Abstract: More reasons for attacking Assad beyond what I wrote two years ago, “Force Works, Syria Next?“, and more recently (“Syrian Red Line” and “Peace From War“).
Three original points in the dialogue below: 1) there is -nearly- a right of ingerence in the United Nations, that allows to override the Security Council. The French Republic used it many times. This is such a case again. An occasion to teach most of the world’s countries about human rights.
2) Dictator Assad has threatened Israel and the French Republic. So now the self defense clause of the UN Charter can be used against him. In the latter case, that activates NATO.
3) An exclusive argument shows that the West has jurisdiction over Syria (as it had over Yougoslavia). The transfer of power from Rome to Islamist invaders in 636 CE was illegal, unconstitutional, uncivilized, and has proven irresponsible. Time does not make wrong right.
The French President wants to overthrow Assad’s regime. Is not that going too far?
No, it’s perfect. Assad, a criminal against humanity, equipped with weapons of mass destruction, has threatened France, so, to insure French security, that regime needs to go. The United Nations’ charter allows self defense, so now that Assad has threatened the French Republic, the latter has to right to strike. French strikes ought to specifically target the mass murderous dictator.
Assad is roughly in the same position as Hitler got in. Hitler did not surrender. Neither will Assad. Hitler ought to have been destroyed. By the same token, Assad ought to be destroyed. It’s not just a question of striking the VX factories, killing the neurotoxin scientists, their installation, and the specialized military units.
You see no ethical problem in attacking the Syrian government?
There are risks in engaging in action, any action, even going to the movies.
To check how fool proof my logic was, I dressed in pink (mimicking thus the “Code Pink” anti-war activists), and searched potential contradictors. I found them resting their wisdom on ill-information (I am much more “left”, whatever that means, than they are). Slogans (USA atom bombed Japan!) do not a logic make. (Self) glorifying peaceful thinking does not bend psychopathy. Quite the opposite; psychopaths smell weakness, an easy kill.
Fanatical pacifists bleat about non violence, to keep wolves away. They don’t understand biology. Let them munch grass. Fiercer ones save the world. Always have, always will.
Of course, when attacking Assad, countless things could go wrong, and will. A French SCALP missile could stray off course and flatten a school (but they will come at night and their precision is one meter). Assad put people that he would rather see dead, such as some of his own Suni troops, in harm’s way.
In 1944-45, American strategic bombing over France, even Paris, killed many thousands of French people, and flattened entire cities (Brest, Saint Malo, Toulon, etc.). Some, including myself, consider that some of these bombings were motivated by weakening France. Yet, if you ask the French, they shrug, and use a well know expression:“C’est la guerre.” (“It’s war.”)
Assad turned peaceful protests against his plutocracy into a butchery: more than 100,000 dead, more than two million refugees (UNHCR numbers: one million more refugees in 6 months).
The Syrian dictator has violated International Law by using lethal chemicals in a mass attack on a civilian population (inside his own capital city).
Doing so, the dictator also committed a crime against humanity by killing hundreds of children, knowing full well that the gas would sink in underground shelters where women and children had taken refuge. That does not make him legally different than the worst Nazis.
(Klaus Barbie, who had personally tortured to death around 5,000 people, was condemned to life detention by a French court for the murder of 34 children. Why? Because killing children as a hate crime is a crime against humanity. No prescription. That’s just one thing one can demonstrate Assad just planned to do, assassinating 462 children, at least.)
Chomsky has called an intervention in Syria a war crime.
Chomsky’s indignation against imperialism is so parody, it has no bite. The real problem is plutocracy, not imperialism. There are empires all over. I condemn Bush’s attack against Iraq in 2003 or Carter’s attack against Afghanistan in 1979. Posing as anti-establishment, while being part of it, as Chomsky is confusing.
Chomsky claims that the usage of neurotoxins by the Syrian government is not credible. He thus contradicts the evidence put forward by the French and American governments, and common sense. (The French government web sites have more than 100 shocking videos of gas poisoning in progress.)
I expect no less from someone whose scientific reputation rests on a silly theory of language (“innate grammar“; a theory that someone familiar with varied languages, can only smirk about).
This being said, Chomsky does a nice job as crazy, well meaning uncle in the attic.
Why can’t you embrace non violence?
Non violence contradicts the essence of man. Those who practice it religiously deny reality and invite moral disaster.
Gandhi embraced violent non violence that made him the self declared friend of Hitler, and caused the partition of India along superstitious lines, killing millions. So he was a disaster, although an icon to the fanatical non violent, and that makes sense.
By contrast, Mandela, also a lawyer, embraced violence when he saw no other effective way. By using bombs, Mandela earned the respect of his racist enemies, to the point he was able to change their minds.
Homo Sapiens Sapiens is an extremely violent species. Quasi by definition. Be it only violence in the noble sense of using force. Homo SS has never been as violent as he is now, when he is threatening the entire planet, by his mere existence. Yet, non violence is not an option.
Because technology itself is violent. Yet, without it, most of humanity would die. Moreover, solutions to the dilemmas at hand, like the CO2 poisoning of the atmosphere, will involve great force, great imperium (say putting international flying, or even much trade, out of reach of the commoners).
The key to survival, of the humanity we have, is not to lie supine, but to call for ever more violence, or, if you prefer that semantics, force, while channeling it where it will do necessary good.
Politics is about making the lesser of two cruel choices always. Those who do not want to impose, or suggest, the application of cruelty, should stay out of politics.
Is not that too radical a position?
No. Take the CO2 poisoning of the planet. Obama proposed, in the same style as Obamacare, a host of regulations, all over. At best that would make for a police state, with a huge bureaucracy, a sort of Stalinism without executions. At worst, it will be costly and won’t work.
Instead the free market solution is just to change the playground ground rule, by imposing a carbon tax. Just as the free market solution for health care is Medicare For All.
You have lost me completely there. What’s the connection with Syria?
To do the right and moral thing in politics, one has to take often tough and cruel decisions. Just as Obama has long been reluctant to do. Until Libya, and now Syria. The boy is growing up.
A good politician has to take decisions that, at first will feel tough and cruel to some. Sure, it will be tough to kill Assad and his butlers. However, if one had killed Hitler and his butlers in a timely manner, more than 70 million people would not have died, and huge suffering would have been prevented.
Certainly, as a politician, it’s sometimes bad to be too good. Chamberlain thought he was good by refusing war as a solution in Munich and leaving Czechoslovakia to the wolf. That proved a disastrous decision, as the French republic and Czechoslovakia, per se, could have held off Hitler.
The planet is hurtling towards destruction at this point. The correct ideas to save the planet will feel tough and cruel to many, if not most. Because they will be so much out of what they are used to, their comfort zone. That should be explained to the naïve masses.
The Iranian president, says he is “a lawyer, not a colonel”. Is not that reassuring?
Rouhani is president. He gives orders to colonels. Or would, if the Grand Ayatollah did not pull the strings. He “strongly & completely condemns chemicals in Syria”. Yet, if he does not want to do like USA president Roosevelt in the 1930s, who argued with Hitler, but then helped him as much as he could, Rouhani should help do away with a man who gases his own capital city.
The best way to avoid serious wars is to show to fanatics, and persuade them, that violation of International Law and crimes against humanity will be met with the Wrath Of God, right away. A language they understand.
Don’t you think that spurning the UN Security Council is ill-advised? Chomsky said that was a war crime.
Chomsky barks, history will forget him. The French Republic intervened many times, and got retrospective approval of the United Nations. The 1930s have taught the French that they should trust their instincts about human rights, and not pay too much attention to two tendencies:
1) International plutocracy’s influence (its moods, its plots, both adverse to democracy).
2) The global anti-Republic mood (one of the aspects of the anti-republican mood is the claim to cultural equivalence, aka “multiculturalism”, a mood that makes, for example Islamism equivalent to the secular democratic republic that is constitutional, and the most advanced stage of civilization, and has been, for 3,000 years).
Why Are You Pushing For Regime Change In Syria?
If one just “degraded” Assad’s capabilities, the danger is to undershoot.
1) One does not just wound a bear. Assad has engaged in terrorist acts in other countries (Lebanon). If he survives, he will feel empowered.
2) The likes of Kim have to be shown that, beyond the Red Line, there is no hope. A clear example has to be made. If we do not, Pandora’s world will open, and all evil contained therein will escape and spread over the Earth.
[Part Two Tomorrow.]