At the back of the hill

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

SYRIA USED POISON GAS -- WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Were chemical weapons used in Syria against civilians? Yes, without any doubt. Does this justify a strike -- limited or extended -- against the Syrian regime? Probably. But should the United States do it?

No.

We do not have a dog in this fight. Far worse atrocities have been committed in Syria, and throughout it all, both the regime and the population there have taken turns screaming at us, castigating us, and indicating that they would like our uncritical support, but do not wish us to be in any way involved. Not just Syria; all the Arab world.

The message, irrespective of whichever side speaks, has been that we should mind our own business, believe only what we are told, and with suitable ignorance and credulity lend approval.
And given that Syria is not an important trading partner, doesn't share deep cultural similarities, and at all levels despises us -- not only our government, also our society and our institutions -- it seems clear enough that we have NO need to go at it.


Does the United States HAVE to act when war-crimes are committed outside of our orbit? Put differently, do we have any legal, strategic, or moral reason to go to war with another country over what it does to its own citizens?


And in this case, what purpose would be served by our doing so?


Let the Arabs step up to the plate. They've demanded for years that we keep our big noses out of their affairs. They have asserted time and again that American involvement does far more harm than good, creates disasters, denies them their right to manage their own affairs, which, they aver, would be quite well settled indeed were it not for our meddling.

Many people around the world agree with them. If we strike Syria, it is fairly guaranteed that infuriated protesters in Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brussels, and other hotbeds of civilization, will storm our embassies and boycott our brands.

Even our alleged friend and ally Turkey, which saw its fingers burned by the Assad regime, is home to millions of America-haters.


No, it's not the fear of anti-Yanquismo that persuades me that we should not get involved.
It is, rather, the firm belief that the rest of the world needs to stick out its neck for a change. They are the ones concerned, they are the sides who have horses in this race.


Why should our tax money and our efforts be wasted on a people and a country where everything we represent is considered vile?


War is not corrective surgery.


Let's save our missiles for when we have to change the map instead.
Which we may need to do in that part of the world soon anyway.




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3 Comments:

  • At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My suspicion is that bombing syria is likely to only be a test run for doing the same in iran (and probably an excuse for doing so, as well).

     
  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Very good point, regarding the test run.

     
  • At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I very much agree, geting involved in this part of the world has yet to win a heart or a mind. Acually it seems just the opposite. As you say, Not just Syria; all the Arab world. I'll take that futher and venture to guess that the whole world would apprciate it if we would just butt out.

    Good Article - K

     

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