Is Syria America’s Next Bay of Pigs?

When has arming and training a “moderate” group of proxy rebels ever worked to bring about the regime change America desired?  It didn’t work in Cuba, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, The Congo, Nicaragua, and Sudan.  It didn’t work in Vietnam and Iraq either and look what happened in both those countries.

I thought Obama was aware that this strategy is always a very long shot (especially in the Middle East) and it’s why he didn’t want to arm moderates in Syria before?  I guess the “success” of Libya has made him forget most of America’s history with regime change?  He certainly knows ISIS is driving around in US tanks that we provided to the Iraqi Army assumed to share our strategic interests.

If we want to get rid of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad, it will take US boots on the ground, air, and sea.  And even then, if we do topple those regimes, we don’t know how to do nation-building at all as proven by our efforts at just that in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We can’t afford nor do we have the desire to occupy Syria & Iraq at the commitment levels it will take to bring the kind of change that we desire to those countries.

I don’t know the answer myself, but I’m pretty a sure that using a proxy army to further US interests doesn’t work.

Ugh.

Everyone should read this article, click here!

But know there are a few things you can do.  In no particular order other than stream-of-conscious …

1. On an individual level, consume less media and produce more of it yourself.  2. Do the same with everything else, borrow and share too.  3.  Realize that when you rip off artists and musicians, by not supporting them with actual money, things get worse.  This may seem to conflict with #1 & #2 and it does really, so find the right balance for you and don’t expect it all for free.  4. Stop working in tech or other forms of content packaging and distribution and make content yourself.  Or at least respect and cherish the content producers that make your distribution job possible: don’t take advantage of them.  4a. Play a musical instrument, even poorly.  5. Volunteer and help other people out directly, don’t expect others or the government to do it for you.  6. Only read and watch the best in breed in journalism, avoid all the rest at all cost.  7. Dive deep and master something, don’t think you need to be aware of everything going on under the sun to survive and be happy.  8. Trust the experts and scientists that have done the work and the study and have the best credentials, ignore the rest.  9. Get a dog.  10.  Fall in love and have a lot of sex.  10a. If you’re not in love, you should still have some sex too.  11. Start a family (but be ready to do so).  12. Be social in real life, meet real people and make real friends, listen to their stories and share your own, have good conversations, start conversations.  13. Give back and pay it forward.  14. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, advice, or knowledge.  15. Get an education and realize you can get one on your own outside of a school too if school isn’t an option.  16. Don’t be lazy, fight it off when it starts to get the best of you.  17. Vote, and vote with your brain not your heart, gut, or genitals. 18. Know that you will fail and other will too but don’t let it stop you (not that you have a choice really) or drive you nuts.

 

 

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby

While I wish the Supreme Court had ruled the other way in the Hobby Lobby case, the optimist in me (a small one to be sure) feels that all the recent talk of descending down a slippery slope where corporations will refuse to pay for health insurance policies that cover drugs and procedures that they find objectionable on religious grounds is entirely overblown. First of all, slippery slopes are rare if not nonexistent in US politics, law, culture, and business. Second, the Supreme Court merely settled one case in a narrowly defined (i.e. applicable only to the named parties in the suit), it did not change any laws or declare any laws unconstitutional, nor did it strike down the ACA birth control requirement. Third, while it set a precedent that future litigants can cite in future suits, I do not think many companies will be willing to take the time, effort, risk, legal liability, and especially the cost of denying employees drugs and medical procedures when litigation is almost sure to follow. 

Most companies, I optimistically feel, will not choose to go down this road as it is hard enough to remain profitable as a company and all companies seek as few legal headaches as possible. Plus, no company will want the bad PR and its possible effect on the bottom line. The idea that a company will decide to not pay for or allow its health insurance provider to cover blood transfusions, as some are suggesting will happen, seems ludicrous. I don’t think any company will be willing to open itself up to that legal liability, nor do I think any insurance company will do so either. Really, I don’t think a health insurance company would ever consider creating a health plan that doesn’t cover blood transfusions, which are usually essential and life-saving, due to the legal liability and bad PR it would pose. I bet (and hope) that if asked to do so by a company, the health insurance company would refuse. 

While the Supreme Court made a bad call, it seems unlikely it will bring on the extreme situations some are predicting. And even if a handful of companies decide to try their luck in court, that will hardly be a slippery slope and they outcome of such cases would be nowhere near assured.