Drunk Thoughts on Syria

28 Aug

empty brandy bottle

Last night I consumed a pint of Christian Brothers® brandy from Royale Junior Liquor Market and sat down to determine my position on U.S. Intervention in Syria.  This was not inspired by Drunk History:

I kept thinking about a guy peeling potatoes.

Originally I pictured him in one of Assad’s palaces. I heard on NPR, an expert speculating. Maybe the US would bomb the palaces to send a personal message to Assad. So I thought of a guy who works in the kitchen there. You think they let them leave when they’re going to get bombed? I’m sure there are guards standing around with AK’s, making sure the staff stays put. I kept thinking about this guy. He has a kid maybe, a girl. He was having issues with his wife, some pain in the ass in his day. But good things happened, too. His daughter did something cute, brought home a picture from school. He was employed. Lucky to be. And what other jobs are out there. You get a job for the king, you gotta take it. So he’s peeling potatoes in the kitchen. Everyone is nervous. They heard the Americans are going to bomb the country. Scared chatter. Someone makes a joke. The dark mood is broken. Then they’re all vaporized in fire. Skin blistered off, organs boiled inside their bodies. His daughter hearing the news.

Now they’re only gonna bomb military installations. So only troops will be killed, which is thought to be OK. But the same principle applies. What the fuck choice do these people have, other than joining the army? Do they have a draft in Syria? Sounds like the kind of place where they would. So some 18 year old kid HAS to hang out on this military base that’s about to get incinerated. Human beings, dying horribly. For what.

Nobody in America wants us to kill people in Syria. Nobody. We’re gonna do it anyway. We have to, they say. If we let this instance of chemical weapons use go unpunished then everyone will use chemical weapons. Therefore we must launch massive warheads from our ships, incinerate young people who are conscripted, forced to be where they are. People who would be executed for leaving. Burn them alive. Otherwise an atrocity would go unpunished.

I keep thinking of some kid in the Syrian army. Yeah, Assad is awful. Yeah, those guys are fucking the rebels. But I keep thinking of some kid who stays in back and keeps his head down and doesn’t use flamethrowers on old ladies. Just wants to do his time and get the fuck out. We’re gonna burn him alive. His kids are gonna be fatherless.

The president has to do it now though, we are told. Because he said “redline” one time. Redline means if some contingency is triggered then you MUST firebomb innocent human beings. If you don’t, what good is your word? You could never threaten to incinerate children again! You’d be a laughingstock. You’d tell someone: hey, see all these battleships with all those cruise missiles on them? We’re going to burn your young people with them. Suck the air out of their lungs, broil them in their skin, turn them to ashes in a flash of six thousand degrees. Leave children motherless, fatherless. Knock over buildings, crush people, leave them gasping, mutilated, bleeding out, legs blown off, guts hanging out, dragging themselves in smears of blood through the rubble trying desperately to live. You would threaten this, and they’d laugh at you! The president said “redline,” dammit! Redline! That means bad! It’s a thing you shouldn’t do to your car! Silly people, how could you not understand?

Nobody wants to go to war with Syria but the government does not give a fuck. The level of opposition to “intervening” in Syria– intervening means setting off huge flaming explosions that sear the skin off the faces of children– the level of opposition to “intervening” in Syria is about as high as if the president proposed bombing Cleveland. No matter though. His hand has been forced! Well if your hand can be forced, what power do you have. If you can be forced to kill people for nothing, you’re a fucking puppet. Your hand can be forced by dubious intel out of a chaotic war zone but not by the opinions of 99% of your own population, in a democracy. Get the fuck out of here.

He’s a puppet, but a puppet of what? Israel doesn’t want Assad gone, right? Isn’t the opposition Al Qaeda? There is no good alternative here. No one’s gonna make any real money off this war, are they? Raytheon? Who? We talk like we’re a big empire, like we’re the Romans levying tribute. But we LOSE money on these wars. We are the least competent empire in history. The Romans taxed people. They took stuff. They got rich. And yeah, they fought wars, but mostly they brought in hot baths and fun entertainments and people just caved. We’re a shitty empire, we hurt people and then gain nothing from our imperialism. Not even the oil companies. Would have been better for them if Hussein was still around. We don’t get money, we don’t get stability, we don’t get a better position for us or our allies or anyone. What the fuck good does the killing do? Well, if we didn’t do it, you see, shit would be even worse. No. Hundreds of thousands of people fucking died horribly. That is as bad as it gets.

Assad is awful. But of course: he goes, what comes next. Some other nut. Some more reactionary force, another Iran where people get thrown in dungeons for their haircuts. I don’t know what to do about Syria. But I know what not to do, which is set a bunch of 20 year old kids on fire. I mean, for Christ’s fucking sake.


25 Responses to “Drunk Thoughts on Syria”

  1. thrasymachus33308 August 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    This is exactly what Johnson tried to do in Vietnam- use limited military force to maintain credibility. But that is not how military force works. Be nice if Obama or Jarrett had read a few fucking books.

  2. Lucky Lothario August 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Drunk you has some pretty valid points. Over here in the UK, Cameron will probably soon join Obama’s decision. Puppets controlling puppets. Who is even in charge, if it’s not the people and it’s not our elected leaders?

  3. Alpine August 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Assad is not awful, and the rebels are basically the same guys who crashed planes into the World Trade Center.

  4. l8apex August 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    You have to follow the money and go further down the rabbithole…

    Russia has a monopoly on natural gas for europe. If Syria’s leadership changes, then a nat gas pipeline to the EU border gets built that goes through Syria. Ergo, the Saudis and others in control in the middle east want to see Syria’s leadership change. Putin wants the status quo to protect his monetary interests. And keep in mind this isn’t about countries, it’s about the folks who have the money and natural resources…

    Also, it’s still more than questionable that Assad’s side brought out the chemical weapons. The is rampant speculation that the rebels did this (probably with help from somebody like the CIA) to frame Assad.

    And now for me to take from zerohedge.com:
    Q. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    Obama: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    So how in god’s name does Obama have the right to do any of this? It’s complete and utter bullshit.

    Why should the US be messing in the internal affairs of other countries? To line the pockets of the rich, regardless of the costs of human lives and of debt to be incurred by the gov’t.

  5. K-hole August 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    “We’re a shitty empire, we hurt people and then gain nothing from our imperialism.”

    That’s a beautiful line. I’m drunk too and we’re both on pacific time. Solidarity.

  6. dannyfrom504 August 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    drunk history rocks.

  7. constantine August 29, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Here in Europe, we are alarmed by the prospect of the usual fallout of such war: Refugees. There will be both forced and voluntary displacement of Syrians and most of them will probably join other syrian and arab communities around Europe. Muslim populations (influenced by radical islam) have shown increasing difficulties in adhering to the western culture. Political correctness may propel someone to disagree with this observation but facts speak otherwise.

    From an ethical point of view, the US has accomplished a lot in dehumanizing war. Everything seems like a video game and this is worrisome. But violent death perpetuates violence and crime.

    If there shall be any regime change, it shall be the golden opportunity for the jihadists (or others of a similar creed) to rise to power. Think of the map of the region: Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt. All have been witnessing an increasing influence of islamic rhetoric in internal politics. Turkey has gone a step further, demanding restoration of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey will not repeat the mistake of 2003 by not offering its airspace to the coalition forces during the Iraq invasion. This time , Turkey shall behave as a true Nato ally and in return it shall receive concessions in relation to its territorial aspirations. Turkey’s gun boat diplomacy shall make it very difficult for Greece and Cyprus to engage into a successful gas and oil exploration in the region thus hampering the efforts of recovery from the current economic crisis. Israel shall face similar issues and the prospect of a possible retaliation of Iran may not exclude for ever the option of a preemptive strike.

    The most probable outcome (irrespective of an intervention) is the formation of three new states. An Alawite one (provided that there are some left after the genocide they will suffer), a sharia inspired Islamic state and a Kurdish one (the last is an anathema for both Turkey and Iran). All shall be antagonistic against each for years to come and you know what this means in terms of kids having their faces blown off.

  8. jakeface August 29, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    it’s what we are. a million sheep, and a few crazy narcissist oligarchs moving pawns around a board. people stick their heads in the sand, mumbling “as long as it’s not me”. also, this is why i don’t watch any news. drinking & ignorance = bliss.

  9. emily August 29, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    there is one reason i would never have your children:

    your ideas regarding race are insane.

    it’s surmountable as an imagined mother of your offspring.

    so problematic that it actually negates your fluency in latin.


    but seriously., honey,

    the second reason should seem it’s like gender–but i’m not gonna lie–if you ever had a daugher–it would be the best thing that ever happened to you.

    what is the most impossible thing for you is: change
    having a daugher would catalyst that shit

    not my problem.

    • testindo August 29, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      GD it Emily or DT. Translate this shit. She is probably smarter than Christopher Langan but no one would ever be able to tell because either she is drunk or auto type hates her. I just have this image of her as being that drunk girl who you just know is going to fall really soon with her skirt over her head but all anyone ever does is take pictures and post them on facebook instead of being like, Hey, let’s get you cleaned up and take you home. Except she’s like that just every day walking around.

      • Little Miss S August 30, 2013 at 6:06 am #

        I love Emily, she’s the best…I look forward to her comments with each post!

      • testindo August 30, 2013 at 8:17 am #

        I’m not judging her character, I’m just saying I don’t understand what she’s even trying to say and I would like to because I bet it’s just really good.

  10. dressyarson August 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Lots and lots of people are becoming unimaginably rich as a result of these wars. I read that Kellogg, Brown & Root alone have made like forty billion in the past decade on no-bid contracts. These contractors aren’t paid from direct tax revenue, but inflation of the US dollar. Trillions of new dollars are created, reducing the value of each dollar already in existence. We experience this as a continual rise in prices as that new money flows into the economy. The spoils of war are no longer plundered from some foreign kingdom, but from the middle and lower classes of the homeland.

    Incidentally, by the time Rome fell it was in dire financial straits. Monetary collapse was what brought an end to that empire. They couldn’t afford to pay their soldiers or the mercenaries they hired. The weapons were in disrepair. The economy was so terrible, people could no longer afford rent and were destitute in the streets. Perfectly fertile lands were abandoned because of onerous taxation. The coins–the aureus and the denarius, of gold and silver, respectively–were debased by replacing some of their precious metal content with base metals. Sound familiar?

    • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn September 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Hundreds of books containing millions and millions of words have been written on the fall of the Roman Empire, but you’re able to sum it up in one paragraph. Why do I have the suspicion that you read that shit on RonPaul.com?

  11. dressyarson August 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    Let me add: If you’re looking for a war profiteer, look no further than anyone you know in the military, or who works for a military contractor. Millions of people make a very good living in these institutions.

  12. testindo August 30, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    The only way we can stay relevant is by volunteering ourselves and even over extending ourselves. We want to be one of the countries that gets asked for help because it tells the rest of the world we have power. Why aren’t every other country asked for help? If we pass we don’t look strong. Passing is weaker than making the wrong decision. Passing doesn’t get you in the history books. Why do we need to look strong? Who even knows. We have a reputation to uphold. We’re high on the totem pole and the view is nice.

    Man will never be too evolved for war and destruction. Ever. It’s not a sad truth or a happy one. It personally effects people for such a short period of time that it doesn’t matter how much about it was written, the only thing that will ever be taken away from previous wars is strategy, and obviously that’s not going to happen every time. The reasons, basically, are all the same and the outcomes are, basically, all the same. Fighting for territory is in our bones as humans. Babies don’t even learn that, they just know. With respect to the US in this situation and situations like this, where we have to assert ourselves as some kind of leader, we’re not asserting, we’re defending that position, that territory in the world. Someone has to be above others.

    There is no such thing as egalitarian, not really. This country has been loud and proud since it was first born and no leader is going to want to be the one that makes the US look weaker by choice. If it happens it will be through poor decision making but that will never be the point unless some crazy person gets into office and even then the position is such that it would likely change whoever holds it.

    Anyway, people die. It sucks and it seems stupid because it is. That guy is just waiting for things to blow over but when it’s over and he’s dead he will just be another name on a wall people go to to remember the horrors of war.

  13. the dude August 30, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    the Qataris need their gas pipeline through Syria to Turkey. So they’ll continue to push it.

  14. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn September 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Okay. The problem is that all of the gruesome shit you so vividly describe in this post is already happening over there while the rest of the world stands by and watches it on href=”http://www.vice.com/ground-zero/syria-full-length”>Vice and Liveleak. (You probably don’t want to watch that video.)

    UN estimates put the death toll at over 100,000 in the past two years. That includes babies, and guys peeling potatoes, and mothers, and everyone else. The question is whether or not you believe the US has some kind of moral obligation to intervene. I can’t say that we do, I’m not gonna be the one over there fighting. But I gotta cut the President some slack on this one, he’s in between a rock and a hard place here. Nobody else gives a shit. It’s a fucked up situation.

    Defense contractors and their employees will make money. I know a couple of people who work at Lockheed Martin, maybe they’ll get a Christmas bonus out of it, or something. The taxpayers lose, the corporations make the money. Halliburton made billions of dollars in Iraq. Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, Bechtel, oil and gas companies – they all make tons of money off war, and they all employ a shitload of US citizens. I’ve done work in an oil refinery, so who the fuck am I to complain.

  15. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn September 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    What I don’t get is why we draw the line at chemical weapons. “Okay, you guys can kill each other all you want with conventional weaponry, but you can’t use chemicals, that’s a crime against humanity; not just a bunch of lunatic camel jockeys.” Pretty bad that that’s the best gimmick they could come up with to try to sell this intervention to the American public. Fucking ridiculous.

    • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn September 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Could be worse, though. We could have some piece of shit chickenhawk Republican in office who got five college deferments during Vietnam while some black kid from Harlem died in his place, or went AWOL from the Air National guard on a coke binge like George Bush John Kerry is a little less hypocritical; at least he fought in the war.

  16. Anonymous February 26, 2021 at 1:41 am #

    You are a genius. And funny


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