How limited would limited action be?
Let's begin with an old adage which holds that "staying out of impossible situations is always easier than getting out of impossible situations." Given that Syria is, by almost all reckoning, an impossible and no-win situation, one would hope that we'd step back from the idea of intervening in yet another country wherein the opposing groups have been eyeing each other with less than happy thoughts since about forever.
Instead, however, we're now waiting for congress to begin a debate on what we should do in the matter.
Be still my beating heart.
Even though I know the following will do nothing to change any course of action our "leaders" will decide upon, I'll still offer the following:
•If other civilized nations seem to be avoiding military involvement in Syria like the proverbial plague it most surely is, this might be a good time for us to consider doing the same.
Since the fighting in Syria is between "not too awful guys" and "really awful guys," if we decide to help, there's a very good chance that the "not too awful guys" we're going to help will turn out to be the next "really awful guys." What then?
As regards getting involved, in all things military, it's generally a bad idea to tell everyone what we're going to do, how we're going to do it, and -- in fairly accurate terms -- when we're going to do it. Broadcasting such information usually leads to less than desired results. Why, then, are we doing just that?
In a nation where very few of our elected representatives have ever worn a uniform -- let alone heard the sound of shots fired in anger -- one might believe that giving a few of them a rifle and putting them in some ugly situations might clarify their ideas on entering into battle anywhere on this planet. Failing that, having more than a few of their adult children both in uniform and serving in a front line, combat outfit might dampen their ardor for military forays.
Someone once noted that, "In any war, it's not the professionals you have to worry about, they're predictable and usually in uniform. It's the amateurs who'll cause you the most trouble." In Syria, there sure seems to be a lot of "amateurs" involved -- some very likely being imported from other countries in the region that don't have our best interests in mind.
Bombing a country often does nothing more than irritate the "bombees" -- many of whom happen to be civilians. Yes, the munitions factory or the bad guys' headquarters may be somewhere nearby but, having your windows blown in by the pressure wave from a bomb blast while the wife and kids are sleeping snugly in their beds doesn't engender very many kind thoughts towards the "bombers."
Where, pray tell, is the U.N. in all of this? Other than sending inspectors to Syria, what further plans do they have to help end this mess? If they stay out of it, what's their purpose in this insane world of ours?
This might be a very good time to ask ourselves why Vladimir Putin is smiling?
In any situation where you stand up to someone and say that you're going to do such and so if he does this or that, you'd better be ready to back up your words immediately and in a very straightforward manner. "Walk softly and carry a big stick," though, seems a much better method of dealing with the wayward thugs of the world.
If we do choose to initiate some "limited" action, how long will it last and how much do we have to borrow to keep it going? As a nation, we aren't exactly on a sound financial footing just now.
Lord knows, I don't have any of the answers to the situation in that region. Far better minds have, for decades, tried and failed to bring about peace and stability over there.
My hope is that we'll stay out of this one out and allow someone else to: (1) do the majority of the bleeding; and, (2) be the world's police force for a while.
I doubt we'll do either.
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.