Obama’s Syria Speech Shows What We Haven’t Learned From 9/11
So what can we learn from all this going forward?
1) Don’t draw a Red Line unless you’ve got a nice “or else” ready if the other guy snorts it up off the floor.
2) People outside the constraints of Judeo-Christian morality will resort to WMDs, terrorism and anything else if force pays off better than Pacifism.
3) Military action of too small an order of magnitude to enter into the risk-reward mathematics of a would-be terrorist will only piss them off instead of deterring them.
President Obama failed all three of these lessons. As long as our nation remains this ignorant of the lessons of 9/11, we can expect more terrorism. It works like Hell.
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Illegitimate states, dubious wars, and diplomacy by gaffe
Let’s see if I’ve got this right: our headlong rush to war in Syria was so important that not even the U.S. Constitution could be allowed to stand in its way. But at the eleventh hour, President Obama decided he needed some accomplices in case it turns into a fiasco, and the British Parliament vote against was in Syria made unilateral cowboy aggression by Obama | Read More »
The Moral Dilemma of Syria: Heart and Mind Go To War
A lot of really bad things are being done in Syria. People are eating people. People are possibly gassing other people the way an entomologist gets rid of a hive of bugs. If over 1,300 really died from a gas attack in Ghouta, Syria, this would be the most widespread use of toxic gas against civilians since before the US Military overthrew Saddam Hussein. This would morally motivate us to make this madness stop. We don’t want to rewind and replay the Rwandan Massacre. But on the other hand, could we stop this and should we stop it?
To determine if we could stop this we should first figure out what set of actions would create a set of conditions necessary and sufficient to ending the barbarism currently rife throughout Syria. To determine if we should engage in these activities requires us to weigh the unavoidable evil and long term damage to American interests that would result from our involvement in another Middle Eastern Civil War. Figuring these two things out could empower us to make the proper decision as to whether to conquer Syria*, manipulate events in Syria**, or to stay out of this mess*** and perhaps duck all negative externalities.
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Some Syrian Chemical Weapons Have Gone Missing
As the world watches the goings-on in Syria, one of the most pressing fears is that its stock of chemical weapons might go missing and fall into the wrong hands. Today, we find that our nightmare is coming true. We heard in late August that Syrian rebels claimed to have taken over a base with chemical weapons. Now, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has admitted that some of those weapons have gone missing
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