Chemical Warfare

Speaking from my privileged First World perspective, our, meaning the United States’, response to the Syrian war has always been a very conflicting and troubling issue for me.

Poor me, right, when there’s somewhere around 500,000 Syrians dead and over 10,000,000 displaced.

Poor me, indeed.

But since all pain is relative, all I can do is acknowledge/empathize with/pray for the atrocities external from me while focusing on finding some way to mitigate or at least reconcile with the conflicts and turmoil internal to me.

So far I’ve been unsuccessful…

I mean, when the Syrian Civil War started, I was right there with President Obama, supportive of his reluctance/unwillingness to get us entangled within yet another hopeless conflict in the Middle East.

I, too, was yearning to pivot our foreign policy focus toward the biggest challenge looming before us…


And, after Assad’s first chemical warfare attack against his citizens, I bemoaned Obama’s laying down the so-called Red Line.

I despise Red Lines.

I spit on Red Lines.

Red Lines are nothing more than a declaration of failure…

No one wins when Red Lines are drawn.

I consider that Red Line to be Obama’s biggest mistake.

Our policy toward Syria has been a disaster ever since.

And yet, I don’t know what we could have done differently other than either completely disengaging which would have made the humanitarian disaster and our standing within the region even worse, or invading it a la Iraq, which might have lessened the humanitarian disaster somewhat (perhaps by several hundred thousand less dead…perhaps) but would have made our standing within the region even worse.

But all that might have left us better off than where we are now…

Locked tight in a proxy war with Russia; yes a war reminiscent of our Cold War conflict with them in days past but now, in my mind, much worse.

Worse because now we have the cyber element making everything faster and fuzzier. Fuzzy warlike actions and reactions that exceed diplomacy’s ability to keep pace.

Which means it will be much easier for a cold war to turn hot.

And here we are…

With more Red Lines being drawn.

With more Red Lines being crossed.

With more innocent Syrians dying and being displaced.

With more indecision as to what our, the United States’, response to it all should be conflicting and tormenting me.

Poor me.

Poor me, indeed.

WARNING: This video contains graphic displays of white people behaving extremely white. In other words, this is a video of… White Extremists*.


*Although, I’m not sure how Tom Araya, the lead singer, identifies racially. He was born in Chile so… perhaps we should play it safe and label him as a White-like Extremist.



4 thoughts on “Chemical Warfare”

  1. if you don’t mind my saying this – Americans have not really experienced war on their own land, since the American Civil War. I told a lady that the West has much to atone for, for the misery that they have caused in this part of the world.

    We, in Asia, can’t be American. Or British, Or French. Or German. Or Dutch.

    We can only be true to our own culture, and we hope that the West will, one day, understand and respect this

    • I would guess that most common Westerners would agree with you. We don’t want our countries out there imposing its will upon other countries and we certainly would not want any other country imposing its will upon ours.

      The problem is with governments and businesses, Darwinism probably will always prevail. Might will always make right and they will always gravitate toward wherever their needs (land, riches, natural resources, security, allies, customers, cheap wages, etc.) may be met the most efficiently and economically. The technological shrinking of space and time just makes it all that much more obvious, immediate, and impactful

      It’s sad. But all this common man can do about it as an individual is say I’m sorry for those who are hurt and oppressed because of it.

      However, that being said, I’m not sure if any of those needs I’ve just listed qualify for the reason why the United States is presently involved in Syria. Are we – the United States – there because Syria is a humanitarian disaster or is Syria a humanitarian disaster because we’re there?

      As I said in the post, Syria conflicts and torments me.

      And I understand what you’re saying about being true to one’s culture. I am proud of and comfortable with my culture. But my culture is not who I am.

      Being true to one’s culture is a choice, a choice that is oftentimes used an excuse for extreme nationalism and xenophobia.

      And I understand what you’re saying about Asians can’t be Americans, French, etc. However, it seems many Asians and others might not agree with you seeing how many people from Asia and other countries emigrate to America and other Western countries because they yearn for Western cultural values of freedom and opportunity.

      Unfortunately, because many Americans and other Westerners do agree with you that one can only be true to one’s culture, they become nationalistic and xenophobic and, not wanting their cultures tainted by others with different/non-Western cultural values, they become hostile and even dangerous toward these freedom-seeking immigrants.

      It’s sad. But again, all this common man can so about it as an individual is say that I’m sorry for those who are hurt and oppressed because of it.

      I will add though that it makes me happy and proud whenever I hear someone who emigrates to the United States say upon becoming citizens that they are Americans by choice, not by chance.


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