No matter how many times we’ve seen it before, the frenzy for launching a military attack on another country is — to the extent we’re not numb — profoundly upsetting. Tanked up with talking points in Washington, top officials drive policy while intoxicated with what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism,” and most media coverage becomes similarly unhinged. That’s where we are now.
A United Nations field report about the Aug. 21 chemical weapons assault in Syria suggests a more limited area of attack than an earlier U.S. government report claimed and reveals that some inspected sites showed signs of possible manipulation of evidence.
With a U.S. military attack on Syria now being discussed in the media as a question of “when” rather than “if,” let us devote more honest thought to the “why.” I am not referring to any official rationale but instead to the actual political and emotional dynamics in the United States that have gotten us to this point.
President Obama spoke with reporters today and outlined his case against Syria's use of chemical weapons to attack and kill more than a thousand civilians, including hundreds of children. The president also said he hasn't committed to action yet, but that the chemical weapons represent a threat to U.S. national security.
Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons in that nation's ongoing civil war. White House officials say President Obama is mulling whether to respond with airstrikes.