I hope the situation with Syria does not escalate. I think Obama was a fool to say that the use of chemical weapons was a line in the sand. One can only hope that the results of our going in there militarily are not as catastrophic as the past suggests they will be, and as many are predicting.
Having said that, I’m not sure what I would do. The older I get, the more I am convinced that Homo sapiens is too trigger-happy, and Americans have a particularly bad case of it right now. We seem to think that because we have been economically so successful and have so much money compared to everybody else that we are also morally superior, and that our use of force is qualitatively different from an body else’s who disagrees with us.
I don’t see how we in the West can possibly bring about a resolution of the kind of conflicts that are ripping Syria apart and that are crisscrossing the Middle East.
But yet: even without Obama’s having warned Syria, for the West not to respond in some way to such a massive use of chemical weapons against civilians would be a green light for more and worse from Syria as well as other governments under threat from civil unrest.
Over here, Prime Minister Cameron is bringing a motion before Parliament tomorrow asking for support for a response to Syria specifically targeted to the chemical weapons, not toward regime change or getting involved in the civil war there. That sounds great in theory to me, but in practice I have grave doubts that the two can be separated.
As the man once said who was asked to give directions to a lost driver: “I wouldn’t start from here.”
I’m glad I’m not the President.