5 comments on “We Should Fight In Syria! There! I said it!

  1. I agree with your basic sentiment that stopping dictators, terrorists and war criminals from committing atrocities is the right thing to do, but I think you miss the more important point. You rightly point out that it isn’t 100% certain that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons, but you then say that it doesn’t matter that it’s not 100% because you’re confident that Assad’s regime is responsible. Not to be rude, but this is (or at least ought to be) a matter of international law, not a matter of how confident you feel in the U.S. government’s conclusions. Even if it was not chemical weapons that claimed these lives, which all evidence suggests it was, the loss of life in itself is horrendous, so I’m not attempting to dismiss the awful situation. But if we care about international law and the way it should be applied throughout the world, we need to wait for the U.N. inspectors to carry out their job, for the U.N. to pass a Security Council Resolution and for the world to vote on the matter, dealing with it democratically. Even though it is a tempting prospect, it isn’t legally or morally decent for the U.S. to be acting unilaterally against the Syrian government in the midst of a complicated civil war, especially when the evidence it bases its actions on is not entirely convincing. That is the sort of action which the U.S. has been carrying out since the end of World War 2, ousting democratically elected leaders, installing dictatorships, funding, training and arming insurgencies to destabilize societies and imposing its will around the world, including Indochina, Latin America and presently the Middle East. That is the broader concern which we need to protect ourselves against, the very real and ongoing threat of international terrorism from the world’s and history’s leading terrorist, the post-1945 U.S. state. It’s hideous having to wait for the U.N. inspectors to finish and for the Security Council to pass a resolution, but the fact is that the threat of powerful states around the world, first and foremost the U.S., is too palpable for us to afford to accept unilateral war declarations by anyone. Ultimate authority for these operations and issues ought to be vested in the U.N., in the General Assembly, so that the world’s people, not businessmen-politicians and the states they administer, who are the ones making important moral decisions, especially those surrounding war. You’re right, there is a place for war in the real world, because sometimes it’s made necessary by the actions of others. But the burden of proof required to justify war is staggering and deserves to be so, because war and violence are among the last things that we should wish to see wantonly designed and implemented. Therefore, in the interest of protecting the world from the wars and atrocities it has played host to for thousands of years, satisfying that burden of proof needs to be a difficult task, meaning the U.S. declaration and its disregard for the U.N. may be more harmful than helpful in the broader scheme of things to come.

    • You’re 100% right on your comment, but the bad thing is that Russia and China are going to veto whatever comes through the U.N. Security Council no matter what Assad has done. It’s like how the U.S. always abstains from votes when anything involving Israel’s gross war crimes comes up. Also, emotion got the best of me, as I clearly stated in the piece, and now I agree with your comment very much.

      • You’re right, Russia could very well veto a Security Council resolution. I’m not so sure about China, but you could well be right about that too. The veto, among others, is a big flaw in the design of the U.N. which in some respects needs to be redesigned, in my opinion. But, even though the permanent members of the Security Council may not do what’s right, I don’t think that we should abandon the process and accept unilateral intervention by the U.S. or Russia or anyone. I think that the only way to prevent the powers from vetoing important resolutions is for the ordinary publics around the world to insist that they properly embrace the U.N. as the global authority on these things, openly discussing and criticizing countries when they veto resolutions and act like they have the authority to police the world however they see fit. Unless we keep insisting that the Security Council be the peace-keeping arm of the U.N., like it was designed to be, the powerful member states have very little inclination to do so themselves, since it would effectively mean an end to the imperialist foreign policies which all of history’s powerful states have employed. The only way to make things the way they ought to be, in my view, is for the people to demand consistently and loudly, imposing their will on their home states in order to change the way things are. I personally can’t see another way, but I could be wrong. Also, I realize this response doesn’t actually correspond to anything you said. I’m not trying to correct you or anything, I’m sure you’ve heard this view many times before, I’m just being conversational on the topic. Basically I agree with how you see the situation, but I think that for the sake of the U.N. and especially the Security Council in the long run, we should require the U.S. to adhere to international law, building progress on that front until one day, hopefully, the U.N. might just function as the global peace-keeping authority it was designed to be.

      • I don’t know enough about the organization of the U.N., but rethinking the Security Council’s design seems desirable to me, too. And getting the public more involved in supporting the mission across the nations of the U.N. members does seem like the best way to get movement on the issue. But, I’m afraid, that is not happening.

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