Posts Tagged: intervention in Syria

Aug 13

The Lesser of Evils. Yes. So?

There are no good choices with Syria. Doing nothing and letting them sort it out was just bearable until we saw rows of children who’d died a horrible, painful death through Sarin nerve gas.

I am satisfied that Assad’s regime is behind the nerve gas attacks. Death from nerve gas is not particularly quick. It is terrifying, agonizing. If you survive the nerve gas it changes your DNA. It affects every corner of your being forever. It will affect children you may have…Nerve gas is the most indiscriminate of killers in war, apart from, perhaps, the hydrogen bomb. It is, yes, significantly worse than missiles. It has been forbidden by international treaty for half a century. If we permit it to be used again, with impunity, others will get in line to use it. If we do just enough–take out some artillery emplacements, aircraft, and so on–to give the rebels the edge, they stand a good chance of overthrowing Assad. It is not true that the rebels are “a bunch of al Qaeda operatives”. There are thought to be some Jihadists among them. They have factions. It may be that if the rebels win, Syria becomes a hardline Muslim state and that’s bad. But it’s not as bad as allowing the torture and the slaughter–the latter through executions, mass murders, the shelling of civilian areas, and now the use of nerve gas against civilians, and children–to go on. One million Syrian children have fled the country–were the war over, they could return home. The resultant nation would not be ideal–but it would be at peace…

The USA’s minor, selective, pinpoint military involvement in the Syrian conflict is *not* engaging in war. It may be technically engaging in “warfare”. That is not war. War is gigantic, war is a juggernaut. Make no mistake. War is its own special condition. Our engagement in Iraq was war. This will not be us making war. It will be militarily minor. No Americans will be harmed and no civilians targeted.

Is it merely “the lesser of evils?” Yes. So? Who wishes to vote for the greater of evils?