Syria and the Ugliness of War

Writing at the Daily News, Stanley Crouch says it's a mistake for the Obama administration to think that a strike on Syria would be quick and easy. He cites the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to bolster his argument.

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President Barack Obama (Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)

Stanley Crouch, writing at the Daily News, says it's a mistake for the Obama administration to think that a strike on Syria would be quick and easy, citing the length of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as examples.

In Pablo Picasso’s paintings, war comes down to two things: slaughtering the innocent and raping available women. In a universal sense, he had it right.

The lethal accuracy and equally lethal mistakes of technology -- beginning with the long bow and on from there to long-range missiles and chemical warfare -- keep extending when and how we can go to war. Human beings fight better now, most of the time.

Yet the country grows tired of clomping boots on the ground, and casualties. Dead bodies are shocking, then sickening and then finally dull and out of place.

No military refinement has resulted in anything other than what we have known from antiquity to five minutes ago: The compromised morality of military men is a tinderbox of unpredictable danger. The victims suffer in silence or become pariahs or wait until it is at last safe to complain.

The war of the moment in the Middle East is Syria, where President Obama’s position is that the United States should step in hard and fast, but only slightly. President Assad’s military has killed at least 1,400 people with chemical weapons, he says. 

Read Stanley Crouch's entire piece at the Daily News.

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