The timing is amazing from a neoconservative point of view, a few days before the American elections. Right now, after years of scrupulously avoiding crossing into Syrian territory, the American military receives instructions to invade a town in Syria and kill 8 people.

A U.S. military official confirmed late Sunday an American helicopter attack in an area along Syria’s border with Iraq, which left 8 people dead and three people wounded.

Syria condemned the attack, which it called “serious aggression.”

We are closer than ever before to serious conversations between Israel and Syria, Syria has recognized an international border with Lebanon for the first time in modern history, and this is horrifying to neoconservatives who ran Washington for the last decade. They need to use force and force only to conquer Iraq, Iran and Syria. And they need to promote a conception of the American presidency that is focused on the use of military force. It is vital to their conception of American hegemony. It is as opposite from a realist’s interests in exploring common interests internationally, with both allies and adversaries, as one could imagine.

What better way to move the American people back to a neoconservative view than by provoking a Syrian/American conflict days before one of the most fateful elections in American history. Most Americans are fed up with foreign wars, unbelievable debt from those wars, and economic failure. Yet if we can provoke Syria into retaliating against the United States somehow, then we can terrify the American people enough right now before the elections. Then they will vote from fear, not from the perspective of pragmatism and realism, and certainly not from a position of vision and hope. It has happened before in history.

I hope the Syrian regime sees this as bait, that they do not take the bait, that they do not become pawns in an internal American struggle that will only hurt them in the long run. And I hope the American people catch on to those who are attempting to manipulate them with tactics of fear.

The Iraqi/Syrian border: an appropriate place to decide an American election?
The Iraqi/Syrian border: an appropriate place to decide an American election?
© Marc Gopin