Cultural Psychology

Archive for September 2013

My Reply to Congresswoman Lois Capp’s (CA-24) Letter on Syria

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Re:  ** Your Response Concerning Syria **

Dear Rep. Lois Capps
California’s 24th US Congressional District

Thank you for informing me of your position on Syria.

May I remind you:

1. That there is a legitimate possibility that the Syrian rebels were responsible for the use of sarin gas in a Damascus suburb recently, with the precise intent of drawing the US into the conflict.  And that the UN investigators have not made their report.  And that it is foolish in the utmost for the Obama administration to commit itself before sufficient data are available with which to draw reliable conclusions.

2. That there is near unanimous consensus that the figure of 1,429 deaths is exaggerated, and that the actual number killed is significantly lower.

3. That even if there is a moral imperative to address the use of nerve gas in Syria, there is *not* a moral imperative for the US to act precipitously and unilaterally.  Indeed, there *is* a moral imperative to respond in a responsible way, namely by dealing with the problem as one member of a community of nations.

4. There are far worse humanitarian calamities, such as mass starvation, which the US government pays no attention to. And that this double-standard reveals that President Obama is using the recent sarin gas event as a pretext for military intervention motivated for other reasons.

5. That in any case there is no such thing as a limited military action. Mission creep is a brute fact.  Once released, there is no calling back the dogs of war, and one would be both extremely naive and ignorant of history to believe otherwise.


John Uebersax


Written by John Uebersax

September 11, 2013 at 12:47 am

Syria Letter from My Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-24)

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mail_headercapps letter 1capps letter 2

Text of letter:

September 10, 2013

Dear John Uebersax:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to U.S. military involvement in Syria. As your Representative, I appreciate hearing from you.

This is a deeply troubling and complex issue. As you know, several reports revealed the use of chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict between the Assad regime and armed rebel forces in Syria. On August 30th, the White House released an unclassified summary of U.S. intelligence reports, which assessed the Syrian government’s mass use of chemical weapons on a Damascus suburb, as well as other smaller suspected chemical weapon attacks. The assessment determined the most recent attack on August 21st resulted in approximately 1,429 deaths, including at least 426 children. In addition to the unclassified evidence released by the Administration, I have since reviewed further evidence regarding the attacks through classified briefings in Washington.

Clearly, the Assad regime’s deployment of chemical weapons violates a long standing international norm, in place for nearly 100 years, that has greatly deterred their use. The question before me is what actions should the U.S. take to reduce the likelihood of those weapons being used again in Syria and by others in the future. As such, I am reviewing the Administration’s proposal for targeted action in Syria very carefully, including meeting with government, military and foreign policy experts, but I have yet to determine whether this action would achieve that goal. As someone who voted against the Iraq war, I believe that any commitment of U.S. military forces must always be considered with the greatest of care and, furthermore, be the last resort to achieving the goal of safeguarding our national security. Indeed, that is one reason I wrote to the President urging the Administration to seek Congressional authorization prior to committing any military force in Syria so that we, as a nation, could have this critical debate.

I will continue reviewing information on this issue and am monitoring the situation within Syria closely, as it continues to evolve. Moreover, I will continue to listen to my constituents as you make your voices heard on this difficult issue. Rest assured, I will certainly keep your views in mind on this critically important topic.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please keep in touch by liking my Facebook page, following me on Twitter, signing up for my e-newsletter, or by visiting my website.


Member of Congress

Written by John Uebersax

September 11, 2013 at 12:40 am

AIPAC is Anti-Semitic

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It appears that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is hell-bent on getting the US into another war. AIPAC is the most powerful lobby in Washington.  By massive campaign donations and unscrupulous principles, they own virtually every member of Congress.  Every candidate must meet with them before running and win their approval — that’s an indication of their power.

In theory AIPAC is supposed to “inform” (i.e., pressure) Congress in ways that support the interests of the Israeli people.  That itself is somewhat questionable (remember George Washington’s warning about the dangers of foreign nations influencing our government.)  But what’s much worse, today AIPAC is a completely dysfunctional organization.  It exists now to perpetuate itself, and to protect the jobs of its staff.

War would be bad for Israel.  Assad has never attacked Israel, and probably never would.  With a regime change, anything could happen.  AIPAC is pushing for war because that’s the only thing they know how to do.  They’re good at it.  It’s all about inertia, power, and control.

In the final analysis, AIPAC is anti-Semitic, because it hurts Israel and hurts Jews. It takes advantage of the sympathies and good-will of American Jewish donors, who naively think they are helping Israel.  Instead they are feeding a monster.

Written by John Uebersax

September 6, 2013 at 11:03 pm