I have heard the arguments in favor of intervention in Syria.
I have yet to hear someone make a compelling case that the US is responsible for fixing what’s wrong. It seems many Americans agree.
From William Greider at The Nation:
For two generations, the US has gone to war claiming nobler purposes, the protection and liberation of helpless others. But, our statesmen add, the defense of world peace requires us occasionally to go to war pre-emptively. Shoot the bad guys before they can shoot us.
The American people evidently understand this now and want no part of it. They are overwhelmingly fed up with intervening in other people’s wars. Iraq and Afghanistan taught bitter lessons. The experiences told Americans to disregard whatever presidents and intelligence officials claim to see as an imminent threat. The patriotic exhortations from governing elites in Washington now disparage “isolationist” sentiments, but constituents back home simply want a more rational definition of “national self-interest.”
Nobody knows, of course, but it is conceivable this war of confusion could evolve into a stunning historical shift—the moment when militarism and the military-industrial complex begin to lose their iron grip on US politics. The arms industry still dominates the domestic economy and will remain influential when good jobs are still scarce. In past wars, whenever Americans were sent to fight abroad, the people quickly rallied ’round the flag. Popular patriotism soars in wartime. Only after bitter losses accumulate do people begin to turn against the war and want out.
This time feels different. People generally are already antiwar.
Ott Scharmer argues we are in an age of disruption, the old order is simply incapable of sustaining itself; it stumbles from self-inducecd crisis to self-induced crisis then furiously works to obscure the source of the disruptions and extend its privilege (think Wall Street).
What’s happening in the US with regard to Syria is a perfect case of the age of disruption in action. Not so many years ago, a bombing run on Syria would have been a foregone conclusion. Today, it’s not. Yes, it’s a cliche but the military-industrial complex wants an attack on Syria. They benefitted beyond all imagining by Iraq and Afghanistan. Why shouldn’t they want to benefit from Syria? And yet it is wildly disapproved of by the people paying the bills.
The age of disruption is all about changing our expectations and assumptions.