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The farce in Syria

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Good day, Editor,

 
I recently met up with a gentleman who I have known for a number of years.  A gentleman who voted for the current occupant of the Oval Office.  “Well, what do you think now?,” he asked.  “Trump attacked Syria.”  Answer:  “It is not what I think, but rather yourself.  You voted for Trump, and you got Hillary.”  Reply:  “That is terrible.”  Riposte:  “So’s resorting to the use of force without including Congress and even worse, eschewing the Constitution or even the War Powers Act.”
 
Trump stated, at one point, that he was going to pull American troops from Syria.  Enter John Bolton; a dyed-in-wool Neocon (a persuasion to which Hillary subscribes) who now has the ear of Trump.  The same Bolton who favors bombing Iran and North Korea.  And so the “tough” maverick from Gotham wilted again.  Just as he did after he took office by taking on eight representatives from Goldman Sachs, on the heels of vilifying that omnipotent financial institution during the run up to the election in November 2016.  Indeed, the Philistine from Queens is just another prevaricator sailing under false colors.  But how successful was the strike?

 
First, it was a pinprick raid.  An action taken by a government needing to save face as opposed to actually accomplishing anything of substance; supported, in this case, by such lapdogs as Britain and France.  The standard bearers of the West unleashed some 105 cruise missiles onto three targets considered affiliated with Assad’s chemical weapons program.  However, much of Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructure – including the ability to deliver same – remain largely intact.  An historical parallel manifests itself here:  Iraq.  The U.S. and Britain attacked on March 19, 2003, resulting in a miserable political failure, to which Syria is a result.  And Assad is saved here because of Russia and to a lesser extent, the growing power of Iran which has been accentuated by American blundering in Iraq.  But Russia is a key here.  
 
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, France warned that without a viable counterweight, America as the sole superpower would be a development dangerous to the international scene . . . a prognostication which has proven correct.  But in Syria, Washington cannot – at least at this stage – prosecute the Neocon agenda of removing Assad because of . . . Russian involvement.  Putin’s Russia is certainly not the counterweight of the Soviet Union; but, it is a counterweight in the Levant nevertheless; just as it is proving an impediment to NATO expansion into Ukraine.
 
The U.S. Department of Defense has asserted on more than one occasion that the attack was intended to prevent further Syrian government use of chemical weapons.  However, as opposed to last year’s strike against Shayrat air base, the recent attack avoided the proximity of Russian or Iranian troops.  And so while Russian and Iranian deployments did not deter American attacks, they have severely restricted Washington’s options; which is aggravated by the fact that last year’s attack at the Shayrat air base did not stop the use of chemical weapons . . . and this recent expression of frustration will probably be just as successful.  
 
Washington, at one point, drew a red line at the employment of nerve agents, as opposed to such less potent types as chlorine or even phosgene, World War I gas agents which attack the lungs.  Problem with proportionality is determining whether chemical agents were even used; which can be an issue when small amounts are unleashed, especially on a confused battlefield such as Syria.  So launching strikes over small applications can be a dilemma of the most concerted type.
 
But of major concern is the legality for such an employment of military power.  Congress, it seems, was not consulted; of course, one must advance the question as to whether the current occupant of the Oval Office has ever read our blueprint for government.  General Mattis, on the other hand, offered, in a news briefing, that Trump had Constitutional authority . . . a curious assessment from a man who should know better since Trump does not have such authority.  Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, sees the President as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.  The Constitution, though, gives Congress the power to declare war, under Article I, Section 8; it is Congress, too, with the power to raise armies and navies; again, not the President.  Democrats have been making noises as to the Constitutionality of Trump’s actions in Syria; an insincerity at its most hypocritical.  The previous occupant of the Oval Office, that Windy City graduate of the Daly School of Politics, avoided the Constitution altogether, as well as the War Powers Act, with his shenanigans in Libya, a point made by Jim Himes when running for reelection in November 2016.  Interesting aspect here is that Chicago’s favorite son, a Democrat, was supposed to be Constitutional lawyer.
 
The poverty of deference for and compliance with the Rule of Law by our selected (elected) officials clearly betrays the present state of the nation; a condition to which the average American voter is equally culpable, since on many occasions foreign policy sojourns are carried out in the “name of the American people” . . . therefore, guilt by association.  This lack of regard for Constitutional precepts by many in the electorate as well as office holders clearly demonstrates why America is in irrevocable decline; the result of an Elective Despotism which breeds a tyranny antithetical to the communion of sympathy and interests for representative government; forging deep political wounds resistant to the medicament of elections, lacerations oozing gangrenous with germs such as corporate greed, cronyism and corruption.  Indeed, representative government and empire are opposing poles on the bar of irreconcilability.  No nation, for long, can practice both; since the latter will eventually corrupt the former; suborning constitutional government, transferring power to a privileged elite while at the same time, reducing the citizenry to a spiritless, pigeon-hearted inert mass, incapable of little more than following the dictates of their masters. . .               
Mark Albertson
Norwalk

7 comments

Diane Lauricella May 13, 2018 at 7:31 am

Interesting wordsmithery, Mr. Albertson! Last paragraph should become a “must read” in high school civics classes and on posterboards displayed at voting sites.

Rick May 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Have to agree Mark there are times we need more assurance the country is heading in the right direction. We also know others disagree with your take.

I like to compare tragedy with our local scene.

Trump has 8 reps from Goldman spread out we have 1 former Goldman Sachs banker whose district includes the hedge fund capitals of Greenwich and Stamford, Conn.

lacerations oozing gangrenous with germs such as corporate greed, cronyism and corruption. we have it Dc , but I feel we have it in Norwalk as well.

collapse is not what we see in Armorment from any country, and if we wage war on the banking world with nothing more than a pen it does save lives.

But if Trump scares some of us, wonder what he does to them?

You bring up a lot so its not tit for tat , but I am glad you and Himes don.t have all the facts in front of you, your not in the white house.

Jim can never be in the White house, maybe you could. Jim has 2.6 million to run for office and will probably spend more than that.

How do we know what the attacks brought, when we hit on chemical weapons, Im sure our Intelligence never checked in with Jim , why would they he is a banker with a big roll for reelection. If it wasn’t for Trump what has he done? He hasn’t had time to lift a finger for Norwalk.

Id like to give those not mentioned some credit, you know the American sons and daughters who stand proud of their job and what they do every day. Like during past service our forces never talked about their service, still today we have octogenarians still committed to secrecy on long forgotten projects that reflect our today’s forces.

I grew up in places where Honeywell GE General Dynamics Glock Goodrich Olin and many others were committed to our country, some still remain.

Im no fan to those who never went to war and have all the answers, yes Trump fits that mold but think about those elected that fit he same profile. I didn’t realize Hillary served.

Jim Himes is no hero,nor is Murphy he is at 12 million as I write this.

But those who serve Trump are for the most part, the ones we rely on if the call comes.They didn’t run their mouth or run for office they were picked and confirmed.

I think what we need now is Americans behind our enlisted force , have you seen what China and other pumping out for military items?

Rather we practice with chemical plants and get our equipment right than fall flat on our face with no real time if a country decides to go for it against us.

I did like your article and have always respected opinion , im still an American with a picture of Kennedy over the mantle no matter what i say.

Mark Albertson May 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Good day, Rick,

Concur with you about Mr. Himes, being a Goldman Sachs grad; and, unfortunately, have to bolster your opinion on the local level. However, if you have additional questions, I will be at the South Norwalk Library, next Saturday, May 19, 2:00 PM. Presenting the Well Regulated Militia and why it no longer exists . . . and its implications.

Have a tremendous day.

Mark A.

Audrey Cozzarin May 14, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Dear Mark,
Would you be able to publish some form of your presentation at the library this Saturday? My husband and I are unable to attend (have a family gathering), and are sorry we’ll miss it. Perhaps Nancy On Norwalk or The Norwalk Hour could cover it?

Mark Albertson May 15, 2018 at 6:41 am

Good day, Audrey,

I am writing up a handout for the talk, to which I will provide copies on Saturday (includes a bibliography of research as well). I would gladly make a copy available for you. Contact Nancy for my email address and then contact me. Use this reply to obtain my contact points from Nancy. So when you contact me, will reply with the handout.

Have a tremendous day.

Mark A.

Bryan Meek May 15, 2018 at 10:54 am

So Obama ignores the genocide in Syria for 8 years, gives Iran $billions in cash illegally so they can continue to foment terror in the region, and somehow it’s Trump’s fault for cleaning up the mess and crushing ISIS in less than a year.

And oh yeah I remember all this writer’s missives about the abuse of the war powers act when it came to Obama handing Libya over to ISIS without congressional approval. The only thing missing today is the weekly protests on the front of City Hall that vanished the day Obama became president.

Mark Albertson May 15, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Good day, Bryan,

Concur with you about Obama, who set the stage for Trump. And Bush, Jr., who helped to set the stage for Obama. It will only get worse as we go along, not better.

Mark A.

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