Monday, September 23, 2013
Let me just say that I’m just as patriotic as any other American in this country. I was born here, live here...and as selfish as it may sound, put here first. That said, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere and not be inundated by news or personal opinions about current affairs when it comes to Syria.
It is a heinous crime to subject anyone to chemical warfare, be they your enemy or the citizens of your country. As an entity in power charged with the protection of your own people, such an act is particularly horrendous. The death of innocents, especially children, is reprehensible. So anyone feeling this way also, know that I feel as you do. It should not be happening...and needs to stop.
However...where we will likely diverge in opinions is how it stops, and who will be the responsible party for stopping it. I do not subscribe to the idea that Americans are world police. Such a philosophy usually comes at the expense of American lives. I’m all for saving lives, but I admit to prioritizing those lives to those of my family, friends, neighbors...and compatriots.
I don’t live in a bubble. I realize that past situations have dictated we, as a country, take action to prevent the spread of evil...that would eventually claim Americans as victims. World War II was a great example of this (although Pearl Harbor was the doorbell forcing us to answer). The Bosnian War is a great example of intervention that saved many lives and stopped genocide. The truth of that conflict though, is that the situation left to it’s own reckoning would not have reached our shores and taken the lives of our citizens.
So the question lingers, is Syria another Nazi Germany...or Serbia? Is it morally right to leave innocent people to their own devices when their problems won’t have an impact on us? If we take the moral high ground, are we justified in forcing our position on others? Right and wrong is an ambiguous thing when you consider the various world beliefs...and the fact that what’s right for one may be wrong for another. I personally feel that the use of chemical weapons is a crime. Am I justified to force that opinion on someone that has lost their entire family and wishes the use of such weapons to eradicate what is, for them, a clear and present evil?
It has been noted that even Hitler did not resort to the widespread use of chemical weapons on the battlefield...but is that really a moral barometer that we should be using?
The moral argument of intervention is a complicated discussion. Many say it’s simple, but the cost of any decision, in lives...is a high price, always mired in complication. How can we take up the mantle of “moral police” of the world...when morality is so ambiguous, and the role of cop (played out far too frequently with regards to abuse...in this country alone) is magnified a thousandfold when the enforcement of our morality is hoisted upon a world that does not willingly adhere to our laws (as we citizens do) nor recognize our authority to be enforcers (as we recognize as the role of those enforcing the laws we willingly adhere to)?
There have been many questions asked, but few answers available. I’ve simply reached a point that I am now experiencing war fatigue. I’m tired of the endless wars...especially in that particular part of the world, and this tiredness has drawn me into a careful examination of why we are always there...embroiled in war.
Am I willing to bury my children to see my personal beliefs expanded? What about the right of others to have different beliefs so long as they don’t infringe upon my freedom or inflict harm upon me? If we don’t put America first, then what’s the point of being an American? Easy questions to ask...do you know the answers?