President Obama says the US initiative in Syria is making progress. “men women and children” “We need to use precision.” “Our coalition drones have been increasing the pace of airstrikes, nearly 9,000 as of today.” His presentation was upbeat and completely ignored two significant factors in the war going on in Syria (and Iraq):
- Most of our allies are supporting the enemy (ISIS)
- There is another coalition which includes the Syrian Arab Army, Iran, Hezbollah and now Russia, fighting on the ground with significant air cover.
When I hear him speak, I am reminded of the time leading up to World War II when US corporations were deeply invested in Nazi Germany, and of the time when I was growing up when Russia was an ‘enemy’. It was never mentioned that it was Russians who did the lions share of suffering and fighting in that war, and the Russians who assured victory in the European ‘theater’ at great human cost. Nor was the wholesale importation of Nazi scientists and high level members of their secret service by the United States widely known.
I wonder if the American people, including the what remains of the left, will buy into this worldview today – where no effort not of US making is acknowledged, and where useful but corrupt allies are welcomed by some and ignored by most.
Speaking of a ‘theater’ of war – this language was common in the 50s and 60s when I was growing up. Apparently Drones have not only made the language obsolete, but they have erased the history of ‘theater’ or, more specifically ‘battlefield’ based warfare. I participated in Debate: US Drone Action Plan, on ‘The Debate‘ a show on PressTV over the weekend. My opponent, Michael Lane, the founder of American Institute for Foreign Policy, took the stance that there never really was a battlefield, so the constraints of international law are purely abstract. It would be odd if this entity referenced in western law going back hundreds of years never existed.