It remains a fully accredited member of the General Assembly. The government of Syria, which is recognized internationally as the ‘de jure’ or legal government of that country, is headed by Bashar al-Assad, who was elected by the Parliament as President to succeed his father Hafez l-Assad in 2000.
The Congress of the United States has not declared war against Syria. The people of the United States are not at war against the people of Syria.
We hear a lot of talk these days about “boots on the ground” in Syria. Just last week, we were told that President Obama, reversing his previous positions, has authorized the deployment of a limited number of “special ops” onto Syria soil.
This in furtherance of massively expensive ‘training and equipping’ of opponents of the al-Assad regime in pursuit of some unofficial, ill-defined, economic and/or political ‘interests’ of the United States in the Middle East.
Russia has established a military presence in Syria. They are there, presumably at the request of the Syrian government headed by Bashar al-Assad, for the purpose of bolstering his sovereignty.
So here we are, seven years into the reign of President Barack Obama, our erstwhile, amateur Commander-in Chief, literally at war with Russia on Syrian soil.
Here we are, nearly forty years after the end of the Cold War, with the immortal words of Ronald Reagan demanding that Mr. Gorbachev ‘tear down that wall’ still ringing in our ears, with two generations of cooperation between American and Russian astronauts proving that civilization on this planet has advanced beyond the primitive urge to kill anyone who speaks a different language or worships a different version of the Creator, stumbling into a shooting war thousands of miles from our homeland.
And why? To what purpose? Is the profit of the military-industrial complex so crucial to our economy that the blood of our youth must be spilled on foreign soil to bolster it?
On July 2, 1957, 181 years after the Declaration of Independence, which he called man’s noblest expression against political repression, John Fitzgerald Kennedy stood on the floor of the Senate and told his colleagues and the nation that the greatest enemy to freedom in the world is imperialism.
Imperialism is nothing more nor less than the extension of sovereignty by force of arms; conquest, invasion and subjugation. Kennedy argued, in brief, that “Algeria is for the Algerians.”
In so saying, he was recognizing the simple fact that political freedom means the right of an indigenous population to do what our founders did in 1776: “to assume among the Powers of the Earth the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”
The consent of the governed is not always given at the ballot box; indeed peaceful revolution is the rare exception in human history. The majority of the 193 nations represented on First Avenue in New York City are governed by people who came into power or are retained in power by force.
It matters not. People will have the government they choose or the government they tolerate. In the last analysis what matters is that the indigenous population is in charge.
The Soviets learned it in eastern Europe and we learned in it in Viet Nam:
You cannot control or rule a hostile indigenous population.
There was a lot of excitement among well meaning utopians about the so-called Arab Spring, which was touted as a tidal wave of modern democracy washing over the primitive governance of the Middle East.
Not hardly. It turned out to be just another chapter in the seemingly endless tribal and religious warfare that has stained the sands of Africa for centuries.
It is time for us to come home and frack our own oil.