*Thump* *Thump* *THUMP*
Hear that? Those are the drums of war, beating again. Once again, Obama's Nobel Prize is looking like an ever-more-foolish selection by the Nobel committee.
Once again, we're hearing the same familiar refrains about how, this time, things will be different. Somehow, many more people will not be killed (except, you know, THOSE bad guys). Somehow, this will not be expensive (even though cruise missiles cost over $1M apiece, and the smallest of the plans being contemplated (that I've heard) involves launching several hundred of those). And somehow, this will increase our standing in the world.
Never mind the man behind the curtain, who would reveal that killing more people in the Middle East would only feed terrorist organizations (no, I'm not echoing what Assad is saying, I'm saying that it would provide more propoganda material for them). And that we would be violating the UN Charter. And that it's likely that we're giving up more money (in some form or another) to placate would-be allies to give us cover to violate that charter. And that we've been allowing a great many people over there to die for a long time (and far more to be violently displaced from their homes).
And that violence never begets peace (unless you completely destroy the violent; at which point you need to rebuild their countries. Yeah, past experience shows that that's a cheap operation. And again, that it gives you a lot more terrorists to fight).
Once again, a not-terribly-close look reveals that there is no endgame planned.
Our military has gone off half-cocked entirely too many times in the last forty to fifty years. Let's not repeat the experiment.
As a weird thought, why don't we instead plow that $0.5B (again, I haven't heard an idea that would possibly cost less than that) into helping refugees and providing medical help to Syrians. That would be the long play towards winning hearts and minds in the region. Just think about al Qaeda's reaction to that. Or Saudi Arabia's. Or Iran's.