Military intervention in foreign lands can have severe consequences despite what our leaders tell us
Barack Obama came out last week promising the Syrian rebels unspecified military aid after he claimed the US now has proof President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on Syrian rebels. The promise also came a couple days after Bill Clinton called Obama a “wuss” for not taking action, coincidence?
So now the American government is at risk of turning this two and half year old civil war into a much larger proxy war with Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah, Israel and the European Union. The real loser here is of course the Syrian people who will die in greater numbers in a land we just can’t seem to leave alone.
So why now, what has changed? As Bill Maher mentioned last week; perhaps we think if we interfere in Syria the fifth intervention will be free. Clearly, no lessons have been learned from Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Iraq is still experiencing sectarian bombings on a regular basis and the country is deteriorating so quickly that we might wind up seeing Iraq split into three countries before we know it. Libya is destabilizing quickly as radical Islamists and warlords are battling government forces and militias. And then there is Afghanistan, I won’t go into details about that mess.
There are people out there, even so called liberals who believe that intervention in Syria is the moral thing to do. This might seem cold hearted on the surface, but if it’s the moral thing to do, why pick and choose?
The US has already turned the Middle East into something that resembles American Hegemony in South and Central America in the 70’s and 80’s. Why not intervene in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war where more than a million people have died? Why not Somalia, Sudan or the dozens of others going on around the world?
Every time you gamble on a winner by taking sides in another internal conflict, you risk doing more harm than good. I’m not just talking about natural blowback, I’m talking about supporting the wrong side altogether.
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is an evil dictator like any other who deserves to go, but what is the alternative? The rebel factions in Syria are increasingly radicalized and have been accused of using chemical weapons themselves. I recently saw a video of a rebel cutting the heart out of a government soldier he killed only to eat it moments later while screaming in delight. Is this type of people we want to bring to power or give guns to? Maybe the NRA would.
Thom Hartmann gave a good analogy last week: What if Canada or Mexico took exception to how Wall Street was operating during the American Civil War and decided to provide military support to the Confederacy despite their pro-slavery stance. The world would be a far different place wouldn’t it.
The point is you can never know the consequences of our actions until they are fully played out. No one can say for sure what Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya will be like in twenty to fifty years from now. Just look where we are with Iran more than sixty years after ousting Mohammad Mosaddegh, I bet that seemed pretty innocent at the time.
I know it might seem cruel, but the people taking part in revolutions or civil wars must be left to decide their own fate. As strange as it might be to hear, for all we know Assad might prove to be the lessor of two evils down the road, we’ll never know for sure.
Military assistance or direct intervention should only be used in the case of outright genocide, border disputes or territorial invasions. Even then, any action should be decided by the UN General Assembly, not a handful of wealthy countries who think they are looking after their own interests.
I believe it’s high time to stop trying to police the planet, particularly when we police the Beverly Hills of the world, but decide not to look at the ghettos or projects. We need to mind our own business and take care of things at home before we tell our neighbors who the father of their home should be.