- Marshall Accepts Bid to 2013 Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
- Marshall Falls to Rice in Conference USA Football Championship
- MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: Defense Dept. Contracts for Dec. 6, 2013
- Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coin Available December 9
- BOOK REVIEW: 'The Devil's Son': WV Native's Novel Focuses on Cap Hatfield, Who Ended the Famous Feud Between the Hatfields and McCoys
- BOOK REVIEW: 'The Eternal Wonder': Pearl Buck's Last Novel Manuscript Discovered in Texas Storage Unit
- Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Discusses Mortgage Rules at Consumer Federation of America Meeting
- FLASHBACK: Transcripts Reveal Technetium, Neptunium and Plutonium at Huntington Pilot Plant Concern Over Parking Lot Radiation Expressed
- Poor Shooting Dooms Marshall at Penn State
- National Influenza Vaccination Week: December 8-14, 2013
OP-ED: Presidential Doublespeak on Syria
It was, sadly, pure doublespeak.
Among other things, the president avoided having to admit he might not have the votes in Congress to authorize a missile strike against Syria. On the other hand, he totally avoided the human tragedy that it was conventional kinds of arms and other means that had done in an estimated 100,000 Syrians and made it necessary for millions more to become refugees.
Thus, even if the idea of the chemical inventory removal could be implemented, the stuff would have to somewhere, making another location similarly deadly and either a potential target for some sort of strike or, worse, a launching point for destinations unknown. Even more of concern is that the inventory could fall into the hands of several of Assad's friends, rendering any sort of control still more complex and questionable.
Ideas like the proposed chemical standdown are not new. What is troublesome and puzzling is for those who actually believe even such discussions “give peace a chance.” The fallacy of such belief was demonstrated above in the third paragraph. Beyond this, it was our own Secretary of State John Kerry who, when asked what Assad could do to avert a strike, almost laughingly tossed off the idea Assad could get rid of all his chemical weapons forthwith, accompanied by reliable independent inspections….and then Kerry added it could not be done.
That it fell to the Russians to seize on the idea was a genuinely clever public relations stunt,with not even the president reminding the folks from Moscow it was they who energetically questioned the idea Assad and crew even had those nasty weapons as Assad said the same thing in strong language. So the unquestioned idea posed by the Russians and seemingly supported by President Assad put the lie to their earlier denials, important facts totally overlooked as the euphoria of the strike standdown continued to grow.
In one case, an otherwise highly reputable commentator voiced the idea to “give peace a chance” as if the chemical warfare discussion would yield some measure of calm amid the bloody civil war, something those on the receiving end of Syrian military fire know is not the case at all.
No sane person questions the insanity of the use of those chemical weapons and the tragic results they inflict, and any effective means to reduce or eliminate them everywhere should certainly be supported BUT with reliable means to get rid of and destroy such weapons altogether…if those who have to do this job can see to it the weapons and associated materials and equipment actually are done away with safely, quickly and certifiably.
But Assad is no fool and knows the complexity of what has been proposed. He also knows two other things at the very least: first, Western attention is suddenly riveted on the idea to get rid of chemicals, second, he can proceed as he has been, leveling whole neighborhoods and towns and killing men , women and children in the hundreds daily with the certain and declared knowledge neither the United States nor its allies will try to unseat the Syrian dictator.
In the end, the President’s powerful and impassioned speech to the nation on Tuesday ,September 10, on the eve of another date that will live in infamy (9/11) never addressed those realities. And, having addressed the people in Syria and across the Middle East, he effectively left the message we’re working to stop any more use of chemical warfare but will not be interfering in the Syrian civil war or working to unseat the Syrian dictator, the very dictator we did not pay much attention to diplomatically until the rebellion arose with its deadly and continuing human toll.
To the men, women and children in the Syrian streets and villages, the President essentially punched their TS cards and suggested they do their best.* * *
Joseph J. Honick is a Bainbridge Island, WA-based international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications, including www.huntingtonnews.net. Honick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.