I’m not going to lie. The last couple of weeks following this Syria nonsense has left me feeling more frazzled then usual.
Seriously, last weekend I had real bacon and eggs for the first time in months.
There’s nothing like the prospect of another war in the Middle East to drive a man into the arms of real pig meat.
So you can imagine my relief when it was announced that Assad was accepting a Russian backed plan to turn over it’s chemical weapons. Thus assuring for the moment that we would not be throwing missiles around in the Middle East. As recent history has shown, that never ends well.
(By the way, to my friends on the left, can we please stop saying that Obama was once again proving his skill at Multi-dementional chess. The fact is that he was on the verge of doing something stupid and potentially catastrophic. It was only the sheer magnitude of people screaming “Fuck, No.” that made him think twice. The only credit I’ll give him is that when Russia gave him the opportunity to pull a Mulligan, he grabbed it with both hands.)
So obviously, it looks like we owe Russia a solid.
Which would be fine if Vladimir Putin didn’t decide to be a total prick about it in an Op-Ed for the New York Times.
“RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.”
Translation: I just made Obama look feckless in front of the International Community and now…I’m gonna strut!!
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
It should be noted that the conflict started in Syria with Non-Violent protests as part of the Arab Spring and got upgraded to Civil War when Assad started slaughtering his citizens. (H/T to The Washington post for the link. Scroll down to Number 3 for the pertinent stuff although the whole article is an excellent primer on the Syrian Mess.)
It’s only when the killing began that everyone else jumped in for a piece of the action.
“From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.”
It should be noted that as late as July 19th of this year, Russia was using it’s veto power in the Security Council to protect Syria from UN imposed sanctions. Effectively gumming up the works. If they hadn’t, maybe things wouldn’t have been as dire as they are now.
And by the way, I don’t think selling weapons to Assad qualifies as advocating “Peaceful Dialogue”, unless that dialogue is being written by Tom Clancy.
“No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.”
The Jury is still out on that. The UN inspectors are expected to publish their report on Monday.
No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.
We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
I’m going to pause for a moment to allow the Russian Republic of Georgia to clear it’s throat.
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.
That’s a very surprising statement from a man who was quoted in February that victory “is in our genes, in our genetic code.” Not to mention all those shirtless photos designed to show you as a manly man of action. Which by the way, you may want to cut down on. They used to be cute but now it looks like you’re this close to advertising yourself in “The Stranger” as a power bottom.
Which interestingly enough, brings us to this last, little bit.
There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
That popping sound you hear? That’s Dan Savage’s head exploding.
On June 30 this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” thus opening a new, dark chapter in the history of gay rights in Russia. The law caps a period of ferocious activities by the Russian government aimed at limiting the rights of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.
The violations of fundamental, constitutionally protected rights of Russia’s gay citizens have included multiple bans on gay pride parades in Moscow and other cities, hefty fines to gay rights groups accused of acting as a “foreign agent,” denial of registration to nongovernmental organizations, and regional laws banning the propaganda of homosexuality to minors, which served as a basis for the federal law enacted by Mr. Putin and unanimously passed by the State Duma. Against this backdrop, violent attacks on gays or “suspect gays” are becoming commonplace.
“We must not forget that God created us equal.”?
Look, Putin. I’m glad you’re finally stepping in and helping to put the Kibosh on the missile slinging. I really am. And I don’t even mind that you’re dinging Obama a little bit. Honestly, in this case, he deserves it. However well meant the intentions, it would have ended badly.
But…and this is a J-Lo sized but…that does not give you the right to start shooting your big bazoo about the awesomeness of democracy particularly given the sketchiness of your last election. Honestly, it’s like getting a Temperance lecture from Charlie Sheen.
You’re not doing this for any high ideals. You’re doing this because you want to keep your Sea Port and keep selling Assad armaments. You’re not in it for the freedom, you’re not in it for safety of the little people, you’re in it for the Dead Czar’s.
You want to help us, great. We’ll take it. But please do not pretend that your shit doesn’t stink because I can pick up the whiff of sulphur from here.
Thanks for the help but pretty please with sugar on top, shut the fuck up.