With the drumbeat going on for intervention in Syria, I was waiting for some new media conservatives to come out in favor of it. I did not have to wait long. Mitt Romney has been hammering Obama on the issue of not doing anything on Syria.
Now, in column in the New York Post, S.E. Cupp came out pleading for American intervention in Syria.
This crescendo is only going to grow in the next few days. As Romney and others call for American intervention in Syria, there are a few questions that need to be asked before we jump head long into that misadventure.
First, what is the compelling American interest here? Bashar Assad is someone who deserves to meet a very gruesome end for what he has done to his people, but what is the compelling American interest in replacing him?
Some argue that stopping the mass murder and human rights abuses in Syria is our interest. Really? What about the other hundred nations that are human rights abusers? Does this mean we have to intervene in those nations as well? Which nation is next after Syria? Iran? Zimbabwe? Yemen?
For all of his crimes, Assad has not been trying to start a war with Israel and a greater Middle East war. There is something to be said for that. It is in America’s interest for the Middle East not to go up in the flames of another war.
Here’s another interesting question for the intervention crowd. What is going to replace the Assad Regime? Do they realize we can do worse? In fact, our interventions this past year in the Middle East have been nothing short of a disaster, with every deposed regime being replaced by something worse. If Assad is gone, who takes over? Hezbollah? Someone tell me that would be better for America. Can you imagine another nation under Hezbollah’s control?
If we intervene, how are we going to pay for it and how are we going to pull it off?
We have been at war for almost 11 years. Does anyone remember that Iraqi oil was going to help pay for the Iraq liberation? Oops that did not happen. Instead we have foot the bill for Iraq and Afghanistan. George W. Bush was no Ronald Reagan when it came to the Defense budget but since the Party of Treason took over, the Defense budget has been slashed.
Our military is worn out. Not just our soldiers but also our equipment. Recently an Air Force General wrote a story about his son flying the same F-15 fighter that he had flown as a brand new pilot thirty years earlier. Not only is the equipment old but also ten years of war has worn a lot of it out. Another campaign is only going to make a bad situation worse. Does anyone believe that Barack Obama is going to agree to increase Defense spending?
There is no compelling American interest here. There is a real possibility we could end up worse off than we are now. And there is no explanation how we are going to pay for it or even how we are going to pay for the equipment we need to intervene in Syria.
For those who want us to get involved in Syria, please answer all of those questions first. Then we can talk.
America is not the world’s policeman. We have enough troubles with the fights where there is a legitimate American interest. Why should we pick up another where, as we say in the south, we don’t have a dog in this fight?
Our founders understood the dangers of becoming embroiled in the problems of foreign nations and, repeatedly, history has proven that to be sage advice. No matter what we do (or do not do), in the middle east, the majority of Muslims will find some reason to resent or hate us as that is the nature of the theo-political system of governance known as Islam.
For far too long now people have insisted on clinging to the addlebrained idea that, somehow, the principles, that are the basis of our society, can be “imposed” on a society which is based on intolerance, corruption, tyranny and hatred of all others. To refuse to learn from our history, and continue to embrace this foolishness, fits the definition of insanity.
There will be no “peace” with, or between the factions of, Islam until it evolves into a civilized social system – if that is even possible. We can not “force” such evolution. As with any other such threat, we can only confine and restrain it by being, ourselves, too dangerous a foe to engage. Libya is a excellent example of this policy. When we made clear the cost of threatening us, the danger diminished. When we attempted to intervene in their internal affairs, we got what we deserved – an even greater threat to us now.
Direct intervention – no matter how emotionally appealing – will, ultimately, be futile. History has shown us that a people will receive the government they deserve. The regime we currently suffer under, in our own country, is absolute proof of this maxim. In providing direct support, not just in the middle east but around the world, to “the lesser of two evils” we are, rightfully, viewed as hypocrites and, deservedly, condemned for violating the principles we claim to hold dear.
Avoiding “foreign entanglements” is not “isolationism”. By the very nature of today’s world we will always have “national interests” around the globe. Repeating the failed policies of the last half century, however, is not the answer (see “Insanity”, above). Yes, we do have national interests in the region, such as energy (oil), national security and commerce. All of these are much better addressed in ways many have already pointed out here.
All of these require that we first put our own house in order before we can effectively deal with our interests abroad. No matter what course we choose there are those in the world who will condemn us for our choice. That is one of the prices of sticking to your principles so suck it up and tell the rest of the world to stuff it! They, not we, are responsible for the results of their actions and we will not bail them out at the cost of our own country. When our own house IS in order, we may help those who deal fairly with us. To those who would threaten us, well, we may walk softly, we have the biggest dam stick in the valley and we WILL use it!
Very well written and thoughtful post. I am of the opinion that Senators like McCain are totally confused about American exceptional ism. To lead does not mean jumping in to foreign affairs with guns, literally, blasting.
IMO the powers that be are totally missing the ideology that drives the islamic system. Their continued failure to do will end in disastrously dire events. The islamic system seeks to destroy ALL others and until we stand against them they will continue expanding where they can get into. Gen Pershing took decisive action in 1909 and from a historical perspective it lasted a number of years without any attacks from the islamic factions.
Any other ideas?
John, Our gov't and its military establishment seem only to increase the numbers of those of Islam in our country. The aiding our demise. Islam is winning by bankrupting the West.
And help those that strap bombs on kids and send them into jewish pizza parlors, cheered the 911 bombing and support Iran (to name just a few things)? Hmm.