Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

Does President Obama Want To Turn Syria Into Somalia? Maybe.

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Presidents say lots of stuff we simply cannot take seriously. Anything about peace, jobs, human rights, or protecting the “middle class,” to name just a few, is pretty much bound to be nonsense and lies. Examples abound. But when presidents tell us up front they intend to break the law they just about always do, so we really should believe them.

President Obama says that although he'll consult with Congress first this time, as president he can and will bomb Syria or anyplace else he likes without the congressional declaration of war that Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution requires. In other words, the president, a former constitutional law professor, reserves the “right” to violate the Constitution and wage illegal war at his discretion.

The president's war violates international standards as well. Under international law the only justifiable wars are in response to an attack, or with the authorization of the UN security council. Syria certainly has not attacked the US, and since the White House will not share its supposed “evidence” of Syrian government attacks on civilians with international inspectors hired by the UN, everybody is just supposed to take Uncle Sam's word for it, pretty much like they had to about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Look how nicely that turned out. Even the Brits, who've never been squeamish about shooting up and invading other countries, are not with the lawless Obama administration on this one.

Masters of saying one thing and doing another, the president and secretary of state are savvy enough to mumble that “only a political solution, not a military one” will stick in Syria. Although a rain of cruise missiles and drone bombs can kneecap the Syrian armed forces which seem to be holding their own now against US and Saudi-sponsored fighters, it can only make peace talks less likely. And the US really doesn't trust its own Saudi-sponsored thugs to actually run a Syrian government, in the unlikely event the Syrian people would allow it. So what many believe the US prefers, many believe, is a permanent state of low-grade civil war in Syria with neither side winning.

President Obama wants to turn Syria into Somalia where since the US can't install the regime it wants, it has prevented any central government from functioning since the landing of US Marines in a “humanitarian intervention” in the final minutes of the first Bush administration.

For the last 20 years, more than a million Somalis, one out of ten have died of hunger and violence, while US sponsored warlords and US sponsored invading armies from Ethiopia and Kenya have swept across the landscape. There's no Somali government to build schools or hospitals, to hire teachers or doctors, to repair or run electric grids, water works, agricultural or public health programs, so none of these things exist. Somalis civilians are barefoot, sick, hungry and afraid, cowering under a rain of drone bombs. Somalia's only products are refugees and misery, and the country's only industry is its permanent war, an excuse for the US and its client thugs to never leave. Ever. That's what President Obama means by “a political solution.”

For Black Agenda Radio I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the GA Green Party. Contact him via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)

Direct download: 20130904_bd_syria-into-somila.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT