02 September 2013

Servicemens' Selfies Skeptical of Syrian Strike

After news of a chemical weapons  in Syria on August 21st , American President and 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Barack Hussein Obama and his Administration rattled the sabre about striking Syria, claiming that Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad had crossed "the red line."  But after the British House of Commons rejected supporting military action  in Syria and the American people were reminded of Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's hypocrisy about imperial presidencies,  Mr. Obama has shilly shallied and will let Congress vote. 

Now there is a phenomenon on social media which seems new and surprising-- Servicemen posting selfies.  Thankfully, it is not as revolting as Geraldo Rivera's recent Twitter  self expose, as they are pictures with a public policy purpose that are skeptical about American involvement in the Syrian Civil War. 

Unlike convicted Wiki-Leaker "I Want to Change My Privates" Bradley (a.k.a. Chelsea) Manning, he did not want to shame the military.  And the military members are not rebelling like convicted Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan who did not want to deploy in Muslim countries so he killed 13 and wounded 34 in a so called  "workplace violence"  incident.  

Normally, our brave voluntary members of the Armed Forces salute smartly when the Commander-in-Chief speaks.  Why would they risk prosecution under Article 88 of the UCMJ which prohibits contemptuous words against "the President, Vice-President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense" et ali. Moreover, they could also be pursued under the catch all Article 134 which prohibits acts of speech "that are prejudicial to good order and discipline or that could bring discredit upon the Armed Forces"?

While President Obama has claimed that he has decided to respond to the chemical weapons attack, he deferred to Congress.  Multiple leaks from the Obama Administration indicated that it was going to be a short (two to three day) aerial assault to degrade deployment capabilities and not aim for regime change.  

While it may be a questionable geopolitical objective to be the world's policeman, waiting for so long before action while leaking what the US was considering doing certainly gave the Assad regime time to hide the munitions and move innocents into place so a Tomahawk Cruise Missile strike would look like an American atrocity. 

As that President Obama has supposedly deferred to Congress without calling them back into session means at least another fortnight's delay.  Would a limited strike do any good?  What will the Obama Administration send to Congress?  

Even if the limited strike does what was intended, degrading the Assad regime's capabilities throws US into a Syrian Civil War supporting rebels that includes actual cannibals and Al Qaeda elements who remain at war with US. 

These social media postings show that some servicemen have gotten the picture in Syria. Will Congress and the American people, or will we continue to be seduced by the bluster and balderdash from this Administration?

Editor's Note 9/02/2013 22:30 EDT

The answer to why servicemen risked so much to posted skeptical signs about the Syrian strike is for propaganda purposes.

The Syrian Electronic Army hacked and hijacked the Marines.com for several hours on Labor Day  and used the striking servicemens' collage.  This suggests that the photos were staged and meant to stoke up anti-war sentiment or that a prospective enemy is capitalizing on organic opposition.  

While the spoofing cyber-attack may be an astro-turf opinion shaping, the message about involvement in an international civil war deserves vigorous debate by Congress.  Our government should conduct a cost/benefit analysis, discern if it is truly an American national interest and if the objective can be easily accomplished by a short strike or if our involvement would complicate the situation without solving the crisis. 

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