This week I attended the funeral mass of a friend of my father’s who served in the French Air Force during WW 2. and that got me thinking about Syria and the missile strikes now taking place.
One of the things about being the son of a World War 2 Vet (Navy, Pacific 1942-45) is I tend to be much more willing to see US intervention than people in my generation who are the grandchildren of that dying next generation That generation was willing to unite pay the price to stop the Axis power, albeit it took the Nazi’s attacking the USSR to get the leftists on board and Pearl Harbor to bring the isolationists on board.
Of course being a largely Christian society and a type of Christianity that actually believed in heaven and hell (what would be called conservative today) such risks and sacrifices were not only considered virtuous but involved one’s eternal reward. Such a culture is capable of going to war in a just cause and was willing to pay the cost in blood and treasure to win it.
Today with a largely secular society and a generation that needs safe spaces for “microagressions” like saying “he” that’s a different story.
Furthermore we have the contrast of a society being willing bear the costs in lives and treasure to keep a large military force in perpetuity in the countries we conquered to change their societies (our military is STILL in Germany , Italy and Japan 72 years later) vs cutting and running like Barack Obama in Iraq for short term political advantage and allowing our enemies to gain power (which is what caused the rise of ISIS in the first place).
So while the gas attacks in Syria are horrific before we consider going to war in Syria we as a country need to answer these questions.
- Are we willing to go to war and pay the price in blood and treasure to topple Assad risking American lives in Syria?
- Are we willing to fight that war until it’s actually won rather than fight a limited war for the sake of saving face?
- Are we willing once Assad is toppled to stay in Syria for the 30 to fifty years to make sure Syria doesn’t become Iraq or Libya and leave it for Islamist to take over?
- Are we willing to take responsibility for not only the military but the civilian casualties that will inevitably take place in Syria in such a war?
- Are we willing to risk a military confrontation(s) with Russia and Iran in order to do this?
If we as a society are willing to do this, then it’s absolutely a good idea for the US to declare war (yes we should actually declare war) in Syria and support whatever sacrifices it takes to win. I’d like to think that we are a society and a culture strong enough to do what needs to be done to free Syria and stop not only Assad but his Iranian backers.
If the answer to any of those questions are “no” If we balk at the costs, if we are only willing to fight a limited war to save face and or cut and run in the face of Russia and Iran and leave the situation as it is, if we allow the left outrage over every civilian casualty that war brings (and believe me the anti-Trump left will do so) to cause us to blink, if we leave the Syria to become the next failed state dominated by Islamists to breed terror then we are better off not going. We should do it right or not at all.
Frankly given the reality of our self-centered, soft and narcissistic society I think this is the more likely outcome as I can’t see a nation where the very thought of being nice to Trump supporters sends the left into a public frenzy and where police stand by while rioters attack those who support the president capable of uniting under this president to achieve a great cause like this but I’d be delighted to be proved wrong.
Closing thought: Can someone explain to me why the slaughter of the opponents of Assad with chemical weapons is so heinous that it’s considered a causes belli that must be acted upon but if Assad slaughters those same people with bombs, shelling and small arms it’s not?
Closing thought 2: Does anyone seriously believe that the left with the full backing of the media won’t go the full vietnam/Iraq mode with the hope of producing American defeat if Trump does decides to go to war?
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