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I oppose intervention Syria.  I oppose intervention because of the lack of any good options in Syria, the fractured nature of the opposition, and the very real chance that spillover will happen to neighboring states.  More than anything, I oppose US intervention in Syria because I think it will increase the the number of atrocities and war crimes committed by both the Syrian regime and the rebels.

But there is one argument on the anti-intervention side that does not sway me, one that I even consider morally bankrupt.  That the US cannot intervene in Syria because the US has itself committed war crimes.

To be clear, I fully agree, the US has committed war crimes.  The use of torture by the US since 9/11 would be one clear example.  The use of NAPALM, White Phosphorous and depleted Uranium are likely others.  If we were to attack Syria for their own violations of the Geneva Protocols, we could fairly be called hypocrites. But that would not alter the justness of the specific act.  Let me give an example.

Suppose a person is walking down the street, and sees an old woman being mugged and beaten.  Should the person walking down the street help the old woman (call the police, step in, etc)?  I think the answer yes.  There are limits, of course.  The person would not necessarily have to physically confront the attacker if they had no hope of success.  But, at a minimum, the person should call the police, scream at the attacker that the police have been called, etc. I think anyone who would ignore the beating and walk on would be a moral coward.  

Now, lets take this example one step further.  Assume that the person witnessing the beating had previously mugged and beaten old women. Would the just cause of action be any different?  Would doing the right thing (finally) be any less right because the person had previously been a mugger?  Would that individual be ethically obligated to walk on and let the beating continue? Of course not.

This is basic ethics.  The quality of an action is not altered by the previous wrong actions of the person performing the action.  We even have a term for it--redemption.  Here I am thinking of former KKK members who become active anti-racists...former soldiers who become active pacifists.  The examples of redemption are too frequent to count...and are justly celebrated.  

I oppose intervention in Syria for the reasons I stated above, but if the US could stop the atrocities in Syria, both chemical and conventional, without a serious loss of life, I would support it.  I would even hope that it might mark the beginning of a new use for the US war machine--stopping atrocities rather than performing them. There is a strong moral/humanitarian argument for intervention in Syria, and the people who advocate for intervention are not all war-mongers.  In fact, those who would walk on and ignore Syria because the US has previously committed war crimes are the cowards.  They are the people who use their own moral failings, their fear of the US being labelled hypocrites, to avoid the hard questions and let tyrants slaughter the defenseless.

I oppose US intervention in Syria, but I am never going to support those who argue that because the US has done wrong, it should never try to do right.  That position is morally bankrupt.

Atrocities are occurring in Syria, and my opposition to US intervention has a price in the lives of the innocent. I am letting the old woman get mugged and beaten because I believe that if I intervened, the mugging and beating will be even worse.  But if I thought intervention Syria would work, I would support it without reservation--no matter the history of war crimes committed by the US.  I would rather live in a nation that belatedly acted morally than one that never did.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:55:10 PM PDT

  •  It may not be a reason to bar (13+ / 0-)

    the US from intervention, however, it is a damn good reason to be highly skeptical of the administrations high flown moral rhetoric as the sole reason for their military adventures.

    •  As best I cant tell (4+ / 0-)

      the moral argument is the ONLY reason for intervention.  There is no other.  So it is to be expected that it will be part of the rhetoric.

      Is it genuine on the part of Obama.  Who the hell knows.  But, to my mind, there is a real moral imperative that both you and I are choosing to ignore.  We are letting the old woman get mugged.  At a minimum, we shouldn't act too self-righteous about it.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:02:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that there is (7+ / 0-)

        quite a bit more geopolitics involved. There have been serious humanitarian issues in Syria for two years. The sudden attack of morality doesn't ring true to me.

        •  Luckily (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Larsstephens

          my argument makes no claims about the motivations of the actors.

          We know atrocities are occurring, we know chemical weapons were used.  If we could stop those things, it would be the right thing to do.

          As for the geopolitics, that's the specific context that makes me, like you, oppose intervention.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:12:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your analogy is flawed (5+ / 0-)

        The proper analogy isn't

        Assume that the person witnessing the beating had previously mugged and beaten old women. Would the just cause of action be any different?  Would doing the right thing (finally) be any less right because the person had previously been a mugger?  Would that individual be ethically obligated to walk on and let the beating continue?
        It's more like whether that person should be believed when they're trying to whip up a crowd of bystanders who haven't seen the crime to go and attack a person they SAY was the mugger, and they can't show proof, all they can do is say, "You'll have to trust me."
        •  Are you saying no atrocities (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, elwior

          have occurred in Syria?  That no civilians have been systematically killed?

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:27:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, 3rdOption, costello7

            We need to let the UN inspectors do their work and say whether chemical weapons were involved, and what their likely source was if they were.

            •  The UN is not tasked with determining (5+ / 0-)

              who used them, only if they were used.

              And seriously, if you want to hang your hat on no chemical weapons being used, go for it, but you've got Doctors Without Borders saying you are wrong.

              More so, you might note I said, atrocities (both chemical and conventional).

              An old woman (Syrian civilians) is getting beaten by someone...what are you gonna do about it?

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:34:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They're analyzing (3+ / 0-)

                samples from inside the shells, which along with the photographic record of the shell remains should tell something about whether it was military grade gas or some kind of combination or home brew. The facts will speak if they're allowed the time to.

                •  It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  costello7

                  We cannot trust our government to tell us the truth about justifications for military actions.

                  We must assume that they are lying to us.

                  Our most catastrophic military fuckups post WWII have all been entered into on false pretenses presented to the American people as fact by government officials we are supposed to trust.

                  The Tonkin Gulf incident did not happen. There were no North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacking a US ship.

                  We did not need to kick Saddam out of Kuwait "to defend Democracy" as George I declared. We were defending a King and his kingdom, against our dictator who we had given the green light for the purpose of taking Kuwait's oil fields from them. (We just didn't know he was going to continue south to Kuwait City, bust open the bank vaults and loot the whole freakin' place. He didn't mention that part of the plan.) See: April Glaspie

                  The Iraq war is self-evident.

                  We should not be trusting our government on this, no matter which party occupies the White House.

                  We have been the victims of "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission" one too many times.


                  "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

                  by 3rdOption on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:03:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  the crime is real. You're holding on to old (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empty Vessel, melfunction

          rhetoric.

          You need to ask yourself, 'Say this crime happened.  Do we have a moral imperative to act, or not'?  Your answer may be 'not', and that's fine--but you need to confront that question.
          It is nearly certain that Assad did this.

          It's a bit like the torture issue.  If you're against torture, BE against torture.  Invoking arguments like 'studies show that torture isn't effective' is not a strong approach.

          Take the stand.

      •  This is just another war on the neocon playlist (4+ / 0-)

        Syria borders Iraq borders..all part of the plan.

      •  The "moral" argument being that the US (0+ / 0-)

        should prevent a future use of chemical weapons by Assad's regime?

        What gives anyone the idea that Assad's regime might do such a thing?

        "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

        by Calvino Partigiani on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:41:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and it does happen, in the world of geopolitics, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Empty Vessel

        that realpolitik sometimes dovetails with the morally right thing to do.

        That said, like you, I'm unconvinced that this is the 'right thing to do'--it's basically an impossible call.

  •  Looks like that train has already left the station (7+ / 0-)

    The US has been intervening in Syria for some time now, in partnership with our democracy-loving allies Prince Bandar and the Saudis.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:03:37 PM PDT

  •  How about this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, costello7

    It is insane and against all common sense that the US can use bombs a war to "do right".  Boms don't help people, they kill people.  And they don't  fix anything...they wreck things in spectacular and devastating fashion.

    To make the arguement that the US is "doing right" by invading and bombing yet another country is insanity.  Period.  

    Seriously, when was the last time we've helped anybody by invading and bombing the very people we claim need our help?  Probably before I was born.  This never-ending ycle of military aggression neds to stop.

    •  WWII, Haiti (not all of them) (6+ / 0-)

      Perhaps Libya, Bosnia, Rwanda (French), former Yugoslavia.  and some others.

      Where atrocities are occurring, force has, at times, been successful at stopping them.  If anything, the moral failures in those cases are that we acted to slowly, not too quickly.

      There are also numerous examples where we committed war crimes.

      As I said, I oppose intervention, but for reasons specific to Syria, not for some abstract idea that war is always bad.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:10:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you really think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, costello7

        the Syrian civil war rises to the level of WWII?  Are they capable of doing a Pearl Harbor?  Have they?

        Call me back when they do, and you may have your justification.

        And no, shooting back after we bomb doesn't count.

        You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

        by Johnny Q on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:20:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  War always, all the time, is bad (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, Farkletoo, costello7

        We have been at war for the last 12 years and haven't finished the first war.

      •  World War II (0+ / 0-)

          I am forced to point out that the United States did not enter World War II to save humanity from two hideous tyrannical regimes. We did not even enter it to save the British and Soviets, fighting desperately for their lives against Nazi aggressors. We entered the war because the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor (Pacific theatre) and because 4 days later Hitler declared war on us.  We will never know for sure, but the general consensus of historians is that had Hitler not declared war on us, we would have fought only the Japanese and confined ourselves to Lend-Lease help in the European theatre.

        "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

        by Reston history guy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:31:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        You don't stop attrocities by committing attrocities.  Last I checked Libya, Bosnia, Rwanda, etc, aren't exactly shining pillars of freedom and democracy.  Hell, last I checked they are still full of problems and new attrocities.  Meanwhile, there are attrocities just as bad, if not worst, than syria happening all the time in many other countries that we hear nothing about or flat out ignore.  

        And for President Obama to come out and say this is about doing not just what is right, but upholding the law and/or international agreements is laughable.  Because we violate those agreements/laws every chance we get when we think it is politically in our advantage to do so.  

  •  The U.S. isn't just hypocritical, it's also (7+ / 0-)

    extremely selective when it comes to enforcement. The U.S. in this context is less like the mugger calling the cops on another mugger, and more like a corrupt cop who selectively shakes down criminals to benefit certain interests while covering up their own crimes.

    In other words, "human rights" is nothing more than a pretense for the U.S. to do pretty much whatever it wants. Obviously the U.S. has larger strategic interests in Syria, having to do with geopolitics and the goal of completely isolating and encircling Iran. Kerry made this very clear when he talked about "transforming" the Middle East today.

    •  are the use of chemical weapons (4+ / 0-)

      a crime?  Should that crime be stopped if it were possible?

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:13:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Leave it to the UN (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Farkletoo, costello7

        or at least its actual neighbors.  If they see no reason to intervene themselves, we certainly have no business sticking our swingin' cods in.

        You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

        by Johnny Q on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:22:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Enforcement can't be selective (4+ / 0-)

        That's not justice. It would be even better if enforcement was carried out by a large coalition, a true international effort. Those two aspects - fairness and multilateralism - are what is missing here.

        The U.N. has made it clear that attacking Syria would be a violation of international law. You're suggesting we commit one crime in order to punish another.

        •  So its better to have no laws enforced (5+ / 0-)

          than some laws enforced?

          As for this...

          The U.N. has made it clear that attacking Syria would be a violation of international law. You're suggesting we commit one crime in order to punish another.
          How many times do I have to say in the diary that I oppose intervention before people actually see it.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:30:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you would be OK with a legal regime where (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WattleBreakfast

            you get harshly punished for a crime, but other people who commit the same crime, including law enforcement itself, get away with it?

            •  No such legal regime exists (4+ / 0-)

              the laws are the laws, the Geneva Protocols apply to all...the point is that some people get away with it.  

              I would prefer a world where nobody gets away with violating the Geneva Convention, while recognizing some unfortunately do...you, it seems, would prefer a world where nobody is punished for violating the Geneva convention because not everybody is.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:39:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You deny that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                costello7, WattleBreakfast, CenPhx

                a legal regime like this exists, and then go on to describe exactly what I did: a system where some people are punished, while others are not, and the "police" are often guilty of the same thing they are punishing others for. That's not justice.

                In Bahrain recently, there was an "Arab Spring" uprising similar to what happened in Syria. But far from helping the "rebels," the U.S. stood by while our ally Saudi Arabia sent troops, which proceeded to kill, torture and imprison protesters - all while Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in the country. Bahrain, of course, is a U.S. ally.

                •  No really I get it (3+ / 0-)

                  You think because that because the US ignored things in Bahrain (which it did), it should forever ignore all other war crimes everywhere.  

                  I think we should stop engaging in, and ignoring, war crimes everywhere, and help where we can.

                  I am truly a monster.

                  "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                  by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:09:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not a monster, but I'd argue you are being way (4+ / 0-)

                    too credulous.

                    When the U.S. helps brutally crush a revolution in one country, and then turns around and arms and trains the rebels in another, I don't see how it can be viewed in the context of human rights. Especially when the regime in question is a long-time strategic adversary that the U.S. has long sought to get rid of.

                    This is the U.S. acting entirely in its own self-interest. The question we should be asking is what that U.S. interest is, rather than simply accepting the pretext that is provided.

              •  The point really is that when you throw a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q, costello7

                region into turmoil as we did with Iraq like we did with Vietnam, you can't predict how extreme people will react when they are confronting the chaos they are not emotionally or physically capable of handling.  Vietnam lead to millions dead in Cambodia, total, mad, out of control slaughter because that is what happens when you kick off chaos.  That happened in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution and the neocons think lighting the fire to similar in the middle east was just a swell idea.  Light the fire and watch the house burn down.  

                We're like the arsonist running into the fire and trying to get credit for help putting it out while we're already planning the next one.

  •  I don't think it's an argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, elwior

    against intervention. But it's a pretty good explanation as to why few in the outside world take the administration's position at face value.

    As for moral bankruptcy, I'm seeing a good share of it whenever I turn on the news. I expect to see much more of it in the coming days.

    There's none so blind as those that will not see. --Jonathan Swift

    by chuckvw on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:29:02 PM PDT

  •  I think (3+ / 0-)

    part of the magic of being an American, and to the extent that I think American Exceptionalism exists, is rooted in the concept that as individuals and as a society, we posses the psychic mobility and capacity for continual re-invention, of putting aside the past, and imagining new futures, with relative freedom from embedded class and cultural memory and the burdens of history.  

    We can approach old problems with fresh optimism, not that the old problems don't change, but we do.  

    The very, very, sad thing is that we are prone to repeating old mistakes.  Because we forget to remember past experience.

    The upside, is that with enough repetitions, we have a shot at getting it right, and finding new solutions to old problems that have plagued humanity and societies for epochs.

  •  Strawman. Dropping bombs is not only solution. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ukit, costello7, CenPhx

    To make your analogy more applicable to the situation, it would be like a guy who likes to beat up women coming across a woman being beat up and decides to help beat her up even more because the attacker says she deserves it.

    We are not talking about calling for help here, we are talking about getting involved in the fight.   The problem is that we are assuming that options other than getting involved in the fight will not be effective while at the same time admitting that any action we take will not be effective.

    To the larger point, applying moral principals inconstantly has a term:  hypocrisy.    More generally, it means that the only person that you are fooling is yourself (writ large to mean 'the nation', not you personally.)

    •  Did you even read the first paragraph? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi, elwior, Justanothernyer
      I oppose intervention Syria.  I oppose intervention because of the lack of any good options in Syria, the fractured nature of the opposition, and the very real chance that spillover will happen to neighboring states.  More than anything, I oppose US intervention in Syria because I think it will increase the the number of atrocities and war crimes committed by both the Syrian regime and the rebels.
      As for your stunning insight on hypocrisy...
      To be clear, I fully agree, the US has committed war crimes.  The use of torture by the US since 9/11 would be one clear example.  The use of NAPALM, White Phosphorous and depleted Uranium are likely others.  If we were to attack Syria for their own violations of the Geneva Protocols, we could fairly be called hypocrites. But that would not alter the justness of the specific act.  Let me give an example.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:18:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I dislike hypocrisy. I don't think it establishes (6+ / 0-)

    a sound basis for ethical action... in personal life or in geopolitics.

    Isn't there a saying about casting the first stone?

    If the US is truly concerned about upholding the integrity of Geneva, we would of course put our own house in order first. Our own war criminals are rather more easily reached than is Assad.

    The soldiers and KKK members in your examples will have repudiated their pasts before embarking on their new, better futures. Without that renunciation, there is no redemption. Until we renounce our own war crimes, we have no moral standing to intervene in Syria and our righteous protestations about moral lines ring hollow.

    Simply promising never to do it again is the path of the coward and the hypocrite. Our only path to redemption goes through American war crimes tribunals.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:17:54 PM PDT

    •  So (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Justanothernyer

      You would object to an unrepentant mugger protecting an old woman under any circumstances?

      I would rather the the US have one just act out ten, than have the US have a perfect 10 for 10 for injustice.

      Hypocrisy is bad, war crimes are worse.  If we could actually help in Syria (which I do not believe we can), I would support it even if I knew we would be back to our old ways next year.

      PS Obviously I would prefer more that we would stop doing the shit we do as of now, and forever.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:24:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the chances that US bombing will--on (6+ / 0-)

        balance--"protect" actual Syrians are vanishingly small. Given that, I don't think your "mugger" analogy is apt.

        I might agree with you, if the discussion were about stopping Saddam Hussein from gassing the Kurds and Shia.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:31:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree completely (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD, elwior, Justanothernyer

          that our actions will not help, that's why I oppose intervetion.

          My only point in this diary is to oppose the hypocrisy argument.  

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:33:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your point is a valid one (IMHO). (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:43:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think this matter to me because (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, buddabelly, elwior

              given the way the world is, somewhere down the line there is going to be a conflict where we actually could help.  Another Rwanda, for example.  A situation where a fairly small effort by the US could actually prevent genocide, and other war crimes.

              I do not want the hypocrisy argument to become so ingrained that we fail to act when action is both just and possible.

              How we oppose action in Syria is just as important as opposing it.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:47:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  This analogy just isn't right (0+ / 0-)

           To make it right you have to change it as follows. The United States is a guy with a criminal past who hears a big noise. He runs to see what is going on. Various people are lying all over the ground dead as a large disorganized melee is underway. Based on something a passer-by claims to have heard, and on the clear and unmistakable evidence that somebody killed these poor bastards lying in the street, the guy then targets a couple of thugs who appear to be on one side for punishment. After he kills them, he wags his finger at the thugs still fighting and says, "Let that be a lesson to you."

        "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

        by Reston history guy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:39:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So you're walking down the street (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Reston history guy, CenPhx

    and you see an old woman getting mugged.  And you decide to get involved and you grab the mugger and pull him off the old lady, only to discover...

    that the old lady was a murderer in disguise and that the "mugger" was a police officer whose partner the supposed old lady had just shot and, as this begins to dawn on you, the "old lady" pulls "her" gun and kills both you and the officer.

    I think your analogy is swiss cheese to begin with.  But the point needs to be stressed:  we really do not know what is going on in Syria, who is doing what to whom, or what unintended consequences our intervention might have...for them or for us.  One thing we do know is that this has as much in common with an old lady being mugged as I have in common with Michael Jordan.

    I think the hypocrisy argument is entirely valid.  Its Nixon saying its not illegal if the President does it.  See, if America gasses her own people or engages in torture, then its not a war crime.  But we will judge others guilty if it pleases us to do so.  By that metric, yes, any intervention we make in a situation like this is premised on our moral superiority--a moral superiority we sorely lack.  This isn't about redemption or doing the right thing.  This is us telling the world we know what's best for everyone because we're so much better than they are.  So, yes, I consider it an entirely valid argument against intervention to say to our representatives, "Hey, if you're really so concerned about War Crimes and 'never again', there are some issues closer to home that you've not addressed."

    If you are concerned about the suffering of innocent people, then bombs are not the answer.  How about humanitarian aid to the refugees?  The heck with that, how about we restore full funding for Head Start and Food Stamps and the other programs to alleviate the suffering of people right here in our own country before we go spending a billion dollars a day bombing a country because we're so morally superior.

    The truth--the real truth--is that our leaders' interest in intervention has nothing to do with a moral imperative.  This is all about feeding the beast that demands to be fed.  Our leaders believe that we must siphon money from the poor and middle class to keep the MIC fat, lest it turn on us (which, of course, it already has).  It's no different from the "moral imperative" of periodically feeding a virgin to the volcano to appease the gods.  I have no trust in any "evidence" our government presents.  None.  It's already been shown to be as twisted as what took us to Iraq.  I have no doubt--and nor should you--that our government will not intervene to stop a mugging but, instead, would intervene only to kill both the mugger and muggee and "let God sort it out".

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

    by costello7 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 06:01:12 PM PDT

  •  Best anti-intervention diary I have seen. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel

    You've said what needed to be said, and really effectively.

    And, unlike so many others, you clearly recognize the potential costs of the position.  I stand pretty much where you do on this.

    I think you might appreciate this piece by the journalist Josh Shahryar:

    Here

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