The United States punishes Syria President Basher Assad for using chemical weapons against this own people. It is true the missiles have not yet been fired but they will, but I believe they will be fired.
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This attack is significant for a number of reasons but it is also different. The first, the plan is to attack without putting boots on the ground, without take over of their resources, without trying to profit from their bankruptcy or putting them under economic dominancy of the International Monetary Funds and the World Bank Control. In other words, the punishment is just that. It is not to overturn a regimen as has been the United States policy for centuries; we have toppled governments as pointed out by Stephen Kinzer’s in his book, Overthrown: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. That simple fact makes this different. In the past, the purpose of aggression, sometimes military and sometimes political, was the “spoils of war”. American business interest were always center stage and never more obvious and misused as they were in the Iraq or Cheney War. The disgust people at what happened was obvious and had a lasting impact.
The second point about what is happening in Syria is that it is pursuit of military action in a different format, a format started by Israel as Reprisal operations. Of course, these operations were cast according to the situations, for example, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) carried out attacks in response to fedyeen from Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Several others examples of note were the Lebanon War (1982) when IDF invaded Lebanon to expel PLO from that territory; the Southern Lebanon conflict (1982-2000) against Lebanese Proxy militias with Lebanese Muslim guerrilla lead by Hezbollah and the 2006 Lebanon War which last from July to August 2006 and was in reprisal to abductions of two Israeli solders; and finally, the Gaza War which lasted from Dec. 2008 to Jan 2009. Israel responded to ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with military force in an action titled "Operation Cast Lead". Israel opened the attack with a surprise air strike. Israel's stated aim was to stop such rocket fire from and the import of arms into Gaza. I judge these reprisal attacks, admittedly ignoring the complex background.
Unfortunately, some of these reprisals were longer than just a single fusillade of rockets. Sadly, some were designed to spill as much blood as possible to inflict terror. That is not the objective of the United States attack on Syria. It is not to inflict terror, it is to punish President al Assad of Syria for his inhumanity to man, in that sense, this attack is reprisal but it is also a warning to all other dictators that such behavior is far above acceptable.
I listen to Amy Goodman, Chris Hays, and some other scream about Americas past. They seem not to be capable of understanding the man in the White House although he has proved he is different in his approach to the Arab Spring, especially as it comes to Egypt (see my blogs about that situation). Amy, Chris, and others, we are no longer the Ronald Reagan driven by business fanatics. We are under Obama’s leadership; because of that, I feel comfortable: he is protecting the Untied States effectively and honorably.
The overwhelming force used against Bagdad was enough to tell the people that the war was not to punish Iraq, it was to take over—as Kinzer pointed out, Iraq was not something to be proud. Punishing al Assad is not something to be proud of either but it is something that has to be done. There is a difference progressive have to come to understand; if they don’t they will go back to the old neo-con foreign policies of the past in the next presidential election.