Syria

U.S. Airstrike in Syria Reportedly Kills At Least 60 Civilians

Americans turn to social media to express regret since they're not actually going to vote for anyone who would curb U.S. intervention.

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MOHAMMED BADRA/EPA/Newscom

A U.S. air strike killed at least 60 civilians in Syria after they were mistaken for ISIS fighters, according to The Telegraph, which reports eight families were targeted while trying to flee a village in Northern Syria.

The deadly air strike is indicative of some of the bigger problems the U.S. and coalition forces face in their campaign against ISIS. Absent a significant amount of boots on the ground, the coalition relies heavily on airstrikes, which tend to have more civilian casualties than ground fighting.

Although Syria was certainly mentioned at the Republican convention—including to blame Hillary Clinton for the chaos—proposals about foreign policy toward Syria were light. According to Republicans, Hillary Clinton, more or less, did not do enough, even as she's blamed for interventions in places like Libya, which led to a terrorist presence, including of ISIS, that did not exist before the civil war. Democrats don't offer much more. Clinton has rejected the idea that her support of interventionism is in part responsible for the crisis in Libya, and has in general shown little indication of offering any kind of foreign policy that might be influenced by reflections on past errors.

American voters have not punished either side. Candidates who preached caution in the Republican party did not fare well in the polls, while Democrats hardly offered any alternatives to Clinton's interventionism (her primary primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, largely focused on economic issues).

It's not stopping Americans for getting self-righteous on social media over the airstrike in Syria. A #PrayforSyria hashtag on Twitter is full of users congratulating themselves for being aware of the attack, and lambasting the media for not covering it even while they share links about the incident from the media, through whom they found out about it in the first place.

The hashtagging of the airstrike in Syira is illustrative of the problem with the way the American electorate engages with foreign policy, if it engages at all. One of the main arguments supporters of Hillary Clinton advance in favor of their candidate is that she has the experience. Yet, when it comes to foreign policy, her experience largely consists of mistakes rooted in her faith in the power of interventionism, from Iraq to Libya. She was a supporter of more intervention in Syria, and pushed, as Trump did, for more airstrikes on ISIS after the Orlando shooting, perpetrated by a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS but spent no time in Iraq or Syria. American voters ended with these two choices from the mainstream because not enough of them gave a shit about it, morally preening hashtags notwithstanding.

Fortunately for those Americans concerned with the wages of U.S. foreign policy, third party options like Libertarian Gary Johnson, a self-described skeptic of interventionism, and the Green party's Jill Stein, are available, so it is possible to make a choice that reflects an interest in reducing U.S. violence overseas. The most diehard Clinton supporters argue voting for Jill Stein, who argues Hillary Clinton could be worse than Donald Trump, is too dangerous because she could "help" Trump win. A clip of Dan Savage shitting on the Green party for helping Republicans is making the rounds in this election cycle. He posits that the Greens, like most third parties, only show up for presidential elections, an attractive if untrue sentiment. While Democrats paint Donald Trump as some kind of particularly vile and unacceptable Republican candidate, they've made the same arguments about previous candidates. Savage dismissed the Greens as idealism. But what's happening is Democratic voters are privileging getting their favored domestic policies in place over doing anything, like supporting authentic anti-interventionists, that could begin the process of curbing the excesses of U.S. foreign policy by punishing Democrats for being as interventionist as mainstream Republicans. That's a political decision and a significant one. No amount of self-righteous hashtagging erases that.

NEXT: On Leslie Jones vs. Milo Yiannopoulos: Supporting Free Speech Does Not Mean Endorsing Nazism

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  1. And this is more important than a speech by a fashion model how?

  2. eight families were targeted while trying to flee a village in Northern Syria.

    They shouldn’t’ve been running.

    Disgusting news. But as disgusting as it is, we can’t let that other person get into the White House, plus it’s just as important that we get free college / those high-paying steel jobs back here.

  3. her primary primary opponent, Bernie Sanders

    Merry Xmas, though I’m sure it will just collect dust on a shelf.

  4. WE’RE WINNING THE TWITTER WAR

  5. Evil negligence at best. Fuck.

  6. As ever, my first question is “How do we know these were civilians?”

    1. The dead children, at least, were unlikely to be members of ISIS, dawg.

      1. Children can be terrorists and fighters, too, you know.

        As can women.

        Being under 18 or female is not a guarantee that you aren’t fighting for or otherwise supporting ISIS.

        1. The Telegraph article mentioned a dead three-year-old. Are there a lot of three-year-old fighters in ISIS that you’ve heard of?

          1. Fuck ’em. They should have thought about that before being born.

            1. I thought the line was that they should’ve picked better parents.

              1. Sooo glad i decided to be born in a lil’ country i like to call America.

              2. Whatevs. Would have just grown up to to be a suicide bomber or a rapist anyway.

          2. Sure, the three year old is a civilian.

            My point is, our information about what’s going on over there is just terrible. It likely comes from people with vested interests, and its filtered by people with ideological commitments.

            But it is presented to us as being at least credible, when I have no idea.

            Is this info sourced by ISIS? Could well be, since it happened in territory they infest/control. If we learn that this is basically a repackaged ISIS press release, would that affect how you look at it? For that matter, how do we even know that there was a three year old killed, and if so, how he or she died?

            1. See PBR’s comment below.

              1. Still begs the question of what basis there is for the claim that these were civilians.

      2. At 3, sure, but I can’t be the only one that remembers news stories about ISIS having very young children carry out killings. I think if we ever have the misfortune to go toe to toe with them in a ground war, we’re going to be forced to learn to treat women and children as combatants. And from there, it’s just a short skip, hop, and jump to just wiping them off the map.

        1. Which has nothing to do with this airstrike, obvs.

    2. Shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the Gov to prove they were ISIS fighters, rather than on the targets to prove they are (were) civilians?

      1. Schr?dinger’s War Crime

      2. Sure. And when the government claims that it killed X number of fighters, the same question should be asked of them: “How do we know these were fighters?”

        Still begs the question of what basis there is for the claim that these were civilians.

  7. Welp, you have to break a few, uh, a few eggs to make… to make… Hey, look over there! People are being racist on Twitter!

      1. #RacistTweetsMatter

  8. USA! USA! USA!

  9. Thank you for pointing out the absurdities. People will blame everything and everyone as long as they can refuse to take responsibility for their behavior. Then to top it off they call you ‘crazy’ for pointing this out.

    1. The people responsible for these airstrikes are the soldiers and officers who carry them out, and the politicians who order and fund the operations.

      1. And the people who vote for them. As the article points out. Did you read it?

        1. I did, but I disagree. Any individual voter has no control whatsoever over who wins an election, much less who approves funding or issues orders to the military.

          1. Like I said. (And do yourself a favor and read my comment before replying to it. You will save yourself a whole lotta heartache.)

          2. If you have a reasonably functioning democracy, and the raindrops keep voting for assholes who tell you upfront they’re going to be assholes, at some point, the raindrops can in fact be blamed for the flood.

            I mean, it’s not like I’m unfriending anyone on Facebook who voted for the wrong candidate– I mean, if I had a Facebook account, but it does depress me when my friends and colleagues who hashtag it up on social media about stopping the violence knowingly vote (and re-vote) for a guy who just personally signed off on this shit.

  10. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

    ———————-> http://www.CenterPay70.com

  11. So we’re able to run operations out of Turkey again? People were a bit freaked over an airbase with dozens of big-league nukes stored – surrounded by Erdogan’s security forces.

  12. And again more proof that the “Department of Defense” creates more terrorists than it kills.

  13. Hillary would be an absolute disaster in Syria. Besides stating she would set up a no-fly zone, and from that apparently shoot down Russian planes if needed. She is 100% in for getting Sunni’s control of that country, regardless of the faction that gains power and regardless of the genocide of minorities that will take place. Because the Saudi’s pay her 10’s of millions of dollars to do so.

    1. True. Still better than Trump whose super secret plans will probably start WW III.

      1. The one good thing about Trump is he doesn’t seem to have anything that’s super-secret. He’s one of those types that has a direct connection between his internal thoughts and his mouth… no filter.

      2. See, I actually agree with Jill Stein that Hillary may be worse. The best thing about trump is his not constant provoking Russia. between saying he would work with him in Syria and NATO is stupid. I think that would be a huge strike to the war state.

        HIllary both will continually expand NATO east ward, hell she’ll probably make Victoria Nuland(on tape “Midwifing” the Ukraine Coup) as Sec of State. Potential friction in Syria with Russia. The Washington Elites are really gearing up for conflict with Russia and it is the most dangerous thing on the planet right now. Hillary scares the crap out of me.

    2. Maybe Johnson/Weld, instead of praising Shitlery, should be beating her over the head with this: she has made herself the Saudi’s lapdog and will be acting in THEIR interests in the M.E.

      Between that, and pushing the issue of “Do we REALLY need to be more involved in Syria or any of these other backwards lands? Or are all the current wars we are still mired down in more than enough?” She should have been easy to beat.

      instead, you have a loudmouth gushing that she hasn’t done enough on one side, and a couple of wimps complimenting her on the other side.

      I will vote for Johnson, sure, but I wish he’d grow a backbone in order to reach the 15% polling he needs to get into the debates.

  14. Remember kids, I shouldn’t be allowed to own an AR-15.

    1. That AR-15 is cheaper than a book!

      Good point, though.

  15. The hashtagging of the airstrike in Syira is illustrative of the problem with the way the American electorate engages with foreign policy

    #BringBackOurAccountability

  16. “So what happens if I push this button? Oh…oops!”

  17. So the same way gay marriage opponents aren’t allowed to pray for Orlando victims, Obama voters aren’t allowed to pray for the Syrian victims? Very libertarian.

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