By Carla Stea: America's War on Syria, With or Without the Authorization
of the U. N. Security Council? According to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey: "Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. A decision to use force is no less than an act of war, and we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control." In a letter to Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Dempsey warns that the price of military involvement in Syria would be enormous, ultimately costing well over 1 billion dollars per month. For sixteen days this month, from October 1 through October 16, the United States government was paralyzed by a shutdown of its dysfunctional system, imperiling the world economy, shattering global confidence in the United States, which was crippled amidst a fierce dispute about budget expenditures. At stake are expenditures for medical care, social security and other social services which provide the mere basic necessities of life for the majority of the United States taxpayers, a dispute over billions of dollars for care of American citizens. It is staggering to recall that little more than one month ago, the Wall Street Journal headlined: "US Makes Case for Strike as Military Builds in Mideast," despite the alarming assessment by the US military's chief expert, General Dempsey, explicitly advising against the dire risks and exorbitant cost of US military action against the Syrian Government. Nowhere is the irrational, indeed suicidal character of the capitalist system revealed more blatantly than in this glaring disconnect between the warning of the disastrous cost and consequences of military action, by the foremost military expert in the United States, General Dempsey, and the decision to ignore his expertise, and reckless embark on that most profitable of oligarch capitalist enterprises, war. This decision was announced on the front page of the Wall Street Journal merely one month after Dempsey clearly opposed such wanton, reckless military action. President Obama, a professor of Constitutional Law, had decided to attack the government of Syria, a sovereign nation which had not attacked the government of Syria, a sovereign nation which had not attacked the United States, without authorization by the United Nations Security Council, "without the international consensus he championed during his rise to power. Britain wouldn't be a partner, neither would the Arab League. No other multilateral institution had authorized the use of military force against Syria." Perhaps to avoid the risk of impeachment, perhaps restrained by a rational reluctance to further bankrupt the already failing United States economy, and possibly ignited a world war, Obama decided to leave the decision to a Congressional vote, with bleak prospects for support there. In one of history's great ironies, it was Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov who rescued the Obama Administration from the self-destructive military adventure it had embarked upon, and provided the practical, face-saving solution to Obama's dilemma of appearing either week or outrageously irresponsible. Russia offered Obama a solution by advising the removal and destruction of chemical weapons from Syria instead of military strikes, thereby throwing a lifeline to the American President, sparing him the ignominy and insanity of another military involvement.