This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
Amazing how concerned we are with chemical weapon attacks while the bloodletting in Syria has continued year after year with the United States safely on the sidelines. Even the coming overt American intervention is to be conducted from (our) safe corner.
The refugee crisis, already reaching into the millions, has accelerated with the American missile threat and subsequent delay. After all, Congressional authorization via moral outrage is essential to make America’ safe-haven militarism seem bold. It has little to do with the wellbeing of the Syrian people.
So Senator John McCain and Secretary of State Kerry – both virtual mouthpieces for President Obama – are now bosom buddies. Did you ever think it would come to this, American liberals like Obama and Kerry and windbags like McCain joining forces in moral outrage and imperial displays of power? Or have liberals become windbags, too?
Now the question is whether the Congressional authorization that allows for striking Syria is really a blank check to take the war to Iran and beyond. But, then, with all the saber rattling and war mongering over the last decade and more, who in the American public would restrict the President from striking wherever the US isn’t striking now?
What is President Obama’s endgame? By caving into pressure on Syria, he has opened yet another Pandora’s Box of American adventurism. No doubt, Obama believes he can manage his unruly Congressional classroom but those with their hopes bent on the ever expanding American empire have their own ideas. As does Israel, AIPAC and their rock solid Arab Middle Eastern allies.
How to explain these moral obscenity alliances in conventional political terms is daunting. Perhaps we have reached a point where conventional politics should be declared terminal. Will this be Obama’s ultimate legacy?