Archives for posts with tag: intervention

When this writer was but a wee cranky lad, he was sometimes bullied. Fortunately, he was blessed with the ability to fight back. So after a while, the bullies went and found other, easier targets for their bullying. Does that mean that fighting back did no good? After all, the bullying didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

Most of us have seen a domestic incident happen in public. Usually, some good citizen will call the cops or otherwise intervene. Odds are, the domestic abuse continues in private after the intervention. Does that mean that the intervention did no good? After all, the abuse didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

In both of these cases, it’s a fair guess that you’d say “standing up for the victim of abuse is the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t completely fix everything”. This writer agrees. There are issues of morality in play here, not just inhuman calculations of efficacy. So why do so many of us appear willing to throw the Syrian people under the bus by ignoring the abuse that is being heaped upon them? 

Yes, Iraq was a cluster-f***. Sure was. That was (as your humble correspondent said and has been saying since before the Bushistas lied us into that quagmire) a stupid conflict that we never should have gotten into. But Syria is not Iraq. Nor is the fact that an intervention went South in the past a good reason to never intervene again everevereverevernomatterwhat.

On a short-term, purely practical level, there may be no clearly foreseeable benefit to intervention in Syria, and  there certainly are manifold risks to consider. That doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing. Just as with a wife being beaten or a child being abused, we intervene even though we do not know the outcome, because we know that right now, a basic human right is being violated. And we owe it to our fellow human beings to stand up for them when their rights are denied.

The fact that they are on the other side of the world instead of the other side of the street does  not take away our obligation to care for those who are being oppressed. You know what oppressors love? The same thing that bullies, wife-beaters and child molesters love: they love people who do nothing to stop them from committing crimes against humanity, because it enables them to continue committing those crimes.

Sometimes the media and politicos (and our fellow Americans) can get so wrapped up in realpolitik that we forget about basic human rights and decency. And make  no  mistake, there are lots of Americans saying “what is happening in Syria is none of our business”, or something of such. So take a moment and think: if you were being beaten, bullied, sexually abused, or gassed, what would you say? Answer: you’d say “HELP ME!” or words to that effect. As you should.

And what would you say to those who could have helped you but chose to turn away, leaving you to the tender mercies of your abuser? Answer: you’d say “F*** YOU, MOTHERF***ER”, or words to that effect. And those whose cowardice or indifference had sealed your fate would deserve those words, that shame, that stinging indictment of their manifest inhumanity.

This does not mean that military intervention is safe, or simple, or even desirable. Nor is military intervention the only route to take – there are some rumblings about a new diplomatic solution, thanks to John Kerry’s flapping yap. But no intervention, doing nothing at all, just because we are understandably weary of war and justly suspicious of our government? That is morally indefensible. (To be clear: thus far, we have done nothing. Nothing at the UN, nothing on the ground.)

People are being abused in Syria: 2 million Syrians are refugees, many living under tarps in the desert, as this post is being written. Hundreds have been gassed to death, and thousands more have been tortured and killed by the abusive Assad regime. If we vote to do nothing to help them, it is no different than turning away from the bullied person or abused child who needs our help right here at home.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

This does not include the House of “Representatives”. At a time when our energy supply is facing some serious challenges and people are dying horrible deaths, the House is refusing to cut its vacation short. This in spite of the fact that they are only planning to work 9 days this month after they eventually do show up.

These putzes earn six-figure salaries with awesome bennies and great pensions, and they cannot be bothered to go to their offices and do a bit of work. Or, perhaps, they don’t want to go on record by voting yea or nay. And they think that what they are doing is a “tough job”.

Cranky Nation, WE know what it means to actually WORK for a living. Our “representatives” most clearly do not. On this day that honors Labor, let’s honor those who are willing to actually labor.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky