The US is bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of allied regimes: Israel, UK, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.
The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).
It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the US wages war; what matters it that it will be at war, always and forever.
Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the US has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it.
Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.
If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the US fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war.
As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the US does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.