Testifying before a Senate committee a few months ago, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lamented that America was "in an information war, and we are losing that war." This week, she blew a fuse at the "Friends of Syria" meeting in Paris, saying that Russia and China should "pay a price" for not supporting regime change in Syria.
Here's a thought: How about using the power of truth to get things done rather than cover and manipulation?
Russia and China aren't following America's script for one reason: They have major economic interests in Syria and rightfully see any attempt at regime change as America trying to steal their lunch. This isn't like the Libya situation, where Muammar Gadhafi, who essentially became America's ally of convenience in fighting terrorism in the wake of the Iraq invasion, signed his own death warrant when his iron fist started quivering as the Arab Spring roared all around him and ousted his pal in Tunisia, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and the leaders of Egypt and Yemen. The subsequent uprising in Libya fit within that climate of mass outcry. If Western forces were involved in sparking the unrest at the outset, then at least the West had plausible deniability in appearing to be intervening under humanitarian pretext.
As Gadhafi began to feel control slipping away, he did what all control freaks do: He flipped out and started cracking down. This provided the window for NATO countries to invoke the U.N.'s "responsibility to protect." The end result was regime change The cause was Gadhafi's crackdown -- at least by all appearances.
What's clearly frustrating Clinton is the fact that the urgency of the Arab Spring is long over, and so are all the favorable optics. All we're left with now is overwhelming evidence of Western-funded, Western-trained mercenaries causing trouble for Bashar al-Assad, thereby making it difficult for the world to tell if military crackdowns are just self-defense against what might be perceived as terrorists. Meanwhile, the State Department has been funding various groups to drum up the humanitarian cause for regime change.
But why even bother with all this cover and pretext? Hasn't Clinton seen the unemployment statistics? She should stop acting as if economics isn't a valid reason for military action. There's never been a better time to come right out and say that America and the West are in an economic war against China and its sphere of influence, and that Americans are losing jobs and the country is losing its manufacturing base to the Chinese, who only make a few cents an hour and live together in dormitories until the day they jump from a window because their lives are so miserable.
Just be honest about the fact that oil and gas are huge cash cows and growth industries of the future, and will provide economic expansion opportunities abroad, around which other industries will prosper. Explain that China, America and each of their respective allies are dividing up the global pie, whether people like it or not -- and that it's time to decide who you'd rather have as a boss.
As military strategist Carl Von Clausewitz once said, war is just an extension of politics by other means. No one can doubt that the West is in a perpetual war with the Chinese sphere for global economic influence and supremacy.
Of course, there is one problem: China is largest foreign owner of publicly held U.S. debt, holding about 8 percent of it, or $1.2 trillion. But either way, a Syrian invasion -- via mercenary proxies or otherwise -- is going to anger China because it won't like the end result. Obama and Clinton just have to decide whether they're going to rip off the Band-Aid slowly or quickly. But one thing's for sure: If they continue to lose sphere and influence to China, that situation will only continue to deteriorate, with China owning increasingly more debt.
But why not explain all this to people?
This process of trying to convince voters, through pretexting and mental manipulation, to get on board for each military action is getting tedious. It's tiresome to watch people fronting for the State Department, petting goats and kissing babies in foreign countries while pretending that any resulting economic opportunities would just be icing on the cake. We're not stupid. Back away from the goat, put down the baby and simply tell the truth. You might be pleasantly surprised at the reaction.
Then, when the battleground moves to Iran, Sudan, Nigeria or elsewhere for the exact same reasons -- as it inevitably will -- your lives will be much easier because you'll at the very least have truth and reason on your side.