Sunday War Mongering

Joe LiebermanWon’t you look at that! Joe “War Is a Hell of a Lot of Fun!” Lieberman was on Fox News Sunday this morning. He is not happy that we aren’t bombing Syria right now. He told Chris Wallace, “I’m sure that our enemies are cheering now as a result of this decision because they realize it’s not clear the president will get authority, and our allies are worried.” Who exactly are these “enemies” of which he speaks? It must be Syria and that speaks volumes about what is going on with him and others who are so hot for an attack. They just want to attack Syria and the chemical weapons allegations are just an excuse. As for our allies, he can’t mean the UK. I guess he’s talking about the rebels, but they are at best a mixed bag.

Now this the man who spent the 1960s avoiding the draft. First it was as an undergraduate. Then it was as a law student. Then, by the time he graduated, he was married with a kid so he got a deferment for that! But since then, he really has never seen a war he doesn’t like. The man really should just have been a Republican. It’s not like he represented a conservative state; Connecticut went for Obama by over 17 percentage points. So he really believes what he says.

Meanwhile, someone who actually did go to war and who was vilified for it by the Republican chicken hawks, John Kerry is appearing on 5 talk shows this morning! Samuel Knight reported, “Kerry’s hypocrisy, thinly veiled by an over-eager swagger—including a refusal, on This Week to consider the possibility that the administration’s case for war will be rejected by Congress—is reminiscent of the dark days of 2002-2003.” But it likely doesn’t matter anyway. Kerry also said that Obama “has the right to do this no matter what Congress does.”

Let’s just think about that. Obama wants to bomb Syria because they allegedly broke international norms by using chemical weapons. Note: they broke norms and not laws because Syria never signed any chemical weapons treaty. But all of those involved in this push to war think that it is right for Obama to just bomb Syria. United States law doesn’t matter. And international law doesn’t matter. Apparently, laws are just for the little countries.

I’ve been amazed at how often I hear the argument that the United States has to bypass the United Nations because Russia and China are blocking our war plans. This is just amazing. The idea is that the United Nations is only a useful institution so long as it allows us to do whatever we want. Russia and China aren’t just countries that disagree with us; they are objectively wrong. This is madness and the American press—television especially—is allowing it to happen by not providing the broader context but just allowing Kerry and Lieberman and anyone other random person (As long as they are pro-war!) to pontificate on the matter.

Update (1 September 2013 10:07 am)

This from Glenn Greenwald:

There are few things more bizarre than watching people advocate that another country be bombed even while acknowledging that it will achieve no good outcomes other than safeguarding the “credibility” of those doing the bombing. Relatedly, it’s hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one’s national “credibility” depend upon periodically bombing other countries.
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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Sunday War Mongering

  1. I agree with Greenwald on this, as in most matters, but his timeline is off. He’s intimating that the US empire is pointless and ceremonial, making murder for image points rather than actual strategic impact. Hasn’t it been so since Vietnam? (Coincidentally, or not, about the time US wages started to stagnate for everyone outside the huckster/criminal 1%.)

  2. @JMF – It’s a good point. The whole "Reagan Revolution" was about convincing the people to embrace empire while stealing what income equality they had. I’m not sure how those two things go together, but it is no accident. I would say that our empire goes back at least as far as Jackson and the Indian wars. But WWII really started the modern manifestation.

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