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View Diary: What to do if Syria crosses the "red line" and uses biological weapons... (168 comments)

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  •  There is no end to atrocities commited (0+ / 0-)

    around the world, by this or that government, or lack of government. But America's military might is neither designed for, nor capable of addressing most of these concerns. And there's no reason why it should be.

    America must stop thinking that it should, or even can police the world. Bad things will happen, bad governments will exist, with or without our participation. The idea that America is somehow obligated to prevent foreign governments from perpetrating "crimes against humanity" is a foolishly idealistic notion.

    We are not able to prevent Karzai from looting Afghanistan, any more than we were able to prevent sectarian warfare and widespread corruption in Iraq, once we toppled Saddam. Nor will we be able, no matter what we do, to prevent massive bloodshed in Syria.

    America's foreign policy establishment suffers from the delusion that we, and we alone can right all the wrongs of the world. As we perceive them. And that we can do so militarily. Instead of just stepping back and allowing other nations and cultures to settle their own affairs, however violently, we feel obligated to interfere, to meddle, and as a last resort to attack whatever we do not approve of, whether it directly threatens us or not.

    This kind of moralistic interventionism has only rarely done us, or anyone else any good. Americans have no idea what the internal dynamics of Syria are. And yet we feel somehow compelled to take sides in a dispute that is none of our own, and about which we know virtually nothing.

    •  This seems good, however (0+ / 0-)

      And I get where you are coming from.   But stopping a war that uses chemical and/or biological weaponry is as much a matter of our own personal self preservation as stopping a disaster.

      In the late 1990s, when there was an attempt to aerosolize Ebola, we made no mistake that if it ever came to light we'd firebomb it immediately.   That wasn't a matter of us preventing an attrocity in another country.. though that would also be true, it was a matter of us seeking self preservation by not letting that drift to where it could be plague-like (same with notes about releasing smallpox, etc.)

      In the case of Chemical warfare, we know for a fact that if anyone starts extensively using some of the chemical weapons that are possible, the amount of environmental and water damage could make a major oilspill look like nothing; the level of death of sea animals and wildlife could be devestating to the point where global damage would be insanely significant.

      There are reasons far beyond "it's humanitarian" to prevent those technologies from real use, the same would go with the potential use of nuclear weapons; the global impact is significant enough that it's not just a matter of worrying about the locals facing attrocity.. it becomes a matter of self preservation.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:10:43 AM PDT

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