U.S. warplanes are bombing Syria. Here’s how this is going to play out:
-The American right—who staunchly opposed action in Syria a year ago, then more or less called the President a coward for not fighting ISIS—will suddenly clamor for the moral high ground over bombing a nation that has not yet attacked us (see: 2003 Iraq War, George W. Bush).
-The American left—whose heart bleeds for every humanitarian crisis on the planet and shouts, “why won’t we DO something?”—will then craft sternly worded blog posts about how war isn’t the answer, blaming the whole operation on the military-industrial complex.
-The American political establishment—rather than developing an effective long-term doctrine to deal with what will potentially be an ongoing ideological conflict on a global scale—will check the barometer from time to time via opinion polls and focus groups, to see which of the previous two groups is yelling the loudest… and then pander to them.
-The American people will stock up on duct tape and water, wave the flag and shout “USA! USA!! USA!!!”… until the next American casualty. Then we’ll change the channel, because the game is on. Some (not many) might even read this post, fall in line with their default political agenda and lob scripted rhetoric back and forth until the thread devolves into inane sniping. Others will occasionally chuckle when Jon Stewart “totally dismantles” the American socio-political system, and maybe even post it to their Facebook page—but they won’t vote.
-The American allies will send some token troops and support the fight any way they can—that is, until their own political establishments check the barometer from time to time via opinion polls and focus groups, to see who is yelling the loudest… and then pander to them. They’ll eventually try to paint the conflict as some Western reinstitution of the Crusades, despite the overwhelming Muslim-on-Muslim atrocities. Meanwhile the various religious sects that populate the area will continue to perpetuate violence in the name of vengeance—anyone who tries to convince others to rise above such a cycle will be branded a coward, traitor or infidel and likely die for it.
-The American military will do what is asked of them and do it well. They will disrupt ISIS, undermine their current network and send them back into the shadows—that is, until the Rules of Engagement become so increasingly convoluted thanks to a lack of resolve from the American political establishment that they have no ability to wage the war we once asked them to fight. They’ll have no objective and no exit strategy—they will simply occupy territory until their enemy returns to the hit-and-run tactics of a protracted guerilla campaign, and then they’ll leave.
-The American enemy will grow, evolve, transform and calculate. They’ll see our lack of resolve, solicit support from the feeble-minded or profit-driven—then prey on our inability to stand united in the face of a sustained conflict and continue to throw jabs.
How will we respond to those jabs? Scroll back to the top…