On President Barack Obama’s address on Syria, I deeply resented his impervious rhetoric and his passive aggressive deployment of hegemonic masculinity. In defense of military strikes (and the necessity of a “credible threat” of them), he said, “What kind of a world would we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?” Perhaps Pres. Obama would benefit by re-reading Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, an autobiography that speaks to personal histories of non-violent resistance and resulting institutional, de-colonial change.
The President argued: that to oppose military strikes — as an option or actualized plan — is naïve and acquiescent. He continued by accusing those who oppose military intervention that it somehow equates to violating a common humanity. Even more incredulous, he claimed that the U.S. promotes and anchors global security. A remarkable statement that ignores, for example, the public information available because of Chelsea Manning’s and Edward Snowden’s non-violent disobedience and conscientious resistance to U.S. militarism and surveillance tactics.
No, I don’t agree with President Obama’s logic that military violence and war (or the threat of it!) creates peace and stability. I don’t agree that the U.S. is known for promoting global security or even democracy. Furthermore, the foil of masculinity demonstrated tonight (i.e., “the United States military doesn’t do pin pricks”) oozed insensitivity and felt patronizing — and, I imagine he had quite the opposite objective.
Three views of the same moss covered Redwood tree stump. I love green and I’m in love with the Redwoods!