So the Americans have accidentally bombed another target of interest.
This time it was in Syria and after the aforementioned error ISIS happened to mount a strategic attack taking advantage of an otherwise wholly unforeseen situation which came in the middle of a supposed ceasefire. Naturally the Syrians are outraged.
(Incidentally, for some of us this episode is reminiscent of another American mishap in 1999 when five laser-guided United States missiles unintentionally obliterated the Chinese Embassy in then-Yugoslavia.)
Be that as it may the response from officials in The Homeland was less than somber contemplation. President Barack Obama went to the Congressional Black Caucus gala to browbeat the brethren into voting for candidate Hillary Clinton or else (in his words) their apathy would be a "personal insult."
Ambassador Samantha Power took time out from assisting refugee children to arrive at United Nations Headquarters where she gave a rambling and quite nearly incoherent speech about the tyranny of al-Assad while scarcely mentioning the scores of his people her country had just killed.
Speaking of Presidential candidates, neither seemed particularly bothered by the fact dozens of persons had hours earlier been murdered by the U.S. government and instead each focused largely on a pipe bomb detonated in New York City which killed exactly no one and came at an extremely convenient time for literally every single major news channel in the United States to focus coverage on something other than the point its military may have gotten citizens into a war they vociferously rejected in 2013.
If anyone believes this an overstatement of the case, perhaps a survey course in Official American Outrage is in order…
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Government conducted a surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. The number of dead was 1,177 personnel. Americans were so outraged it was enough to propel the United States into a global conflagration literally the very next day.
On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor at Cuba. The number of dead was 268 men. Americans were outraged and by April 25 of that year they had declared war on Spain which ultimately led to taking control of numerous territories including both Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
On May 7, 1915, the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine in a theater of war despite numerous warnings this is precisely what would happen if that ship entered said operational area. Among the deceased were 128 citizens of the United States. Americans were outraged and thenceforth viewed Germany as the "aggressor" in what became known as World War One. This was a major influence of the decision two years later on April 6, 1917, for the United States to declare hostilities.
On April 25, 1846, approximately 2,000 Mexican troops crossed a disputed boundary with the United States. A brief engagement ensued which saw 11 casualties. Americans were outraged and declared war on the entire country of Mexico May 13, 1846, wherein vast territories were eventually ceded.
On August 2, 1964, the USS Maddox was patrolling within the 11-mile boundary of the North Vietnamese waters (though the public was told the ship was as much as 50 miles distant) when it was allegedly attacked by Communist patrol boats (in retaliation for covert acts against North Vietnamese personnel on two islands the day before). There were no US casualties. Nonetheless, Americans were outraged and on August 10, 1964, President Johnson signed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which he publicly regarded as a de facto declaration of war which lasted until 1975 with over 50,000 US dead.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City as well as other targets with a total of 2,996 casualties. Americans were outraged, and by March 20, 2003, began the invasion of Iraq despite the indisputable fact its government did not materially support, assist or aid the terrorists in any way. Nor did its administration have any design or intention to conduct terror or military attacks against the United States or its armed forces. Zero citizens were killed by the Iraqi government yet US officials would wage war against Iraqis for the following 8 years with over 4,000 Americans killed as a result.
These are but the barest outlines of American Outrage and American Outrages. It does not account for military actions in the First Gulf War (zero US citizens killed as a casus belli), the Invasion of Grenada (zero US citizens killed), or the Invasion of Panama (1 Marine killed) or numerous other such actions throughout the globe.
Contrast these so-called justifications for titanic clashes of men and machines with the reported deaths in Syria from the United States bombing – 90 casualties.
Thus, according to the Scale of American Outrage, there is far more excuse for Syria to declare war against America than there was for the United States to declare the Second Iraq War or any of its myriad "police actions" throughout the poorer countries of the world.
There is at least as much rationalization for Syria to declare war on the United States as there was for Americans to declare the Mexican-American War and the War in Vietnam.
Moreover exists one-third as much validation as existed for beginning the Spanish-American War.
Finally, compared with the proverbially sainted "Good War" from 1941 to 1945 there is generally a 10% excuse for Syria to set the entire world to flames.
Of course, all of this is premised on the absurd notion a Syrian life is worth as much as an American one and we all know this simply cannot be the case.
Otherwise Americans wouldn’t be exceptional.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.