There was a brief moment of hope. There was light at the end of the tunnel. The House Republicans were in a position to stop the bombing of nations that do not offer a threat to the United States. But, no. Speaker Boehner says he will go along to get along.
David Stockman tells us what might have been.
Next week Congress can do far more than stop a feckless Tomahawk barrage on a small country which is already a graveyard of civil war and sectarian slaughter. By voting “no” it can trigger the end of the American Imperium—-five decades of incessant meddling, bullying and subversion around the globe which has added precious little to national security, but left America fiscally exhausted and morally diminished.
But John “TARP” Boehner decided to give the Imperium another chance.
Stockman summarizes the American tradition of interventionism abroad.
Indeed, the tragedy of this vast string of misbegotten interventions—from the 1953 coup against Mossedegh in Iran through the recent bombing campaign in Libya —-is that virtually none of them involved defending the homeland or any tangible, steely-eyed linkages to national security. They were all rooted in ideology—that is, anti-communism, anti-terrorism, humanitarianism, R2Pism, nation-building, American exceptionalism. These were the historic building blocks of a failed Pax Americana. Now the White House wants authorization for the last straw: Namely, to deliver from the firing tubes of U.S. naval destroyers a dose of righteous “punishment” that has no plausible military or strategic purpose. By the President’s own statements the proposed attack is merely designed to censure the Syrian regime for allegedly visiting one particularly horrific form of violence on its own citizens.
A large chunk of the American public is tired of war. They are not in the McCain-Graham-Obama camp. But their opinions don’t count.
So the real question now before Congress recurs: how is it possible that the peace-loving citizens of America, facing no industrial-scale military threat from anywhere on the planet, find themselves in a constant state of war? The answer is that they have been betrayed by the beltway political class which is in thrall to a vast warfare state apparatus that endlessly invents specious reasons for meddling, spying, intervention and occupation.
So, the betrayal continues.
Does Obama think a hit-and-run operation from the skies will not kill innocent women and children? Does he think that missiles fired safely from carriers are not as deadly to Syrian civilians as poison gas is? “Collateral damage” is just as deadly as deliberate damage. Corpses do not make any such distinction.
Does he think that a few bombs can bring peace to Syria? Stockman thinks not.
. . . the truth on the ground is that the Islamic world is enmeshed in a vicious conflict pitting the Shia axis of Iran, Syria, Southern Iraq and the Hezbollah-Lebanon corridor against the surrounding Sunni circle which is nominally aligned with the Syrian rebels. Yet even the Sunni world is noisily fracturing, with Turkey and Qatar lined-up with the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf State aligned with the Egyptian generals. Meanwhile, Jordan cowers in the shadows.
Why should the United States government become the lapdog of Saudi Arabia?
Needless to say, the spineless Arab League/Saudi potentates who are now demanding “deterrence” never intend to do the job themselves, preferring to stealthily hold the coats of American mercenary forces instead. The truth is that at the end of the day, they find the threat of Iranian retaliation far more compelling than ending Assad’s brutality or building a pipeline through a prospective Sunni-controlled Syria to supply Qatar’s natural gas to European markets.
Stockman offered hope.
But however the current debate specifically unfolds, the good news is that the world greatest deliberative body is now back in charge of American foreign policy. By long standing historical demonstration, the US Congress specializes in paralysis, indecision and dysfunction. In the end, that is how the American warfare state will be finally brought to heel and why the American Imperium will come to an end—at last.
But then John Boehner did what he does so well. He caved.
The Imperium rolls on. It will roll on until the central banks of the world decide to stop buying Treasury debt.