Monday, October 21, 2013

As Part of My Project to Decrease My Insufferability Quotient

I must confess that I have no idea how to take note the following --
Good news from Syria (really): Chemical weapons being dismantled on schedule


October 18 at 3:31 pm

The U.S.- and Russia-brokered deal to have Syria surrender its chemical weapons is proceeding on schedule, United Nations inspectors tell the Wall Street Journal, despite widespread predictions that Syria's civil war would make the effort impossible. The U.N. team had set an ambitious goal of disabling all chemical weapons production equipment by Nov. 1 and said it's on track to finish it in time.

The effort to destroy Syria's chemical weapons is still in its early stages and could slow or fail outright, particularly if the violence in Syria harms one of the U.N. team members. But these first few weeks are a promising sign, an indication that this mission may actually be achievable. But it won't save Syria.

The deal came in September, when Secretary of State John Kerry suggested off-the-cuff that the U.S. might roll back its plan to launch punitive airstrikes against Syria for its used of chemical weapons against civilians if the country agreed to surrender its stockpile. Russia seized on the comment, as did Syria, which led to a United Nations Security Council resolution for the destruction of Syria's stockpile. Many in the U.S. concluded that President Obama had been outfoxed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, that the plan was unachievable and would quickly fall apart.

Those critics may turn out to be right, but so far Syria appears to be cooperating with the U.N. inspectors, who in turn seem undeterred by the war around them. A representative for the U.N. disposal team said that several improvised explosive devices and mortar rounds had gone off near the team, conceding, "Naturally this is a matter of concern for us, but the team remains determined and the morale is very high." The U.N. agency charged with removing the weapons has operated in conflict zones before; last week, it won the Nobel Peace Prize for its years of work dismantling chemical weapons around the globe.

Kerry praised Syria for its cooperation with the U.N. team this month, saying, "We're very pleased with the pace of what has happened with respect to chemical weapons in a record amount of time." That's obviously a political faux pas, given the extent and horror of the Assad regime's abuses since the war began. But on the merits it was true: Syria has been pretty good about cooperating. What was awkward was the tacit admission that this deal leaves the Assad regime intact, and may in some ways help it. ...
-- without risking accidentally deflecting professional aspersions on David Sirota's calm and measured assessment of President Narcissist VonDronekill's real intentions vis-a-vis Syria, as reported in Salon just over one month ago:
Narcissists are ruining America
We're on the verge of bombing another country -- because a few conceited people want to feel good about themselves

From President Obama to British military leaders to the U.S. military planner who sculpted the attack plan, almost everyone acknowledges that sending cruise missiles into Syria will most likely not make anything better, will not stop the civil war and probably will not reduce human suffering. As the UK admits, the best (though certainly not guaranteed) chance of actually accomplishing any of those objectives is to mount a full-scale invasion.

Of course, that course of action could result in, among other things, thousands of U.S. casualties and roughly $300 billion a year in expenses. Understandably, those are costs America does not want to incur. And that’s where the narcissism comes in.

Many Americans supporting a new war in the Middle East want to feel good about themselves. Many want to feel like we did “the right thing” and didn’t stand by while chemical weapons were used (even though we stand by — or use them ourselves — when we’re told that’s good for America). But, then, many war supporters desperately want these heartwarming feelings without the worry that they may be face any inconvenient costs like higher taxes or body bags at Dover Air Force Base.

... What emerges is a portrait of pathological self-absorption. That’s right – despite the pro-war crowd’s self-congratulatory and sententious rhetoric, this isn’t about helping the Syrian people. Channeling the zeitgeist of that famous quote in “Broadcast News,” this is all about us. To the pro-war crowd, if both feeling morally superior and avoiding any real sacrifice mean having to kill lots of Syrians without a chance of actually stopping their civil war, then it’s worth the carnage, especially because it’s half a world away.

Appreciating this insidious psychology, our government has come up with a brilliantly inhumane solution that plays to the narcissism...

No doubt, the government’s motives for a war with Syria have little to do with moral opposition to chemical weapons. The geopolitics of Syria affect everything from oil to Iran to Israel to the defense budget – and those concerns might be what’s really driving the push to war. But the public sales pitch for war cannot dare admit that because such a truth is taboo.
Then again, Mr. Sirota is not just some just some raggedy ass blogger living in a hobbit hole in flyover country. He is a respected professional Liberal columnist who hobnobs with other world-famous professional columnists and who is frequently invited to make appearances on Liberal teevee so as to better share his many, thoughtful opinions.  I am sure when he formulated his initial assessment he must had insider access to sources and information about which I can only dream, just as I am sure that even as we speak Mr. Sirota must certainly be moving to retract and amend his originally assessments to reflect these very positive recent developments.

As will any story where the professionals are still working out all the important little details, the best course for amateurs like me would probably be to tread lightly:

1 comment:

fırsat said...

hello thanks for this article.