Four Reasons Why Our Morality-Based Intervention Into Syria Will Sacrifice American Morals

Oh, Walnuts! |||Now that the "red line" of chemical weapons has been crossed in the eyes of the White House, on the heels of some choice Obama-taunting from the ever-present Clinton family, U.S. military intervention into the Syrian civil/proxy war is now a done deal. Since it will be portrayed in explicitly moral terms as a "humanitarian intervention," it's worth pointing out at least four reasons why this supposed expression of high American ideals will inevitably subvert them.

1) John McCain's lousy choice of friends.

When the doggedly interventionist senator posed with a suspected kidnapper during his surprise Syria trip to whip up domestic support for the rebels, it wasn't some random case of ol' Grandpa Walnuts getting confused. It was a textbook example of how even the most sophisticated of American foreign policy hands can have a devil of a time finding virtuous partners in a cross-border fight against a regional dictator.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) summed up the problem succinctly in a CNN Opinion piece worth bookmarking: "It is very clear that any attempt to aid the Syrian rebels would be complicated and dangerous, precisely because we don't know who these people are."

As has been shown repeatedly, from Iraq to Libya to Afghanistan to Beirut, there are limits to American knowledge and omnipotence, and entire universes of unintended consequences that planners are likely not even contemplating. Choosing a side in a regional civil war in the name of humanitarian intervention will guarantee that America will be providing lethal support to committed anti-humanitarians, including those that the John McCains of the world will be beating the war-drums against in the semi-near future.

2) Barack Obama's authoritarianism toward foreign journalists.

I dunno, looks kinda fettered to me. |||As author Jeremy Scahill documents in Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, the president of the United States made a remarkable phone call in February 2011 to then-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, urging him to keep journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in prison. (See Scahill's interview with me on the subject here.) Shaye, whose work has been published in the Washington Post and elsewhere, was convicted of using "his work as a journalist to publicize the views of Al Qaeda," in a trial regarded by international free-press groups as a sham. According to The Huffington Post, Shaye would be released by the new Yemeni government if Washington would just give the green light.

The story that made Shaye famous (and, he and his supporters say, a target of the Yemeni government)? Documenting that what had been billed as a successful Yemeni government attack against Islamic extremists was actually a U.S. air strike that killed 35 women and children. The White House, however, insists that his reporting was unconnected with Obama's phone call:

President Obama expressed concern last February about Sha'i's possible early release from prison on the basis of his involvement with AQAP-a group that had twice launched attacks on the United States. The President's comments had absolutely nothing to do with Sha'i's reporting or his criticism of the United States or Yemen. A Yemeni court, not a U.S. court, convicted Sha'i. We refer you to the Yemeni government for details on Sha'i's arrest, conviction, and the status of his detention.

What does this have to do with Syria? Plenty. Former Yemeni president Saleh is precisely the type of bloody-handed authoritarian the U.S. government feels obligated to do business with as a consequence of making the world a battlefield. The more the Pentagon is involved militarily in the world, particularly in the unfree, post-colonial, sectarian-wracked regions of the Middle East and North Africa, the more deals Washington will be forced to make with various devils, while exploiting anti-democratic conditions to either outsource punishment to perceived obstacles, or carry it out directly in shadowy sites on foreign soil.

3) Samantha Powers's elastic and unreflective truth-telling.

Click the link on "underline that vow" for more. |||Samantha Power, America's new ambassador to the United Nations and one of Obama's most influential foreign policy advisors, created the modern intellectual template for humanitarian military intervention with her 2002 treatise A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide. That book hinged on the primacy of calling genocide and other dictatorial slaughters by their proper names, lest we use evasive language to slip off the moral hook.

In practical application, however, this approach undermines and flat-out abuses the truth-telling means to arrive at the interventionist ends.

On one hand, as in the previous Yemeni case, the necessity of constant vigorous engagement with the Middle East and North Africa requires doing power-politics business with governments and countries that can't handle the truth. The prime example of this is Obama's flagrantly broken campaign promise to call the century-old Armenian genocide a "genocide" once in office. This was a crucial example in Powers's book, and she was sent out by the Obama campaign in early 2008 to underline that vow to the Armenian-American community. Turns out that calling things by their proper names is more important—or at least easier—in academia than in the messy realities of interventionist foreign policy.

The other trap that a language-based humanitarian interventionism creates is the eternal temptation to over-inflate threats, while turning a blind eye to how the latest causus belli yet again lowers the bar for future military actions. This is how the United States ended up going to war against Muammar Qadaffi: to prevent a possible "massacre" in a single Libyan city. Named Behnghazi. (See #1.)

4) James Clapper's least-most untruthfulness.

That Clapper's a keeper! |||National Intelligence Director James Clapper is currently under fire for lying under oath three months ago when denying to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) that the National Security Agency collects "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans." Especially brazen was Clapper's recent justification for his prevarication: "I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least most untruthful manner by saying no."

This is what happens when whole swaths of America's war-making and war-preventing apparatus operates without effective oversight from Congress, the judiciary, or the public. Those who are unaccustomed to democratic accountability will behave unaccountably, and unapologetically.

Think of how poorly everyone near the levers of power behaved when tasked with explaining to the American people just why four U.S. servicemen were killed at a diplomatic posting in Benghazi. It was easier to pin blame on an amateur YouTube movie-trailer made by some dodgy weirdo in Cerritos, California, than it was to steadfastly confront the mismanagment that led to the deadly attack, or even to say "we don’t really know yet." Those who spread around the administration's B.S. were promoted. Meanwhile, we still don’t have any real idea of what the CIA was doing in the "annex" that came under attack.

Unless accompanied by the kind of reform the military-intelligence complex hasn't seen since the 1970s, increasing the Pentagon's footprint in global conflicts should be considered as expansions of the surveillance and black-ops state that Americans have rightly been recoiling from these past weeks.

In 1985, a young senator gave The Los Angeles Times his recipe for reluctant interventionism:

The American people and Congress now appreciate that we are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and they are not prepared to commit U.S. troops to combat unless there is a clear U.S. national security interest involved. [...]

If we do become involved in combat, that involvement must be of relatively short duration and must be readily explained to the man in the street in one or two sentences.

That senator's name was John McCain. He was right then. The Obama administration is wrong now.

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  • Anonymous Coward||

    If we do become involved in combat, that involvement must be of relatively short duration and must be readily explained to the man in the street in one or two sentences.

    The War on TERRAH is global. Also, fuck you, that's why.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Clinton will forever take heat from certain circles for the Rwandan genocide decision (or non-decision depending on how you look at it). He hates that it's tarnished his legacy. His "total fool" comments may actually be in earnest and not just an opportunistic dig on the current leader of the Democrat party.

    Or, Clinton may recognize the red line that's been crossed is one of domestic scandal and he saw an epic opportunity to wag the dog slipping away.

    Anyway, the only reason to stay away from this is the first reason listed. We don't know who we're arming.

  • Brandon||

    Really? That's the only reason to stay away from this?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, the only reason both decision making parties should be able to understand.

  • Killazontherun||

    He did the right thing by not going into Rwanda. For all of our modern technology it would have been a bloodbath for our troops. Put it this way, even with our technology if a half a million strong, drugged up, adrenaline raging horde armed only with machetes were to attack Fort Brag, no question the horde has the advantage. Yet, we are suppose to believe putting troops down on the foreign soil in the middle of such a horde, we would have the strategic advantage. We would not, in the heat of that battle, we would have got slaughtered.

  • Killazontherun||

    Bragg.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    This is the World of Commander McBragg
    Your hair will curl in the World of McBragg.
    He fights monsters galore
    And then asks for still more
    Or so says the brag of McBragg.

    When on the hill the marines plant a flag
    They may be led by Commander McBragg.
    With a cannon in hand
    He can beat any band
    Or so says the brag of McBragg.

    Fencing and fighting and round table knighting
    And slaying of dragons, too.
    Shipping and sailing and great harpoon whaling
    There's nothing McBragg can't do.
    Hunting and trapping and gold miner mapping
    And flying to Timbuktu.
    Roping and riding and Indian guiding
    Commander McBragg comes through.

    This is the World of Commander McBragg
    Your head will whirl in the World of McBragg.
    He can do anything
    In his world he's a king
    Or so says the brag of McBragg.

    Oh, you meant Ft. Bragg - I thought you wanted me to sing.

  • ||

    while turning a blind eye to how the latest causus belli has yet again lowers the bar for future military actions.

    I think this should be either "has yet again lowered the bar" or "yet again lowers the bar."

  • Matt Welch||

    Fixed, thanks.

  • ||

    You're welcome. Love your work.

    Also, I use each proof reading correction as a tax write off, so you're welcome for that equivalent $150 donation to the Reason Foundation.

    I hope you'll vouch for me if the IRS comes calling.

  • Lyle||

    So Reason is okay with the Allawite dictatorship remaining in power? And if Assad genocides some Sunnis, Reason's position is to do nothing?

    How is that supporting liberty?

    I'm not really sure if we should get involved now, since it's a full blown civil war and we would have to not only fight Assad, but also the black flag jihadists. That's some kind of a complicated mess for sure.

    I just want to know why Reason isn't that interested in defending liberty around the world and in the real world we all live in.

  • Hugh Akston||

    WARRRRRRBOOOOOONNNNNNNNERRRRRRRR

  • tarran||

    Hey Lyle!

    Someone just got raped in SOuth Africa!!!!

    What are you doing about it?

    nothing?

    That means you are OK with rape!

  • Lyle||

    Rape is a crime, not a dictatorship. :)

  • tarran||

    But you're not doing anything about it, Lyle.

    That means you are totally cool with it.

  • Lyle||

    Haha... that makes no sense, since rape is against the law in South Africa.

    Dictatorship is the law in Syria.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Dictatorship? How dare you?

    Bashar al-Assad was elected with 97% of the vote and no opposition.

    Barry is just jealous because the people of Syria love their President.

  • Almanian!||

    What Anonymous said.

  • Lyle||

    Haha... you call being elected with 97% of the vote an election?

    Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  • Lyle||

    I see you're probably being factious. Right on if so.

  • Jordan||

    Haha... that makes no sense, since rape is against the law in South Africa.

    Irrelevant. You're making the exact same dumbass argument that Tony makes in favor of socialized medicine. "If you don't want the government to provide healthcare, you want poor people to die on the street, you monster!"

  • Lyle||

    I'm not saying the government must intervene in Syria. I want to know what Reason's long term plan is to end dictatorships and stop genocide.

    I don't really care right now if we get involved in Syria, but if we don't get involved and Assad remains in power and there is genocide... what then?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    but if we don't get involved and Assad remains in power and there is genocide... what then?

    The sun will still come up and the world will continue to turn.

  • Lyle||

    Yeah, you're right... what's that got to do with liberty though.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm sure the Syrian rebels would be glad to have you as a volunteer, Lyle. Gear up, get your shit together in one bag, and bring liberty to Syria, Lyle!

    Go get 'em!

  • Virginian||

    Seriously. I can call John McCain a lot of things, but he's not a coward.

    But the damn keyboard commandos really get on my nerves.

  • tarran||

    John McCain is a coward.

    A brave man wouldn't have tried to frame an innocent man for his wife's 'crimes'.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Absolutely. But it's sad that McCain should know better. Does he think the Syrians would treat American POWs any better than the Vietnamese?

  • Lyle||

    So why isn't the Reason staff calling for us to go over their and fight?

    Liberty is at stake for some people is it not?

    Why is Reason taking a position that returns everyone to the political status quo in Syria? You don't think that's a legitimate question? Reason is taking a foreign policy position to do nothing about dictatorship and genocide. How is that defending liberty?

  • tarran||

    Man, you are so stupid it hurts.

  • Lyle||

    You ain't stupid yourself? :)

  • Floridian||

    Lyle,
    You cannot export liberty. It has to come from the people. The Syrians aren't fighting for liberty, they are fighting to see who's boot ends up on who's neck. Getting involved is only going to make us responsible for the actions of the side we support and get Americans killed. There is no upside.

  • Lyle||

    Who is talking about exporting liberty? Like you say, you can't export liberty.

    Either there is liberty or there isn't liberty.

    I haven't even said we should get involved at this exact time. I want to know what Reason plans to do long-term about dictatorships and genocide. Right now their foreign policy positions tend to be to say that it would have been better if Qaddafi was still in power, Mubarak was still in power, and non-intervening in Syria will mean Assad remaining in power and maybe some more genocide.

    What is Reason's long-term foreign policies goals with regards to liberty in these countries? Are there any goals? The United States, with our wonderful government as it is, is the only place good enough for liberty?

  • Floridian||

    The only way liberty will spread is through peace and prosperity. If america allows truly free markets and non-intervention it will be light in the world to other countries. Killing people and destroying infrastructure does not make a people prosperous. There is a Chinese saying. If there is food on the table you have many problems, if there is no food on the table you have only one problem. You can't chase liberty while in abject poverty.

  • Lyle||

    There is a Chinese saying? Yeah, that's worked out will well for liberty in China.

  • Floridian||

    I believe there standard of living is increasing as they embrace quasi capitalism so yeah.

  • Lyle||

    It has, but the PRC remains an authoritarian state. You know they don't even have elections.

  • RBS||

    Well, they aren't actually calling for the status quo. They're saying the US shouldn't get involved in maintaining or changing it.

  • Lyle||

    Right now it looks like Assad will remain in power though. That would be a return to the status quo.

    Unless the jihadists and Sunnis can hold on to certain parts of Syria for a good long time, which means they'll need continued outside help.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Unless the jihadists and Sunnis can hold on to certain parts of Syria for a good long time, which means they'll need continued outside help.

    So now you're in favor of arming jihadists? Sounds like Barry needs to get your name on the Terror Tuesday list, Lyle.

    Drone Process Forever!

  • Lyle||

    I didn't say that. I said they will need outside help. They're getting it from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan right now.

    Although, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan buy things from us.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    So...you are concerned we won't be doing enough for "jihadists and Sunnis"?

  • Lyle||

    Yeah, I don't support arming the jihadists.

    I'm saying the status quo will return if Assad wins unless the rebels and jihadists (that's multiple groups of people) hold on to some places in Syria. I don't really care if Assad kills the black flag jihadists. But there will be a return to the status quo for Sunnis if they can't hold on... and I mean the non-Salafist Sunnis (which would include anybody from non-violent Islamists and moderate Sunnis).

    Maybe we should look at like a Prague Spring and just Assad crush everyone. Hopefully it will come all apart in time.

    Assad may be worse than the Soviets though.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah, I don't support arming the jihadists.

    ___________

    So we fit all the weapons we ship in with anti jihadist safety locks!

  • Lyle||

    Yeah, I'm not saying they wouldn't get their hands on our arms.

    That probably would happen.

    We gave the Soviets stuff to fight the Nazis. Nothing at all is new in the world.

  • Lyle||

    Haste makes waste:

    Maybe we should look at it like the Prague Spring and just let Assad crush everyone. In time maybe the dictatorship will come apart.

    Assad may be worse than the Soviets though.

    Reason could have a foreign policy position of... Know hope!

  • Brandon||

    What do you call it when you combine a false choice and a straw man into one incredibly stupid uberfallacy? Are you burning a false straw man?

  • Almanian!||

    Lylogic

  • entropy||

    Because we're not utopian globalists who think we can remake the world in our image.

  • Jordan||

    Why haven't you booked a plane ticket to go over there and fight? Reason's position seems to be that it's A-okay if you want to to do that, which is exactly what the libertarian position is.

  • Lyle||

    Because they need more than just me defeat Assad. They need fighters and bombers. If we decide to do it, it will be like the French and their ships in the American Revolution.

    Some things only big government can try and accomplish.

  • Floridian||

    How's that big government working out in Afghanistan?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Pretty darn good...for Big Government (and those that wet their beaks thanks to the G).

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I just want to know why Reason isn't that interested in defending liberty around the world and in the real world we all live in.

    The internal disputes of other nations is not the United States' concern nor should it be. Unless you think we should go around imposing liberty on countries that don't want it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Here's the contact information for the Free Syrian Army so you can volunteer, Lyle.

    Don't be a pussy. Join up and fight for liberty, if you're not scared of dying. Liberty (for Syria) or Death, right?

    Come on, you pussy! Enlist. Do it. You're not a bullshitting, Internet tough guy, hypocrite, are you?

    Join up! The Syrian people need you!

  • Lyle||

    So how do I fight Assad, who has warplanes, if I don't have a warplane myself? How am I'm going to get a bomber to fight with?

    Will you and Reason pitch in to buy me one? :)

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So how do I fight Assad, who has warplanes, if I don't have a warplane myself?

    Find the pilot and cut his throat while he's asleep?

    Blow up their fuel trucks?

    Sabotage the planes while they are on the ground?

    Asymmetric warfare requires one to think outside the box.

  • Lyle||

    Is that keeping Assad's planes out of the sky so far? Yeah, they destroyed some of them, but they're clearly able to put up enough to bomb the rebels at will.

    Why else would the U.S. be talking about a no-fly zone if this wasn't the case?

    Let's be a little more serious man.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    You asked a question, I offered a solution.

    It's not my fault you lack the will to execute.

  • Lyle||

    You din't offer a serious solution actually.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    How does one fly a plane without trained pilots or fuel or electrical systems?

    Oh yeah, but I know what your "serious" solution is because it's all chickenhawks and semi-reformed Trotskyites like you will accept: the Pax Americana and the Army of Democracy wandering the Earth in search of fresh communists/jihadists/evildoers.

  • Lyle||

    This is probably why the U.S. is talking about a no-fly zone. So that there can be trained pilots to fly some fueled up fighters and bombers.

  • Virginian||

    And you decide which solutions are serious, is that it?

    Washington and Giap didn't win many battles, but they won their wars.

    You're an ignoramus.

  • Lyle||

    Virginian,

    I get to decide as much as you get to decide.

  • Virginian||

    You didn't rebut AC's post. You just declared that he wasn't "serious". Just like when Nancy Pelosi was asked about the constitutionality of Obamacare.

  • Lyle||

    I didn't rebut his point. I acknowledged that the rebels have done what he has said, and that that hasn't been enough to ground Syria's entire air force.

    Facts are facts are facts.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So you went from this:

    So how do I fight Assad, who has warplanes, if I don't have a warplane myself? How am I'm going to get a bomber to fight with?

    To this:

    that hasn't been enough to ground Syria's entire air force.

    From how to fight planes while having no planes of your own, to destroying an entire air force, which is a significantly different question.

    Bombs. Lots of bombs. Or get into the military's food and water supplies and poison them.

    Kick those goalposts a little further back. I like thought exercises.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Asymmetric warfare requires one to think outside the box.

    Example

    Now put your money where your mouth is and volunteer for the Free Syrian Army, Lyle. You chickenhawk coward pussy.

  • Lyle||

    No, I'm not going to. I'm going to urge my government to get involved if I want it to.

    Such is my right as an American. Freedom!

  • RBS||

    So you're going to urge you government to send someone else to fight your war for you? How very brave of you.

  • Floridian||

    Freedom means telling others what to do.

  • Virginian||

    Lyle is the goddamn first sergeant of 86th Assault Commentators Division, the storied Screaming Chickenhawks.

  • Lyle||

    Yep, that's what I'm doing as is my right.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Excuses, excuses. Pussy. If you were a true defender of liberty you wouldn't be pissing your pants at the thought of death.

    Pussy coward.

  • Lyle||

    I'm not pissing in my pants at all actually. :)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So you signed up?

  • Lyle||

    No, and I'm not. I'm American and I can urge my government to action if I want to. I don't really give a damn if you disagree.

    That's America after all ain't it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    That's America after all ain't it.

    Team America: World Police.

    FUCK YEAH.

  • Lyle||

    Yeah, that's right... they got Kim Jong Il at the end of the day.

  • Virginian||

    The Syrians already are asshole. Just like when we had our war for independence we were outgunned.

    Liberty must be fought for, bled for, wrested by hard effort. The USA delivering Syrians a shiny new democratic government won't work, just as it didn't work for the Iraqis.

  • A Frayed Knot||

    And yet, I seem to recall that the Americans received some outside assistance in that endeavor, non?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Ben Franklin didn't put a gun to Louis' head and demand that he kick down that payment in the name of Liberte.

  • Lyle||

    Is that what I'm doing?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    In a monarchy, the king is the lawful source of power. In a republic, it is the citizenry.

    By demanding that the government "do something", you are demanding that I, as a source of the government's financing and legitimacy, finance a war that does not serve my interests and do not find it moral to be involved in.

  • Jordan||

    Will you and Reason pitch in to buy me one? :)

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Lyle||

    Slaver?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yes "slaver" you chickenhawk pussy coward. You want to seize money from us under treat of deadly force via the Government to pay for military action that we don't agree with.

    By the way, when do you leave for Syria? I'm sure one of us can give you a ride to the airport.

  • Lyle||

    Haha... you'r an imbecile. Oh, yeah, I'm just a slave owner. Haha.

    How insulting stupid are you Heroic Mulatto?

  • Heroic Mulatto||



    Haha [sic]... you'r you're an imbecile. Oh, yeah, I'm just a slave owner. Haha.

    How insulting insultingly stupid are you , Heroic Mulatto?

    C- Many mistakes with spelling and grammar. Please see me after class.

  • Lyle||

    I type hastily. I'm not perfect, or you?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I will loan you a helmet and some boots. Oh, if you hear a rocket coming in, and there is a bit of burst of sound before it hits....it is a 122mm. Time to go.

  • Lord Humungus||

    this here is one man you can't call a chicken hawk.

  • Lyle||

    So as an American citizen I can't urge my country to go war if I wanted to? Only people who have served like you can?

    Don't insult me man.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Don't insult me man.

    You're insulting all the people whose blood you will spill to fulfill your "urges".

    You're a disgusting human being. I hope your mother dies from ovarian cancer and that you die a long, slow, and painful death from liver failure.

  • Lyle||

    No, I'm not a disgusting human being and I'm not insulting anybody who might be killed in the future because I might support a war.

    Do you believe smoking marijuana that came up through Mexico is an insult to the people killed to get it to the U.S.?

  • ||

    If you want to go stop a mad dictator who's oppressing their own people, go ahead.

    And if you want, find some volunteers who agree, and coordinate your efforts.

    But, do you have the right to force people who may or may not agree with you, and may or may not want to financially support your effort (or die for it, for that matter), to contribute their money and their blood? Because you care so much about liberty?

  • Lyle||

    That's what being an American citizen can actually mean.

    We the people formed our republic.

  • Lyle||

    With the help of the French and some others of course.

  • ||

    We did? America was formed over 200 years ago. "We" didn't do anything.

    Your argument isn't based in fact.

  • BardMetal||

    All he did was ask a philosophical question, and because you're too stupid to actually answer, or too arrogant to admit you don't know. You instead choose to respond with personal attacks.

  • ||

    Where was the philosophical question? I must have missed it.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No, I am offering you, Lyle, the chance to get involved. To put your money where your mouth is. I will offer advice and some equipment - I can hook you up with a full kit, minus grenades and the NVGs.

    Ready?

  • ||

    People can get so altruistic when they're playing with other people's lives. It's amazing.

  • Lyle||

    You going to make the same offer to Obama?

  • Homple||

    I can't speak for Reason, but I'm ok with the letting the Alawites and the Shiites and the Sunnis fight with each other as long as they care to. If sectarian idiots want to butcher each other, well, Darwin. Just keep us out of it.

    Personally, I'm not interested in "defending liberty around the world and in the real world we all live in" because we don't have enough cash or cannon fodder to do the job internationally and there is plenty of defending of liberty that isn't being done right here in the USA.

  • MWG||

    I'm actually sympathetic to your view Lyle. I enjoyed watching the revolution in Egypt and Libya. Mubarak and Ghadafi both got what they deserves (though Mubarak is still alive). I'm also a little uncomfortable with the comments of many of the commentariat. I think people tend to use a large brush when describing the Arab Spring and in this case the FSA in Syria.

    That said, as a libertarian, I can't feel good about forcing others to pay for a war they don't agree with. Full stop.

  • ||

    I hope to see North Korea fall during my life time. However, I'd never want to force people to liberate them.

  • MWG||

    This.

  • Lyle||

    Thanks.

  • BardMetal||

    Wow look at all these comments and not a single one actually answers Lyle's original question. Just name calling, personal attacks, and straw men.

  • tarran||

    Oh, I'm sorry, I'll help you out.

    So Reason is okay with the Allawite dictatorship remaining in power?

    We are OK with it. Not happy, but it's one of many things we have little to no control over.

    And if Assad genocides some Sunnis, Reason's position is to do nothing?

    Reason magazine might complain and tut tut about it. I won't do anything about it. You however are free to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and fight there if you like... or not. Whatever you want to do.

    Same answer holds for Sunni's massacring Shiites or Allawites BTW.

    We didn't answer it directly because the answers were kind of obvious.

  • Redmanfms||

    We didn't answer it directly because the answers were kind of obvious.

    And because this ground has already been trod with Lyle and Cyto.

  • Lyle||

    This is typical of a lot of the commentary here.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    We are at that awkward stage in our Republic where the populares aren't confident enough to cross the Rubicon Potomac just yet. They thought they had someone who could command the proper amount of auctoritas with Obama, but failed to realize that he just didn't possess enough dignitas for them to fully secure enough of the population before attempting their plan.

  • ||

    How about this reason for not getting involved?

    5. You're forcing taxpayers to fund military action in a foreign country that they may or may not agree with according to their conscience.

    I'm too bad at reason 1 above to figure out who needs to live and who needs to die in a country I've never been within a thousand miles of. Why should I be forced to support that?

  • tarran||

    That should be reason 0, right there!

  • ||

    Hopefully we'll stop short of forcing young men and women to go fight and die in a foreign land, ostensibly because they wanted to defend their own homeland.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "the Syrian civil/proxy war is now a done deal."

    Barack Obama, Prince of Peace

  • Almanian!||

    The oceans are receding as we speak. LISTEN - you can hear them.... receeeeeede..... receeeeeeede

  • Brandon||

    No, he changed his mind about that because so many of his big donors would lose their prime beachfront property. After all, he is the voice of the downtrodden.

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