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When Liberals Make Me Face Palm 5: Military Edition

September 4, 2013

There’s a lot of opinion going around about Syria right now and what we should or should not do in Syria. A lot of it. Like, a whole lot and most of it is just noise.

Anyone who tells you this is a simple issue doesn’t understand the issue enough to be talking or typing about it. If you see anything that remote resembles a claim that this is simple click or walk away. Or possibly point and laugh if you’re at all like me.

There are ten tons of shit behind this decision including the War Powers Resolution which is self-contradictory and obtuse by design, so it’s probably legal that the president send in troops or air support for at least 60 days but maybe not. It kind of depends on how pissy Congress decides to get. If you hear the use of the term illegal orders or war crimes, assume you’re listening to someone who hates the president or at least hasn’t bothered to read the relevant law.

In reality, it’s probable that the use of military force by the president is perfectly legal as evidenced by 30 years of presidents doing exactly that and having the legislative and judicial branches refuse to do anything about it.

Aside from that, the moral issue, of allowing people to be killed, even with chemical weapons, is less pressing that many would have you believe. Yes, I know, that’s an unpopular thing to think. I don’t care. Look, the US has been fine with letting people get hacked to death with machetes in Darfur for ten fucking years. Why are we suddenly coming on as all sad clown/morally outraged over the idea of dead civilians in this specific nation? Could it be that the region has strategic value in terms of controlling a huge portion of our fossil fuel supply?

Why do dead Syrian civilians matter more than dead African ones? I don’t know, but it appears that they do.

And finally, this shit right here:

All branches anti-war Naval anti-war Other naval-antiwar moremoremore anti-war anti-war more anti-war

A lot of my fellow liberals have started calling these people heroes.

How about no?

Look, I’m a veteran. As such, people talking about the military who have no experience with or understanding of the military pisses me right off.

These men, and all of them appear to be male, aren’t standing up for shit. They’re not heroes, they’re hiding. The difference between these cowards and actual heroes is the difference between Edward Snowdon and Chelsea Manning.

Snowdon dropped documents and fled. Manning dropped documents too and she stayed and took the consequences. That is an act of conscience. I don’t agree with Manning’s actions and I think she got every bit of the punishment she deserved, but at least she had the courage of her convictions.

Hiding is the opposite of courage.

This is a far better example of courage.


I mean, totally aside from the fact that I agree with this guy and not the others, he’s technically breaking the rules too. The difference is he is showing both his face and his name. As such, he is welcoming the consequences of his action. That’s how people who adults deal with things.

The military does what it’s told because that’s what it agreed to do. Each person in the military volunteered to be there. The took an oath to follow legal orders, and please recall the thirty years of legal precedent that makes it clear that the president can pretty much send the military anywhere it wants and both the legislative branch and the judicial branch will consider it legal. Or maybe not. Who knows? Maybe this is the time that Congress and the Judiciary decide that the president isn’t empowered to send troops wherever he wants to. If that happens, maybe we as liberals should wonder why that is. What is different about this president? Do we want to be on the side of people who would trade on the obvious difference?

Like I said, complicated. Given all of those complications, we should probably stop long enough to think some thoughts before urging our friends and representatives to think or act in one way or another.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. M E Grey permalink
    September 4, 2013 8:27 AM

    The strongest reason the US has to intervene is to keep Israel safe. (See John Kerry talking to Rand Paul during the hearings; he didn’t say that was the strongest, but in my opinion it is.) I abhor this country’s absolute devotion to Israel, and the price that the Palestinians have to pay for it. However, Israel is perfectly capable of defending itself against Syria, and should it come to that, Israel will go beyond defending itself, and THAT will lead to a conflagration of epic proportions, one that would likely lead to the long-threatened WW3.

    • September 4, 2013 11:36 AM

      Aside from that, the crazy parade of right wing war mongers who helped get us into Iraq are spouting the same message right now about Syria. Listening to them isn’t just stupid, it’s CRAZY.

    • September 6, 2013 12:08 PM

      But it still begs the question why are these civilians more important than other civilians? I’m asking a serious question here – not a rhetorical one or trying to lead anyone to a point.
      I’ve seen the “it’s a threat to democracy!” but the “ERHMAHGERD! Democracy is under attack!” is a very old play and it’s resulted in quite a few American atrocities.

      So I’m left wondering, as the Witch pointed out – Why these civilians? Why do they matter more? I’m not saying I’m pro chemical attacks and the wide spread destruction of human life. I’m just saying we have to pick our battles, so why this one?


  1. When Liberals Make Me Face Palm: WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE TO KEEP WRITING THESE THINGS? | What a Witch

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