AMITIAE - Saturday 31 August 2013
Cassandra: An Impending US Attack on Syria (Updated)
By Graham K. Rogers
Apart from a few isolated incidents, the United States has not experiences an invasion since Antonio López de Santa Anna knocked on the doors of the Alamo. The attack that traumatized the USA most, of course, was 9/11, but there have been many other terrorist attacks: most born of internal dissent. While these vicious attacks are deplorable (e.g Oklahoma), the fears about an all-controlling federal government - like Cheneys, Rumsfelds or Hoovers - may have some substance to them.
Despite the opinions of many in America, the actions of the government seem to be directed by a few chosen individuals: not the elected representatives, not the President, but the long term bureaucrats, such as the NSA, whose reports - on which major decisions are made - cherry-pick the evidence, to make the case for action.
The USA works within the framework of the United Nations, but only apparently when convenient. As Russia will veto any punitive action against Syria, that is what America should accept for now. Unilaterally taking military action - when not even régime change is being put forward - will be no more than a slap on the wrist, but one that will have far-reaching consequences.
With the suggestion that ground forces will not be deployed (even as an assault craft has moved to the area), the options would seem to be aerial bombardment from the sea using cruise missiles, bombing using aircraft, or the deployment of drones. These all will invade Syrian airspace and thus be an act of war. Midnight Saturday in Syria is a probable time for the start of such actions.
There are sure to be reactions from Russia and from within the Arab world, as has already been experienced from the earlier use of remote controlled devices in Pakistan: a country that does not condone or authorise such attacks, so is invaded each time one occurs.
UpdateOvernight news: The President has said that he has decided the United States should take military action against Syrian regime military targets, adding that he will seek approval from Congress.
Let us hope that a sensible debate - devoid of the jingoism when the US was headed for the Iraq War - takes place. Without the broad support of other nations - and the UN - this is still not justifiable.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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