David Swanson | Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria

 and most importantly . . . If you oppose arming anybody, bombing anybody, shooting anybody, or slitting anybody’s throat …

By David Swanson  Let’s Try Democracy  October 23, 2016

It’s all Assad’s fault and the U.S., ISIS, al Nusra, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and anybody who will help should overthrow him come what may.

It’s all a U.S. crime, and Syria, Russia, and Iran should fix it with bombs.

It’s all an ISIS problem that should be solved with U.S. and Russian bombs plus lots more arms for the moderate murderers.

The whole thing is Russia’s fault and it should go home or fight an ever more heavily armed collection of moderate, extremist, and ultra-extremist killers.

If people keep killing each other, it’s good for U.S. arms sales, and eventually whoever’s left will be totally peaceful.

A No-Fly zone would create safety and security by blowing lots of people up and creating a staging area from which to overthrow another government on the admirable model of Iraq and Libya.

If all the foreigners would get the hell out, Syria would be just fine, thank you—but wait, we didn’t mean stop the weapons shipments!

The thing to do is to leave the government of Syria alone but destroy ISIS by arming people against ISIS whose goal is to overthrow the government of Syria.

ISIS must be destroyed by bombing it, because there is a chance that the resulting terror groups will use some name other than “ISIS.”

If the United States is going to start a war with Russia it damn well ought to just start a war with Russia and stop dillydallying. They asked for it by being Russia.

Let drones handle it.

What good are 7,000 nuclear bombs if you’re never going to use one?

*****

To figure out which of the above views is the correct one, you can follow these simple rules:

1. If you oppose U.S. war making, you are in love with Bashar al Assad and must begin worshiping him every morning.

2. If you oppose Syrian war making, you are in favor of the United States overthrowing Syria and must do whatever Hillary Clinton says.

3. If you oppose Russian war making, you are in favor of ISIS killing your family, and you must turn yourself in at the nearest Republican campaign office.

4. If you oppose regional support for war making in Syria, you are in favor of the United States paying for everything, and you must donate your house to Goldman Sachs.

and most importantly . . .

5. If you oppose arming anybody, bombing anybody, shooting anybody, or slitting anybody’s throat, if you want the arms shipments halted, if you want actual aid delivered on a massive scale, if you want withdrawal of foreign forces and the opening of serious negotiations for disarmament and peace, then you have just claimed that every crime committed by anyone in Syria is exactly identical to every other crime committed by anyone else in Syria. As punishment for this absurdity, you must worship Assad while holding hands with Hillary Clinton in a Republican campaign office while leaking Goldman Sachs’ emails to Putin.


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2 comments

  1. Coleen Rowley: It’s not exactly explicit, but I’m noticing that the World Beyond War’s (very idealistic) approach seems to treat all violent conflict around the world as equal. It elicits worldwide solidarity to eliminate violence which is fine and needed but, unfortunately, it also takes the focus of progressive American peace activists—from which side Swanson is being criticized, especially by the faction of Syrian rebel supporters– away from existing international law based on nation-state sovereignty. The WBW, heavily influenced by “Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS),” the successor organization of the “World Federalism Movement,” does not seem to care much for existing international law, based on principles of nation state sovereignty and equality under the law; “jus ad bello” “Just War doctrine” and “Supreme Crime wars of aggression” concepts. (See Diana Johnstone’s and my op-ed last year critical of the “World Federalism” approach at: http://www.startribune.com/nationalism-is-not-the-only-threat-to-peace/331474891/ ).

    I think this may explain to some extent, why no one from the side of the more libertarian and true conservative anti-war activist side, for instance Anti-war.com folks, showed up at the recent WBW conference. I even asked this question at the start of the conference, as to why no anti-war libertarian or conservative was in attendance, with some general shrugging as the only response.

    By contrast with existing international law, the WBW’s “alternatives to global violence” assert that nation-state sovereignty is THE PROBLEM and seek ways to get around or modify the U.N. National Security Council’s veto roadblock. Unfortunately this means, as a pragmatic thing, that most, if not all CGS leaders praise the US-NATO’s assertion of the “Right to Protect” and tend to propose, like Univ of MN local professor emeritus Joe Schwartzberg, a US-led method of circumventing what they see as the UN Security Council’s veto roadblock. Happily Swanson doesn’t go that far. He strongly criticizes the “humanitarian warriors'” false justifications for war–and, a few years ago, he even criticized CGS when it and other “peace groups” clapped for Madeleine Albright’s and Samantha Power’s forming of the US “Atrocity Prevention Board” (CGS having endorsed even though the Albright-Power-Obama celebration gave the podium to Elie Wiesel so he could shill for war on Iran).

    Still Swanson seems to deliberately avoid citing to current international law based on nation-state sovereignty and “jus ad bello Just War” and “supreme crime” concepts in his recent writings on behalf of WBW. Additionally neither he nor WBW or any of Swanson’s other anti-war entities, signed the UNAC “Hands off Syria” statement. He may have been too busy to see it, but I’m not sure about that. He has been reacting to criticism from the “Syrian rebel” supporters and that may explain his change in emphasis.

    Swanson’s recent writing omits the far more simple urging of American peace activists to protest their own government’s illegal meddling in the affairs and governance of foreign nation-states both via wars of aggression and via covert regime change/arming of proxy forces methods. Anyway, here is my brief FB comment on Swanson’s latest article on WBS: http://www.pressenza.com/2016/10/david-swanson-we-need-to-unite-globally-around-opposition-to-the-entire-institution-of-war/:

    David Swanson’s idealistic proposal, I think, should be the long-term goal and solution to violence world-wide. However, in the short-term, the pragmatic focus of we citizens of the Superpower will have to be to protest our own country’s declaration of “exceptionalism,” (i.e. that it alone is excepted from the rule of law that it seeks to enforce on other countries), as a means of usurping the “policeman of the world” role to wage the supreme crime, wars of aggression in order to achieve its goal of world-wide hegemony.
    David Swanson: “We need to unite globally around opposition to the entire institution of war” – Pressenza
    In your website http://worldbeyondwar.org/ you say: “We strive to replace a culture of war with one of peace, in which nonviolent means of conflict resolution take the place of…
    PRESSENZA.COM

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  2. Coleen Rowley: Compare the convoluted opinions and questions posed by David Swanson–all over the map but none accurately diagnosing the real problem (and solution) which is for our US-NATO “Superpower” to cease (illegally) meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nation-states. Prevention of “wars of aggression” has long been the defining aspect of international law or “jus ad bello” , “Kellogg-Briand Treaty”, the Nuremberg prosecution for “crimes against the peace” and the pillar of the UN Charter. The Superpower’s elite neocon-controlled foreign policy establishment has determined that it’s “exceptional” i.e. that it enforces, under “Right to Protect” the human rights and “international humanitarian law” that it holds other countries subject to. I think African countries are balking at being held responsible for war crimes pursuant to the ICC (that the US refuses to submit to).

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