Mary Bahr, member VFP Chapter 14, Air Force Intelligence 1966-1969
There are many statements on the web in the press and from government officials saying we should punish Assad for his probable actions in the reported gas attacks in Syria, Lets look at the outcomes if we punish this so called petty dictator.
First Assad has allies including Russia, China and Iran to name a few. The war in Syria is another proxy war like the others we have fought in the Middle East. When you look at the strategic outcomes of an attack they are even worse than the tactical ones which will not prevent the combatants involved from killing each other and the innocents caught in between. So demonizing Assad, as bad as some of his actions may appear does not justify military action which could destabilize the whole region and cause more attacks over there and in the US. Plus if World War 3 breaks out I guarantee all our children will be affected in multiple ways starting the the price of oil going through the roof.
As for standing up to chemical weapons you have to understand the US history as our hands are not clean on this issue. For example when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurdish village he was our ally and our AWACs (airborne radar) assisted him. And are we sure that our own allies today in Syria which apparently include Al Quaeda are not involved or are not producing propaganda to get us into the game? The intelligence on this “points to Assad but is inconclusive”. we have far too many examples in our recent history where these kinds of statements proved to be part of the “Fog of War”.
I like the idea of using propaganda to fight fire with fire: coming out really strongly against chemical weapons use with UN resolutions and strong statements from our own government. And how about shipping gas masks and offering medical help to victims – perhaps again through the UN. The US has neither the moral authority (as a former intelligence officer I know more than I can say) nor should it legally or morally unilaterally try to “fix the world”. This is a disease of Empire which we have been suffering from for too long. It is bankrupting our country with 60 cents of every tax dollar going to our war machine and destroying our culture which is more and more based on violence. We are cheating our children and the children of the world of hope for the future. The US needs to back off and learn to work with others.