By David A. Franklin, Jr.

I have watched and listened to the deliberations, debates and discussions between lawmakers, analysts, specialists, experts, commentators and gurus on networks, on the radio and on local television channels over the past days on the subject of Syria. Every utterance, every reaction reeks of the stench of ego and the essence of politics. Neither of
these is good reason for any type of interference in a country’s civil affairs.

You hear about the President’s Red Line ad nauseam and to such deafening and utter annoyance. The media has been fueling a strong current of impatience with President Obama, some mockingly so, for not living up to their interpretation of the actions indicative of a red line. Strike now and if the strike does not happen, not only the President but the country will be viewed as ‘chicken’ and the delicate egos of the male dominated self-appointed group of experts will be irreparably bruised in the eyes of the rest of the world.  After all, the modus operandi is for brute force to be applied by the all-powerful United States of America as seen in likes of Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. No due diligence is necessary; no lessons learnt to be recognized – just strike because the country will be viewed as losing its humph, its strength, its face. I have heard some evoke justification of an attack under the United Nation’s “responsibility to attack” doctrine which gives the green light for foreign countries to attack where people in other countries are being abused by their government. Here again, the egotistical interpretation is being applied and the full and fair appreciation of the UN’s doctrine is being circumvented. As a matter of fact, there need not be any interpretation since the wording is plain enough for a child in kindergarten to understand “any such action must be through the security
council in accordance with the charter”. To attack then under this umbrella would be illegal because the elements that qualify are missing. 


But I invite these pundits and politicians alike to consider this: it takes a huge dose of pluck and mettle to recognize and
accept that sometimes there is little or nothing people/countries on the outside can do. This is one such case and we must examine what is that little in the interest of human lives and the untold suffering that is apparent in the Syria issue and other such cases.

My comments must not be interpreted as a lack of concern for the human wretchedness and suffering that Assad has inflicted on the people of Syria. The Syrians, I am sure only wish to live a life of normalcy (whatever their culture and religion(s) define as normal). Call me paranoid but I am certain that this push from some politicians and media houses to strike and not only on the restricted to the surgical method as is suggested by President Obama is nothing but stoking the fire to bump up viewership and listenership, to satisfy the Military Industrial Complex whose lobbyists are in the shadows urging a fight and to the politicians who need to keep the mill of discrediting the President well-oiled and
running. He is damned if he does – “See you have started a war with no due diligence examined as to what happens after the strike and what can be the resulting post-strike consequences”. He is damned if he doesn’t. This is a weak President. I have heard comments (and not on Fox who is the President’s nemesis) “Is this the 3:00 am call and will he be able to answer it?” 


The use of the expression “red line” by the President was unwise and includes him in the group of egotists. The more
elevated we are, is the more exposed and scrutinized we are. It is therefore imperative that we constantly exercise a conscious level of caution and be guarded and be diplomatic with our utterances. President Obama must recognize and accept that indeed there are sometimes and in some cases there is little that can be done from the outside and he
must explore what that ‘little’ might be and how to best execute that ‘little’.

What magnitude of efficiency would a limited surgical attack achieve? Could it deter future chemical attacks and are we so sure that this would scare Assad to the extent that he would stop the carnage whether by use of chemicals or other means. The answer is a resounding “NO”.  

There is a battle cry from some quarters to “do something” and in my opinion doing something would only serve to
stoke the egos of the US and some western allies and almost certainly ignite a regional war in the Middle East.  

Correct me if I am wrong. Where are the voices of the neighboring Arab countries that would be mostly affected by
Assad’s and Iran’s accelerated aggression? It seems to me that they are too non-vocal on a matter of their own safety…. But no… we need this attack to punish Syria but let the bully America go out in front who have little but
“feel good” to gain from such an action. The US always buys out and owns conflicts – they are the big brother and we feel comfortable to cower behind them even though it is our business that is at risk. Then if it is successful, we can say we supported the actions and if it fails we say we did not give it our blessings. Heads they win, tails the US loses. That is what I call international politics. 

Israel, another country to which these upheavals bring at very least uncertainty and unease expressed shock at the President’s postponement of the attack to seek Congressional approval. “There is the concern that this will be seen in the region as the US president hesitating to enforce his red lines and that that will send the wrong messages to other regional powers” according to an Israeli official. I hope the American people and  government will learn from these experiences that it is hard to please everybody and uneasy is the head that wears the crown – the crown of big brother and of ‘police of the world’ – a position which was self-assumed and should be revisited to see if it is worth the effort.


Then there is the home grown politics. There has been the deafening cry that the President needs to bring the matter for congressional support or rejection; yet when he accedes to that route versus going it without such debate, the
pundits opined: “The move places the president’s Syria policy on an unknown course subjecting it to a certain showdown on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are deeply divided on the issue and even more so over Mr. Obama himself. By agreeing to a congressional debate, Mr. Obama faces some amount of risk that he will be handed a defeat by
legislators, like that suffered by British Prime Minister David Cameron over Syria this past week”.
 Obama to Seek Congressional Vote on Syria Strike, The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2013.

Hello-o-o-o-o! Why is everything a battle? I would think that putting it to Congress for its input is the democratic thing to do and not deemed a personal Obama “risk that he will be handed a defeat” Are we not all in this thing together?

These lawmakers, pundits and the media sit comfortably on the side of the Syrian columnist who says:
‘Why won’t Obama tell Assad how long the attack will last so he can book his vacation after it?’ 

Whose side are we on? Are we on the side of what is best for America and the American people? Why do we continue to feed and fatten the pockets of paid pundits, the Military Industrial Complex, and boost the ratings and the bottom lines of the media houses? 

The American people continue to speak their wishes – they are war-weary, they are suffering from a lack of jobs, good education, healthcare and opportunities and I dare say that the attention that is given to these issues pale in comparison to that which is afforded the Syria issue. Eighty percent (80%) of the American people want congressional approval on Syria but there is harsh criticism of the President taking this route and going with the will of the

But then, when have the opinions of the American people been taken into serious consideration? Never! But Americans should not relent and they must keep speaking up especially at the polls on election-day. Someone will hear – eventually.

 S03/E34: "Looming American Invasion Of Syria" 
Show Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013 
Time: 11pm EST
Telephone: 619-789-1959 

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