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The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check USA

Syria - Just Say No
• James Campion
Keep on chooglin’.
- John Fogarty
This is a nation of war junkies. I’m a junky, you’re a junky. We cannot get enough. There isn’t a skirmish, civil war, revolution or upheaval that we can’t comment on, investigate, monitor or butt into.
Assad the tormentor

It is amazing. Since World War II, arguably the only war this nation has involved itself in that remotely hinted at national security or moral imperative, we have stumble-bummed our way around this globe to horrific results.
Now here comes the nightmare of Syria.

In no way, shape or form should we bother to even nod at this atrocity. It is classic Eighth century madness perpetuated by 21st century weapons. It is a firestorm. It is a quagmire. Most pressingly, it has no direct correlation to the running or defense of this nation. It will end in disaster and huge debt; none of which we can afford after 12 years of this miserable shit.

So, of course, we’re seriously discussing diving right in.

It is important to point out that despite begging the first of our fabulous warring Bushes to not sink us in the Kuwait tomfoolery; this space supported a second move on Iraq in 2003. Never in my most cynical, hell-addled imagination did I think we could fuck that up so spectacularly. I lived through it and reported on it and I still find it hard to believe what an incredible stank fest that thing became, and this was facing a fractured military force which had surrendered to CNN camera man a decade earlier.

Believe me when I write this; Syria is another animal entirely. This is not a good idea now, and never was. Even the humanitarian-chemical weapon excuse our government is pitching is weak when compared to the consequences. We get directly involved in this shit storm and there is a whole bunch of crap to pay.

Assad Let the Russians deal with this. Syria is their bitch, their oil supply. We handle ours, Saudi Arabia, the right way. We forgive their human rights atrocities, their terrorist activities and toss them tons of money. We bow to their leaders on the tarmac and sell them huge chunks of our major cities. This is how it is done. But Russia is a broke anachronistic lump of atrophied machismo, whose leader is a foul wretch comically under the delusion he still matters.

It is sad, but it is their sadness, not ours. We have our own broken Middle East junk; and that’s on the $$$ docket for many generations.

So we need to go cold turkey, turn away from the pure, deadly stuff before it gets on top of us for good and we end up like a bloated Elvis, slumped off his toilet and face down in the shag rug.
Consider this an intervention.
Was Viet Nam not enough of a near-death ride?
Sometimes it’s a party and then it’s that one time – a lethal speedball with John Belushi in a steamy cabin at the Chateau Marmont.
Syria is our speedball.
© James Campion September 1st 2013
realitycheck@jamescampion.com

READERS RESPONSES
Sir,

This is your finest hour in Reality Check. (SYRIA – JUST SAY NO – Issue: 9/4/13) You have put this thing to the wall and said everything I am thinking and fearing. This country has had enough of war, enough of intervening in civil wars around the globe, cleaning up everyone’s messes. It is cold-hearted and I feel for those people being slaughtered, but what is bombing going to do, or threats or whatever?
The Bush years have weighed deeply on our psyche as a nation. And then we elect this “change” guy and we still get another couple of years or Iraq, the continued fighting in Afghanistan, Gitmo, spying, all the things that horrified us during the Bush/Cheney regime of fear and war and jingoism.
This has to stop now.
You are so right.

David Greenberg


Mr. Campion:

By tying Syria's fortunes to Russia's in "SYRIA - JUST SAY NO" I believe that you are highlighting the most troubling aspect of potential U.S. intervention, namely the potential of starting a true proxy war. I hadn't even considered that. I am sticking to the most obvious reasons for non-intervention, chiefly, that I am tired of all our international shenanigans. The hubris, the financial burden, and the cost in mental and physical health effects on service members is too hard to bear.

Jonathan Young
Smithfield, RI



Hey James,

Usually I am the one guy you can always go to to support a good Haji ass whooping but wow, even Syria has me saying "yeah...ummm...thanks but no thanks". There is no "good guy" there. There is no "white cowboy hat" to get behind. Either way, you are going to create an alliance you will regret in a few short years as the alliance wears out its usefulness and the leopards spots prove unchanged.
Dropping ordnance from 120 miles away on targets created by intelligence reports is what got Mr. Obama's predecessor in trouble. The level of hypocrisy being displayed by this media is astounding. To support Mr. Obama's Syrian adventure while simultaneously still supporting the "Bush Lied - People Died" nonsense is over the top even for this lapdog media.
Hopefully, cooler heads prevail and we let the Syrians duke it out themselves.

Peace,
Bill Roberts



This feels like one of your best columns. It’s incredibly pointed and sharply written. There were lots of good lines throughout, and this was one of the most perfectly put together: "Russia is a broke anachronistic lump of atrophied machismo ..." Incredibly apt. Glad you mentioned the complete misguided disaster and monumental waste of life called Vietnam (WE blocked their free elections in 1954, divided the country, and started a "civil" war, not the Vietnamese). And I love the ending. Also, perhaps, incredibly apt (tho I hate to think so). Sometimes you pay me the compliment of saying I write in ways beyond you. Well, you write in ways beyond me, too.

VC


Bravo, Mr. Campion. No to Syria! No to Iran! No to the entire mess over there. And it is a mess, and unless we stop kowtowing to special interest and oil marauders and this over-the-top Israel collective, we will continue to be burdened by maniacs. What century is this? Where is humanity going? How much longer do we have to be inundated with this horrible, horrible, horrible ancient, tribal nonsense? It is inconceivable to me that we would even consider this. Your effusive backlash to this is what the country is buzzing about. This is the will of the people, and I hope this president and this congress will not give in to this veiled attempt at a power play – to merely involve ourselves in an untenable situation just to appear as if we’re THE Super Power!
Enough, I say!

DING8’s


Ah, yes. Russia. Of course. It’s Russia’s crap. Let them wipe their own asses for a change. That Putin asshole has been sitting on his hands for too long. These are his weapons. Assad is his dictator. We had to deal with the shit-can of our dictator in Iran in 1979, what the fuck? Man, up, Putin. You want to be a viable world leader, then lead or do something. I hope this president isn’t as asinine as the others. I hope he is not Johnson or Nixon or Reagan or Clinton or god helps us all, Bush (actually, as you point out, both Bush’s), as I have always believed what you have written about the primacy of the first Iraq War on 9/11 and the prior attacks on our embassies and ships.
This madness has to end at some point. They won’t ever end it over there, we just have to let them kill each other. Bombing another nation, getting our hands into another civil war and letting Putin reap the benefits or whatever may come, is bullshit.

The Runcker


If I may, your Russian points are sound, but I wonder how much they are motivated to stop this, beyond the fact that if Assad goes bye-bye, then there is a tinderbox down the block and Turkey, another key buffer for Russia, would be in harm’s way. I do think that Putin has interests in that direction, but to what end? What does a broke, battered and fractured nation gain from mucking around in Syria? That is a pile of trouble no country wants.

PP7wow

(The UK Government was defeated in parliament on 08.29.13 in their vote for limited action against Syria. Will this open the door to Syria using chemical weapons without fear of retaliation? Ed)

Stop & Frisk
James Campion

Crime, Freedom & The Urban Myth
Print, Bravery & The Aquarian Weekly 08.23.13
James Campion

What I’m about to write is way overdue. It should have been written five years ago, maybe ten; the weeks, months and years get hazy after awhile.

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