The President is sending U.S. troops to Syria; not Congress, not the people of the United States, not you and I, The President is sending them. These Special Operations troops are like an 18th century king’s household cavalry or the Roman emperor’s Praetorian Guard. But so what? This is what The President has decided to do. No input from the citizens of the country (the hapless drones who work and pay taxes and vote) is necessary.
Last I read, there are U.S. military forces (some covertly) in over a hundred countries around the world. But don’t worry—no one expects you to know about it, and certainly, no one is asking your opinion one way or the other.
Fifty (50) Special Operations troops (Does is seem to you that all American troops are Special Operations troops, just like all FBI agents are “Special Agents”? Are there any just plain Agents in the FBI?)… Anyway, these troops, according to the President’s press secretary) are not being sent to fight. They are merely being sent to—Now get ready for it— “ADVISE”.
(I think, just for the hell of it, if the President is going to risk getting us all into another massive war, he might tell the country about it personally, not issue a press release or have some unelected flunky deal with it.
To Advise… Now where have I heard that term before? “Advise”? Like “advisors”, “provide assistance”, “train”, “support”… Why do these words have such a familiar ring to them? Maybe if I wait a bit, it will come to me.
Meanwhile, here are some questions (which, more often than not will be completely rhetorical) to reflect upon:
-Why, considering the fate of U.S. military adventures of the last fifty years (Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) does anyone in their right minds think this would be a good idea?
-Who is willing to bet against the proposition that within a matter of months there will be thousands of U.S, soldiers on the ground in Syria? And, does anyone with even the historical awareness of a fifth grader imagine that this new mission could not easily expand into a full-blown war involving hundreds of thousands of American combat troops?
-The fighting in Syria and Northern Iraq is like 4 dimensional chess, fought on a board that is re-designed every couple of weeks and that even the various countries, sects and tribes who live there don’t fully comprehend. So why should an American President and his “advisors” imagine they know enough about the situation to risk lives and money and the country’s future in this chaotic political and military sinkhole?
-If Tsar Vladimir hadn’t decided to use his personal army and air force to re-establish the Russian Empire and bolster Assad, would the President have made this move?
-The United States is trillions of dollars in debt—a substantial part of that to the Chinese and the Saudis (among other sovereign wealth funds). Why are we getting involved in another potentially trillion dollar losing battle? Aren’t there one or two things at home that need fixing?
-If everyone in that area of the world, the Turks, the Saudis, the Iranians, The Syrians, the Iraqis, The Kurds, can’t unite to successfully fight the lunatics from ISIS, why should the President imagine sending U.S. troops will make any difference?
-Do the career men (and women) on the ground and at the Pentagon and the CIA who will be participating in the eventual expansion of this new war think it’s good idea—that there may be glory and promotions galore for all involved?
-Do major United States weapons manufacturers, military suppliers, “private contractors” and multi-national oil and gas companies support this new mission/war?
-Does the President, who is also the leader of his party, think it’s a good idea to look tougher on terrorists (and the Russkys) now that a national election is coming up next year? Would any elected leader be so cynical as to risk the possibility of another awful war just to bolster the chances of his party in an election?
-Which of the likely candidates for President next year wouldn’t as aggressive (or more so) than Barack Obama?
-How much influence would major anti-war demonstrations have on the course of this new mission/war?
-Would it be a good idea to re-instate the draft?
-Did I fall asleep in the middle of the Vietnam War and wake up fifty years later to find out that it is still going on?
-What happened to the really great baseball card collection (including the Mickey Mantle rookie card) I had when I was a kid?