The US of A is bombing…again.
I saw President Obama’s brief remarks about the bombing campaign in Syria – the latest American-led assault on Arab territory. We never learn. Having created through hubris the conditions that spawned ISIS, the US is now obligated to bomb the shit out of ISIS. The irony is that for the time being at least, the Assad regime in Syria – against which the US considered a bombing campaign a year or so ago -- is sort of, kind of, our ally.
Or instead of ally should I say “partner,” as in “partner nation”? The US no longer has allies, we have partners, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The extent to which the language of the corporate boardroom has insinuated itself into civic discourse amazes me. “I’d like to introduce our glorious partners in this dubious venture…” The US seems to believe that having such committed partners as the aforementioned monarchies will convince the world that this truly is a joint operation.
Try not to laugh.
When viewed through the US’s schizophrenic lens the Middle East is a confusing mess; the friend we embrace and arm to the teeth today turns foe tomorrow and jams a sword in our neck. We create these monsters and then find that we can’t control them.
There is, however, one constant that governs US policy in the region: oil and Israel. Never take your eye off oil and Israel and you have a fair chance of understanding what the hell is going on, why the US supports one despotic regime and calls another the equivalent of Nazi Germany.
Obama – who more and more looks a pathetic and empty figure, more than ready to trot off to pen his memoirs, open his presidential library, and reap rich rewards from corporate America – offered the obligatory praise for America’s warriors, the brave men and women of the world’s greatest fighting force, engaged, yet again, in a noble struggle against Evil. We prefer our enemies to be easily recognizable as bad people, and the file footage the US media plays over and over of ISIS forces brandishing AK-47’s is designed to reinforce this idea. Watch any major network news broadcast for longer than thirty seconds and you’d think ISIS is five miles outside of Washington D.C., bearing down on the White House in a fleet of Toyota pickup trucks.
In many ways the US is a dumb nation. Whatever mojo we once had evaporated years ago. This Syria chapter in the War on Terror will add at least another six years to our doomed quest to rid the world of whacky Islamic fundamentalists. We will keep bombing bad guys in order to destabilize and degrade them, and they will keep popping up in new locations, under new names and new banners.