[Marxism] Why Alan Grayson & Sarah Palin are together on Syria

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 13:32:49 MDT 2013

      Why Alan Grayson & Sarah Palin are together on Syria

> Democratic Congressmember Alan Grayson of Florida, member of the House
> Foreign Affairs Committee has been one of the most outspoken opponents
> of Obama's plan to punish the Assad regime with military strikes for
> its use of chemical weapons.
> There are many good reasons for opposing these planned strikes, like
> to begin with, they aren't even being done with the primary goal of
> effecting a positive outcome in Syria. They aren't being done as any
> part of a plan to bring an end to a civil war that has cost more than
> a 110,000 lives
> <http://www.yalibnan.com/2013/09/01/0ver-110000-killed-in-syria-war-sohr/>.
> They are being done for reasons that have to do with international
> diplomacy, superpower threat credibility and regional power politics.
> In short, because Bashar al-Assad littered Barack Obama's /"red-line"/
> with 400 dead children.
> There are good reasons and ways of opposing these planned strikes that
> aren't selfish, don't denigrate and misrepresent the people fighting
> to free Syria from a murderous dictatorship or implicitly support the
> Assad Regime, and then there is Alan Grayson. He was on Democracy Now
> <http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/5/rep_alan_grayson_on_syria_congress#>
> on Thursday talking about the fight against Obama's war resolution in
> the House. He listed four reasons Congress seems overwhelmingly
> opposed to this or any military intervention in the carnage in Syria:
>     REP. ALAN GRAYSON: Well, I think that the forces of warmongering
>     and the forces of the military-industrial complex are headed for
>     an historic defeat in the House. According to the New York --- The
>     Washington Post whip count as of this morning, there are 19
>     members of Congress in favor of this resolution and 174 against.
>     And the reasons are simple: It's not our responsibility, it's not
>     going to do any good, it's expensive, and it's dangerous. And
>     those arguments are winning the day among House members, both
>     Democrat and Republican. 
> Now as you can see, Grayson's four reasons aren't so much objections
> to Obama's current request as they are general objections that could
> be raised against /any/ intervention in Syria. Let's look at them
> individually:
>  1. *It's not our responsibility
>     * This is a deeply philosophical question at least as old as Cain
>     and Able. The obvious response, especially when it is posed by the
>     richest and most powerful country in the world is: If it's not our
>     responsibility, then whose is it? All of the world's great
>     religions have affirmed our responsibility to humanity as a whole.
>     I know communists do. I think my written contributions to the
>     Syrian struggle speak for themselves. We all have to make a
>     personal decision as to what is and isn't /"our responsibility,"/
>     as does our country, but I will say this: We are but the
>     inhabitants of one small blue planet floating in the milky way. We
>     will all strive or perish together. I fear this is something the
>     /"not our responsibility crowd"/ on either the right or the left,
>     still don't get.
>  2. *It's not going to do any good
>     * Now that is just a very bad attitude to begin with. While it is
>     probably true about the current Obama proposal, the fact remains
>     that a regime that the United States help to put into power
>     <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-us-help-put-assad-in-power-in-syria_6502.html>,
>     that the CIA has worked with on special rendition and torture, has
>     done the vast majority of the killing in a bloody civil war that
>     has cost 110,000 lives and, with the introduction of chemical
>     weapons as tools of mass slaughter, is poised to kill many more if
>     nothing is done. It is also a fact that in two and a half years,
>     diplomacy has not worked.
>     So opposition to Obama's punishment strikes does not relieve
>     congress of the responsibility, IMHO, of developing a
>     counterproposal designed to do some good. It should be a plan to
>     stop the bloodletting and I think it is clear that there can be no
>     meaningful relief for the Syrian people without a military
>     response to Assad's repression machinery. That can best be done by
>     arming the revolutionaries but a no-fly zone should not be ruled
>     out because it would be the quickest way to stop Assad from
>     killing most efficiently with /"Death from Above."/
>     In any case, while /"it's not going to do any good"/ may be a good
>     argument against a bad proposal, it's a bad argument for doing
>     nothing.
>  3. *It's expensive
>     * Expense is alway relative. Rescue operations, military or not,
>     tend to be expensive. The costs have to be weighed against the
>     lives saved. In Syria now, close to 200 people a day are being
>     killed in this conflict, mainly because of the fascist regime's
>     overwhelming superiority in air power and heavy weapons. That is
>     very expensive in blood, but Grayson wasn't considering that
>     expense here, he was arguing that to do anything about it would be
>     expensive in dollars.
>     But before congress can decide if it's too expensive, first they
>     need a viable plan to end the conflict and stop the bloodletting.
>     Then they will need to determine the likely cost to implement the
>     plan and then weigh that against the lives likely saved and the
>     destruction averted and then they can make a moral judgment as to
>     whether its too expensive or not.
>     Of course, Sarah Palin will probably say it's too expensive even
>     if it costs two cents because /"It's not our responsibility."/
>  4. *It's dangerous
>     * Military operations tend to be dangerous. Rescue operations tend
>     to be dangerous. Being a witness in a criminal trial can be
>     dangerous. Many things well worth doing can be dangerous.
>     And then there is always the danger of not fighting the
>     conflagration. 
> So we can see that the four reasons Alan Grayson lists for not
> supporting intervention in Syria are very general and are good reasons
> for not doing many things that won't benefit you directly. They may
> all be good reasons not come forward as a witness in a criminal trial.
> They are all good reasons not to save somebody.
> Just this morning, ABC's Good Morning America told the story
> <http://gma.yahoo.com/video/marine-gets-beat-down-trying-134515138.html>
> of a white ex-Marine who came upon three white thugs beating up a
> black kid and his father. He immediately jumped in and helped the
> father defend the kid. Soon he was taking the brunt of the thugs'
> rage, but he saved the kid and the thugs got arrested. The ex-Marine
> got badly beaten up for his troubles but everybody is calling him a
> hero and a Good Samaritan. It's lucky for that kid and his father, and
> whoever these thugs would have targeted next, that Alan Grayson wasn't
> around to make his four points before our hero let his humanity take over.
> Grayson's callus disregard for the suffering of ordinary Syrians
> really shows in the latter parts on the interview:
>     We've had a civil war now for several years there, which has
>     managed to conduct itself without our intervention up to this
>     point, and we're likely to have it for some time in the future.
> What is being called a civil war in Syria is largely a government
> killing anyone who opposes it whether they have armed themselves or
> not. That has cost 110,000 lives so far but since they aren't American
> lives, he doesn't really give a cent.
> Then he goes on to do something else that is curiously characteristic
> of those opposed to intervention, he tries to belittle the Syrian
> death toll:
>     I will point out to you that there's more people who died last
>     year in the Mexican drug war than died in Syria.
> According to the SOHR
> <http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4424952,00.html>, 110,000
> Syrians have been killed in the conflict since March 2011.
> According to the NY Times
> <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/world/americas/mexico-updates-drug-war-death-toll-but-critics-dispute-data.html?_r=0>
> in January 2012, 47,515 people had been killed in drug-related
> violence since late 2006. According to Wikipedia
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Drug_War>, 6,800 were killed so
> far in 2013, and Mexico is a much bigger country.
> So he is wrong on the facts but the real question is why is he
> dragging Mexico into a discussion about Syria in the first place? He
> is doing the same thing Obama did earlier when he pointed to the
> tragedy of the Congo
> <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-obama-connection-to-congo-warlord.html>
> as the reason not to do anything in Syria. /"There are other
> problems."/ he cries. It is an old and shabby excuse for not
> addressing the problem at hand.
> Finally he pleads again that the superpower simply suffers from a
> poverty of ability:
>     We cannot dictate, much less even influence, what goes on in
>     Syria. It started as a civil war. It's evolving into a proxy war
>     between Shiite Muslim fundamentalists and Sunni Muslim
>     fundamentalists, both of whom historically are our enemies. I
>     can't believe I'm saying this, but I think that Palin actually has
>     this right: Let Allah sort it out.
> Since Alan Grayson is /suppose/ to be a progressive, I can't believe
> he is saying that either.
> Sarah Palin was making a play on words. She was alluding to a
> statement first made by a French Cistercian monk named Arnaud Amalric
> in 1209. He was assisting Simon de Montfort, a French nobleman and
> Crusader who had been promised by the aptly named Pope Innocent III
> that he could keep the land of any heretic he killed. When he ask the
> monk how he should tell the Catholics from the heretics, Amalric
> reportedly told him /"Kill them all and let God sort it out."/
> Since then it has been repeated with John Wayne like vibrato by
> killers in every war of aggression including Vietnam, Afghanistan and
> Iraq, to justify killing everybody.
> So to watch mass murder happening and see the innocent, even the
> children, cut down along with your favorite heretic and offer not even
> sympathy, saying /"let God sort it out"/ is already depraved, IMHO.
> But Palin doesn't say /"God,"/ she says /"Allah"/ which might be a
> proper translation if she normally called God /"Allah,"/ but she
> doesn't. She is just being disparaging towards Islam along with being
> disdainful about the thousands of lives lost. When I first heard it, I
> had no trouble understanding that Sarah Palin's statement was informed
> by a racist opinion of Arabs. Now what am I to conclude about Alan
> Grayson's endorsement of it?
> What I conclude is that this much celebrated left-right unity that is
> being built between the Tea Party and MoveOn.org, between Rand Paul
> and IAC, between Alan Grayson and Sarah Palin, is not based on any new
> enlightenment on the part of the conservatives, it is base on the
> slinking back to opportunism by a part of the Left.
> Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria
> <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2012/12/my-syria-diaries_1014.html>

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