Previous AJC articles on Syria can be found here.
The most powerful man in the free world.
That label is just as much a gift as it is a curse. Its like being born genetically blessed. Yes it has its advantages, that open doors others can only live vicariously through works of fiction. But the hate and judgement that comes with it is at a level that morphs the blessings into curses through the eyes of what becomes a scarred mind.
To have the power to solve any, one, individual problem is a blessing. To have that power in a world of 7 billion and a country of 300 million where the majority publicly expound their expectations of the use of that power in the most malicious echo chamber known to mankind, is quite the head weight.
Military intervention in the Middle East, after the last thirty years, tends to fall on deaf ears to the majority of people outside of the Military Industrial Complex, justifiably so. After both Gulf Wars, who can honestly be blamed for being completely apathetic towards anything and everything in the Middle East?
Syria distinguished its case for US military intervention in the way most important…body count.
I proudly voted for Barack Obama twice. His voluntary attachment to the word hope has been as much a detriment to his legacy as it was to his ascendance. He stepped into the expectation of the largest, most diverse, and most demanding populace in the history of the world.
Economic depression, gender inequality, student loan debt, global warming, clean up from two wars, racial injustice, the subprime mortgage crisis, the potential collapse of the American auto industry. That’s all before tackling the healthcare industry. Few presidents before have had so many pressing issues that were pressing the red button at the time of initial inauguration.
Many people think he should have used the leverage and power of the bully pulpit for causes other than what his administration chose to put their focus one during his two terms. Syria’s body count separates it from other issues such as equal pay, net neutrality, redistricting, and marijuana legalization.
The military industrial complex being up and running and forever open for business also seemed to dictate that action in Syria be taken drastically sooner than it inevitably was. Fuck, Syria is so messed up that it is the one issue that Russia and the US seem to agree on even with the shady Russian arms sales connection to the region.
Anyone who has been paying attention to the Syrian Civil War for any length of time is happy to hear that President Obama admits feeling responsibility for the ongoing girth in body county in the conflict. He should. The unchecked, unbalanced, rubber stamped budgeted, defense department dictates to any sitting president that; any issue or conflict that would involve or require the military, have action taken as if it were an urgent priority not because it’s a priority but because of the automatically alloted resources that the MIT has at its disposal at all times, for all time, until the end of time.
It always has been and always will be the body count that draws and keeps my attention about Syria. I suppose if I was older I would have the same attachment to Rwanda, AIDS, Vietnam, Auschwitz, and so on. I suppose if I were older I would have expected more from Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, and so on.
President Obama made healthcare his number one priority in office, for better and for worse, because of the issue’s direct ability to effect life and death.
One can be the most anti Obamacare person in the world, take away all the economic implications and political allegiance, and any human being can empathize with a person in power leveraging that power to help directly save lives.
At the end of the day, at the end of the issue, is the value of human life.
It is hard to make the case every life is precious when the global population exceeds 7,000,000,000. The body count of the Syrian Civil War greatly exceeds and overshadows the body count that die in America due to lack of health insurance. But what is the value of human life? Are we a global village? Or do Americans come first?
When one wins the right to be called the most powerful man in the free world, the greatest of all power comes with the greatest of all responsibility. After years and years and hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of casualties in the Syrian Civil War that have all occurred during the Presidency of Barack Obama; the man, the myth, the legend finally admitted in public his feeling of responsibility on the issue.
The death, destruction, desolation, and dehumanization that has taken place over the past half decade makes Syria either a turning point, a sticking point, a flash point, or a new normal for global society. Will we stand up for hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children being shot, tortured, gassed, and butchered or will we use our own personal drama as an excuse to stay silently complacent in mass executions and mass graves?
Barack Obama has publicly admitted his responsibility, will we ever admit ours?