A Talking Point On Syria I find Ridiculous

In politics, wonderful little talking points and sound bites quickly spring up. Often, these migrate from use in the world forum, into common use by the public at large. The latest, regarding Syria, is the use of ‘moral outrage’. This little chestnut seems to be gaining traction in certain circles. Over the weekend, I was talking with a friend, and he went on at great length about the ‘moral outrage’ the US should feel over actions taken by the Syrian government.

My issue with his, and others, use of ‘moral outrage’, is that it is only being used now to sell a military strike on Syria. Where was the ‘moral outrage’ when Syrian forces slaughtered over one hundred thousand civilians? Where was the ‘moral outrage’ when Syrian military forces were busily shelling cities? Where is the moral outrage over the estimated two million Syrian’s that have fled their country, to live in deplorable conditions in refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey?

Syria is a horrible situation, but the time to declare actions there a ‘moral outrage’ was three years ago. Did anyone, even a year ago, declare large scale killing of civilians in Syria at the hands of the Assad government a ‘moral outrage’? Sadly, no, they did not. The world stood by, with little interest. I see this entire situation as evidence of broken foreign policy not only in the US, but globally.

Now, we can sit back and watch, as the current administration tries to sell a new military action. The public is not supportive, nor are our allies. Operation Iraqi Freedom was highly unpopular globally, but even then, we had broad support of longterm allies. We can’t say that for this situation. The UK has said no thank you. France has cooled their jets over the last few days. Even if we had broad allied support for a Syrian action, that would not make it a good idea. This entire idea has been flawed from its inception. If it truly needs to be done, as many US allied nations in the Middle East insist, then let them do it. Provide support, but let them do the heavy lifting.

The time to draw a line in the sand for Assad was well before he slaughtered one hundred thousand plus citizens of his nation. A strike now looks more and more like a vague attempt to remain credible, after issuing a warning. Launching an attack that could potentially destabilize the entire region, and the global economy, does little to lend credibility. Action now is a mistake. Had we acted two years ago, I would have been supportive. Now, I simply think the window has closed, and this is a very bad idea. What needs to be remembered, is if an attack on Syria unleashes repercussions throughout the region, and potentially across the globe, we will own the responsibility. At some point, one would hope, that we as a nation one day realize that the military should not be our go-to foreign policy option. Based on General Dempsey’s demeanor in hearings last week, he is certainly hoping an attack on Syria is never approved.

To sum this all up, I simply detest the sudden ‘moral outrage’ over an event, that while horrible, pales in comparison to the total death toll in Syria. With that, I will bring my rant to a close.

~ by arcturus415 on September 9, 2013.

2 Responses to “A Talking Point On Syria I find Ridiculous”

  1. The problem is that the United State has no difficulty hiding behind claims of morality when it suits its purposes but typically proceeds to act in immoral ways. In its simplest form Barack Obama is calling on the International Community to kill Syrians for killing other Syrians. It is a moral and political quagmire that is both immoral and hypocritical. According to the British Press media some of Syria’s chemical weapons were manufactured in and sold by Britain. I don’t know how true the report is but it wouldn’t surprise me. I am wondering if there is a ‘right’ side in this fight anymore and I’m not defending one over the other. My issue is with how the international community addresses these situations. They prop up dictators like Hussein and Mubarek and then take them out. The US was in bed with al-Assad at one point now he’s the enemy. Through it all everyone involved kills the innocent and moralizing about protecting civilians as a pretext to go to war is both hypocritical and immoral. We’re supposed to have higher standards than that. I guess the best we can do is to be prepared to make such an action very expensive for the aggressor.

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