The Borowitz Report is a satire column in the same manner that The Onion is a satire website.
Unfortunately, it is both satirical and a best-case scenario for Wacky US Syrian Intervention Fun Time...
Anything more involved than 'lob a few cruise missiles in their general direction because America Fuck Yeah!' is unlikely to achieve appreciably better results; but is very likely indeed to go much worse.
Technically, us attacking them, even with UN approval, is an act of war, which gives them a right to retaliate against us. And they do actually have chemical weapons, and we do have bases within their reach, which is certainly the worst.
You can't really just pop in and out of a war, you're either all in or not.
Not if you're a Nobel Prize winner. Then whatever you do is sanctioned, because it's for peaceiness.
Is it bad, that I couldn't tell if it was satire from the quote on boing boing alone?
Oh, don't get me wrong, I think that dickwaving-by-cruise-missile is a terrible plan, it's just the least-worst plan that we would likely employ if we decided that Something Must Be Done, therefore we will do something.
(as for chemical weapons, A remotely rational agent with an interest in continued enjoyment of power probably wouldn't use chemical arms against American military bases, even if the Americans gave him clear causus belli. Said agent would either never use them, and wait for the Americans to get fed up and leave, or 'lose' a few tens of kilograms of something nasty in the ongoing internal chaos and let some non-state actor with a martyrdom fetish deliver the goods. Same effect, much murkier chain of custody(and, while cooking up the really good stuff, or keeping it preserved on the scale of years to decades is hard; basic deployment of premade chemical weapons within a short period of time is technically trivial, so the difficulty of finding somebody competent enough to do the job would not be especially high).
Of course this would have nothing at all to do with the 7 Countries In 5 Years on-going strategy carried over from the Bush administration that Wesley Clark referred to in his memoir back in 2007, right? Let's see...Iraq regime change? Check! Lybia regime change? Check! Syria regime change? Er...well, almost. Maybe they need an added push? It kinda makes me wonder whether the Arab spring was really begun by Arabs after all.
Why not an EMP pulse over the main Syrian army bases, thus rendering their electronics useless.
To be fair, Obama has more-or-less stated an intent for the missile strikes: deterring future chemical weapon use. Nobody is taking the Obama-is-telling-the-truth-about-his-motives scenario particularly seriously, but it seems possible.
I was about to say..... I really can't imagine Obama speaking so poorly as to use the word 'random' and the tag on the new yorker piece is "humor" which should probably be reflected here.
Also: The New Yorker? *Vomits *
Ready! FIRE. Aim!
Nuke the place for orbit? Its the only way to be sure.
I can't tell whether you're stating the blindingly obvious or making a subtle dig at Borowitz and The Onion.
(As an aside, "Borowitz and The Onion" sounds like a really good children's book.)
So the United States, which uses chemical weapons, is planning to attack their Syrian counterparts for using chemical weapons? Why does this not surprise me?
Granted, the U.S. government does not officially acknowledge that White Phosphorous counts as a "Chemical Weapon" (at least when we use it) but it takes some pretty damn fine hair-splitting to say that using a substance that burns the flesh off of human bodies like over-cooked marshmallows isn't a violation of international laws.
Wow, that's horrible. I had no idea.
Agreed. Also horrible was the collective response of most Americans who did hear about this when it was first reported in 2005 (which ranged from "meh" to "they had it coming").
I think wp's officially smoke ammunition. Smoke is allowed. Chemical weapons are not. But if wp's fired on suspected enemy positions, it's both.
P.S. My bad. Apparently chemical weapons are allowed if they are incendiary rather than poisonous. Otherwise napalm and flamethrowers would be banned.