4 pages, 9 days, and dozens of unanswered questions.

4 Pages

The U.S. government released a four-page unclassified intelligence report detailing Syria’s use of chemical weapons from an August 21st attack.  This is the background the Obama administration has chosen to provide the American people, a four-page report that is supposed to justify a military strike on Syria.

Given the seriousness of the situation the United States is currently faced with, the justification for potentially going to war with another nation is condensed to a miniscule four-page brief about Syria’s actions.  This is what we are supposed to be comforted by, what the American people are supposed to trust in and believe that our government is doing the right thing.

9 days

The intelligence report released claims that the chemical weapons attacks took place on August 21, 2013.  Today is August 30th.  It has been nine days since the attack, and the United States government has brought up the concept of a military strike well before today.  Senior U.S. officials were telling news sources that strikes could come as early as yesterday (for those keeping count, that is eight days since the chemical attack).   It took the U.S. almost a month to invade Afghanistan after the September 11th attacks, and this involved an actual attack on our country.

Unanswered questions

What will a military strike even do for the U.S.? For Syria?  For the Syrian people?  How do we justify it as a benefit to anyone?  The White House has not been as forthcoming as many would have liked about its justifications and costs/benefits.

“It’s important for us to recognize that when over a thousand people are killed, including hundreds of innocent children, through the use of a weapon that 98 or 99 percent of humanity says should not be used even in war, and there is no action, then we’re sending a signal,” he said.  -President Obama (NYtimes)

But when thousands of innocent people, including hundreds of innocent children, are killed by being run over by tanks, shot in the head, and blown up by their own government, this is not something that 98 or 99 percent of humanity says should not be used even in war.

Cross-posted from centerleft.org