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Are You Syrias?

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While the rest of the country is talking about Miley Cyrus stripping down to her underwear and grinding on MTV’s illustrious Video Music Awards show (how can they have video awards if they don’t show videos anymore?), the fine folks in Washington have decided that yes, we need to get involved in the bullshit going on in Syria.

“Syria? What’s going on in Syria?”

Well, while we were worrying whether or not Paula Deen is a racist (hint: she probably is), Syria has been involved in a civil war for a couple of years now. And last week there was allegedly a chemical attack from the government on the rebels. A chemical attack would violate the Geneva convention. Chemical attacks are horrible and leave after effects on the land and people for years and years afterwards. (If you’ve never seen them, do a Google Image Search for “Agent Orange Effects“.)

Now, be sure to notice that I used the word “allegedly” up there. Why? Because nobody knows if there actually was a chemical attack or not. The rebels showed a video of rows and rows of bodies, most of which had no wounds. There were reports that the government released rockets with chemical payloads on them into this area.

The Syrian government claims that the rebels were the ones using the chemical agents. They claim that their own soldiers were suffocating from the gas when they entered the area where the attack allegedly took place.

So with all that clear, Secretary of State John Kerry decided that the rebels were right and that this attack “would not go unanswered”.

“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world,” Kerry said. “It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard it is inexcusable…and it is undeniable.”

Except, you know, it IS deniable. It’s clearly deniable because nobody knows who the hell actually used chemical weapons (if they were used at all). Keep in mind that the UN has investigators in Syria right now. They arrived shortly before the chemical attack was supposed to have happened. I could be wrong, but I would think that if I knew the UN was doing an investigation and I would be tried for war crimes, I probably wouldn’t unleash the kraken at that time. (The kraken is chemical weapons, by the way. Just so we’re clear.)

The Obama administration will release a declassified report justifying a U.S. military strike in Syria in the next couple of days. This past Saturday, Barack Obama called his national security team to discuss what to do in Syria. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (the guy who claimed the NSA accidentally spies on US citizens) gave a detailed analysis of the evidence on the chemical weapons attack. And based on this and other “evidence”, the administration now believes there is a near air-tight circumstantial case that the Syrian regime was behind it.

I’m gonna repeat that last part, and I’m going to highlight a few words, just in case you missed them.

The administration now believes there is a near air-tight circumstantial case that the Syrian regime was behind it.

I want to get this straight. In our legal system here in the US, circumstantial evidence – even if it’s “near air-tight” – isn’t enough for a conviction. But it’s good enough for us to join a war. (And Mr. Kerry, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t suggest I should adjust my moral compass based on the advice of a career politician.)

I’m not saying we shouldn’t get involved in Syria. Over the past couple of years, more than 100,000 people have died. And that’s horrible. But I can’t help but wonder if, just for once, the US needs to try to fix shit at home before we end up in our own civil war. The UN has inspectors there for a reason – lets let them do their job.

Then we can all go back to worrying about Miley Cyrus uninterrupted.

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