Well, now it is official, the US government has concluded that chemical weapons have been used on Syrian civilian populations “several times” since hostilities began between Syrian president Assad’s loyal forces and rebel forces who are vying for power in that besieged country.
A civil war, it seems, has broken out in Syria, and the ones in power are striving to stay in power by using weapons that are on the international list of weapons of mass destruction that are no-nos in modern warfare.
This crosses Barack Obama’s so-called “red line” or a line drawn in the sand where, if crossed, means that we are going to get really, really mad.
So Assad crossed that line, and now we are going to have to come to grips with the fact that we have another civil war in the Middle East, and we have to decide how we are going to act, if at all, for or against one side or another.
Now on one level, I am going to have to come down on the “why is this our business” side, yet again. Vietnam, one could say, was a civil war that we weighed in on, and it cost us dearly in lives and treasure.
But apparently, no one is talking about boots on the ground, we’re only talking about arming the opposition. Much like we armed the Mujahedeen who were fighting the Soviet Union, who then turned against us when we had the temerity to invade their country a generation later.
John McCain, a US senator who has never met a war he didn’t like, says that arming the opposition is too little too late now, and argues for more.
From ABC News:
“But providing arms alone is not sufficient," said McCain in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "That alone is not enough to change the military balance of power on the ground against Assad. The president must rally an international coalition to take military actions to degrade Assad's ability to use air power and ballistic missiles and to move and resupply his forces around the battlefield by air. This can be done, as we have said many times, using stand-off weapons such as cruise missiles. We cannot afford to delay any longer. Assad is on the offensive with every weapon in his arsenal and with the complete support of his foreign allies. We must take more decisive actions now to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria."
Cha-ching. Cruise missiles cost about 100 large for each one shot off. That makes good economic sense for a nation that is going through withdrawals from having two simultaneous ground wars in the Middle East, to having a few thousand troops remaining in Afghanistan.Cruise missiles shot off, and a few hundred JDAMs dropped over Syria, that should be a boost to our armament manufacturers.
And just in time for the Independence Day sales.