Perhaps the Obama administration should spend less time beating the drums of war in Iraq and Syria and more time heeding the words of the most decorated U.S. Marine in military history at the time of his death in 1940, Major General Smedley D. Butler. In 1935, he (see Wikipedia) observed:
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers.
"In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.
"Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
Butler's insights help explain the Obama administration's silence concerning the nefarious activities of Saudi Arabia, a country that has beheaded at least 19 people since August, according to Human Rights Watch reports, and is a major supplier of military support and funding for ISIL.
Could it be that the reason for the silence is that semi-feudal Saudi Arabia is a partner in our nation's imperial designs on the oil-rich Middle East?
Is it possible that the patriotic furor that is being whipped up over the admittedly ghastly beheading of two American citizens by ISIL has provided a pretext for launching a war against Syria?