What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
No one disagrees that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is despicable, and the results tragic. However, those facts alone do not make going to war either justified or even a good idea. And while the Administration can parse words all day long, launching missiles or dropping bombs constitutes going to war.
There is no clear U.S. interest in what is, in reality, a civil war on the other side of the globe. Likewise, there is nothing to indicate at this time that intervening in that civil war will benefit anyone — either here in America or in Syria.
The consequences of our military actions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan should be a lesson to President Obama and others who appear determined to act without any meaningful strategic or national defense justification.
Gary Johnson, 2012 Libertarian candidate for president and former governor of New Mexico, on the Obama administration’s saber-rattling over war with Syria.
Only mean death dealt out in dibs and dabs Or horror unleashed from across oceans Assail me not with noble policy For I care not at all for platitude And surrender such tedious detail To greater minds than mine and nimbler tongues Singular in their purpose and resolve And presuming to speak for everyman”
With approval for entering another war at nine percent, the NY Times publishes an op-ed titled “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal” featuring a jaw-dropping call for Obama to literally dictate law as it suits him.
‘Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria. This would be popular in many quarters, and I believe it’s the right thing to do.’
You certainly won’t find these same people making a moral case for lawbreaking when it comes to Snowden and Manning alerting us to government abuse, only in justifying it. These were the same arguments we heard for torture and indefinite detention, for drone strikes on U.S. citizens.
What’s happening in Syria is truly horrible. But there’s no reason to believe our involvement will mean less people will die. This isn’t a movie and we aren’t the saviors.
Political cartoonist Matt Bors, commenting on The New York Times' editorial, “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal”. For peace’s sake, let’s unleash bombs. It’s only moral.
"This isn’t a movie and we aren’t the saviors."
This is echoing the pre-war drumbeats of military interventions both past and present. If that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, this should.