Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ann Wright: "Possible Consequences Of A U.S. Military Attack On Syria"

Writing in Common Dreams, Ann Wright, former U.S. Army colonel, retired State Department official and author of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience," considers the possible consequences of a military attack on Syria. She cites what often seems forgotten, the further deaths of civilians, along with "unintended consequences," regional repercussions and the events following our 1983 intervention in Lebanon:

... The strike will be “limited”—but tell that to the civilians who inevitably die when military attacks take place.

...As U.S. warships gather off the shores of Lebanon to launch Tomahawk Cruise missiles at targets in Syria, we can make some educated guesses of what the “unintended consequences” could be:

• Syrian anti-aircraft batteries will fire their rockets at incoming U.S. missiles.

• Many Syrians on the ground will die and both the U.S. and Syrian governments will say the deaths are the fault of the other.

• The U.S. Embassy in Damascus will be attacked and burned, as may other U.S. Embassies and businesses in the Middle East.

• Syria might also launch rockets toward the U.S. ally in the region—Israel.

• Israel would launch bombing missions on Syria as it has three times in the past two years and perhaps take the opportunity to launch an attack on Syria’s strongest ally in the region Iran.

• Iran, a country with a population of 80 million and has the largest military in the region untouched by war in the past 25 years, might retaliate with missiles aimed toward Israel and toward nearby U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, Turkey, Bahrain and Qatar.

• Iran could block the Straits of Hormuz and impede the transport of oil out of the Persian Gulf.

...At this time of crisis, it is worth remembering another time, 30 years ago in October, 1983 when U.S. warships bombarded Lebanon, the country located next to Syria. Within weeks, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by a massive truck bomb that killed 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers...

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