With Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in play, no one really cares about the details: with Syria, the threshold ventured in March would seem to have been crossed in August, scaling up a dollop of death in one context to a brazen full-scale assault — 1,400 dead, 400 of them children, according to the Obama Administration — on innocents.
Must something be done?
MOSCOW — Syria on Monday quickly welcomed a call from Russia, its close ally, to place Syrian chemical arsenals under international control, then destroy them to avert a U.S. strike, but did not offer a time frame or any other specifics.
Russia To Push Syria To Put Chemical Weapons Under International Control Huffington Post 9/9/2013
Whether a disingenuous gesture to buy time or a sincere one to wage its war with the will of men and conventional machinery and materiel rather than with invisible, odorless clouds of poison, the gesture would seem to acknowledge culpability and guilt, and that with Russian encouragement to assemble, surrender (to international control), and destroy chemical weapons stores while also joining the signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
It appears that a kind of monster born in German laboratories, manufactured in U.S. subsidiaries, and shipped out to several middle east states under cover of the “dual use” use label — all along the conception, development, and delivery line knew it would come to this, even though Syria worked out the details itself — must now be contained and destroyed in an active, “existential”, zero-sum kind of battleground.
Rick Ungar writing for Forbes today notes well the motivation: “Putin understands very well that he stands to gain far more by being the man responsible for taking Assad’s chemical stockpile out of the game than he stood to gain by being responsible for any future use of the same.”
It’s hard remaining evil when one wants most to look good and to be perceived as just and heroic.
Still, one recognizes that one recognizes a correct and right course and side, and that is the consequence of the presence of conscience.
And if Putin has a conscience . . .
It’s not all public relations.
The world will not care whether Obama or Putin or other forces remove from battlefields — and if for all time, then good — the chemical weapons option. It is the other side of the equation — the one that would forestall the wanting to use such weapons — that would seem troublesome, i.e., the cultivation of conscience sufficient to turn a destructive capacity and drive, also the license afforded grandiose ambitions and delusions, toward courses more empathetic, kind, liberating, noble, and productive.
Aside: a world that wants for basic resources, starting with energy and possibly ending with oxygen, must tame war itself, even if starting with the most barbaric of its rough edges, for the contemporary mix of exceedingly dangerous nuclear technologies and equally fragile alternative wonders (like solar-electric farms) demands that the exceptionally egotistical and reckless among leaders — those who too readily sacrifice others, including their own constituents and their children — be no more.
Such have become everyone’s monsters.
By dragging Truthout URLs to this section, I have not joined the left, but I have as broad a spectrum of civil and gracious friends as I believe it possible to have in the online social networks, and so, as may we all, I get a good walk around the dimension of subjects of interest.
Chemical Weapons Convention (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)
Obama’s Case for Syria Didn’t Reflect Intel Consensus Truthout 9/9/2013
Syria: Six Alternatives to Military Strikes Truthout 9/6/2013
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