this current development that should be noticed:

1) Calls for response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on its own people come to the day that that John Bolton took formal command of the office of the National Security advisor.

2) Ambassador Bolton is a man who should not be permitted to play with firecrackers, not to mention cruise missiles, so we wait in horror for what this advocate of imperial warfare will recommend to a President besieged by a raid on the office and residences of his personal attorney by his own Justice Department.

3) The Assad government is, or is close to being, a surrogate of Russia. Assad has loyalties only to himself, but with no allies in the world except for the rogue Russian government of Vladimir Putin, President Assad must do the bidding of Russia.

4)  American messianism demands that the nation to do what is right, not what is in the national interest of the United States. Thus, Sen. Chris Coons (D-CT) is calling for a military response to make things right. No doubt Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and little Marco Rubio (R-FL) will repeat the demands of MSNBC’s favorite U.S. Senator.

That is the setting in which this counter to the War Drums should be heard:

It is not in the national interest to respond to the immoral actions of other nations. Though the use of chemical weapons are deplorable and sanctioned by international agreements, they should concern the United States only when they are directed at American forces.

The strategy of Russia’s Vladmir Putin is the problem, not the Syrian government.

We should ask what the United States should do to counter the foreign policy of Russia? That is the question that should occupy the minds of John Bolton and President Trump. The absence of a strategy directed at aggressive moves by Russia has raised concerns that the President has been compromised by Soviet intelligence. If true, the President needs to “come clean” and move immediately to state what policies he recommends for responding to Russia and other countries that present challenges to the national interest.

Bombing Syria is not one of those policies.

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