President Obama’s decision to obtain approval from the US Senate and Congress for military action in Syria is as controversial as it is a comedy of errors.

On the one hand the confusion related to his hesitancy has been compounded by the fact that he may have realized too late his error in setting up Netanyahu-type “red lines” while on the other end of the spectrum,  his team lead by Secretary of State John Kerry appears utterly unconvincing and contradictory in their pitch for war.

Indeed, the very notion of “war” has undergone a variety of absurd definitions as Kerry attempts to placate a war-weary public that dropping bombs on Syria is not a war.

So what on earth are the fleet or war-ships and submarines doing off Syria’s coast if not being prepared and mobilized for war?

The crazy concept of “limited strikes” without “boots on the ground” is explained as being in pursuit of “deterrence” and “downgrading” Assad’s military capacity.

While the superfluous nature of the debate in the Senate has been far removed from an intense grilling of Kerry and his military partners, what has emerged does point to unsustainable policies likely to further alienate America from the rest of the world.

Obama’s push for war has not only pitted the United States against Russia and China, it has also earned the wrath of developing countries such as South Africa who hold the view that military action will conflate the current horrendous civil strife and result in greater humanitarian disaster for Syria’s  population.

The lukewarm debate in America’s power-house has not only failed to win public support as evidenced by polls that demonstrate a nation unwilling to offer its youth in pursuit of futile military gambles on behalf of others, it’s failure to raise pertinent questions also conceals possible hidden agendas.

One therefore hopes that the scathing attack against America’s military plans as reflected in recent editorials in some papers will echo across many more media platforms in South Africa.

Iqbal Jassat

Exec: Media Review Network