I normally don’t comment on foreign affairs, both because it’s off topic, and because I tend to agree with Tam these days when it comes to foreign intervention. But since our imminent intervention in some other damned fool thing in the Middle East is what’s dominating the news, I thought I might opine.
I don’t really think the United States has a dog in a fight between Baathist Alawites and Sunni fundamentalist Al-Quada supporters. I also am not too concerned about how efficiently they can kill each other. But I am concerned about how efficiently they may be able to kill Americans depending on who gets their hands of all the fun toys when the dust finally clears.
If WMDs were enough justification to insert ourselves into Iraq, why isn’t it justification enough to insert ourselves into Syria? Especially given we know the Syrians have WMDs. We’ve seen them use them on their own people within the past few weeks. We’re not going on a bunch of outdated intelligence and fuzzy pictures presented in front of the United Nations like we were in 2003.
If all we’re going to do is launch some air strikes and lob a few cruise missiles, I’d prefer to save the money and trouble. I’d also prefer there to be some Congressional approval. If Bush can do it, so can Obama. I don’t think such things should be done by a President unilaterally. I’m also not too enthusiastic these days about the whole Middle East Democracy project. We tried that experiment, and I’m not convinced the results are worth it. Going in an taking the WMDs away from the combatants, and then letting them resume doing whatever it is they want to do to each other, is a fine, limited goal. Beyond that I don’t care what they want to kill each other with.
If the Obama Administration decides to go into Syria to secure the WMDs, I’m fine with that, provided Congress also approves. I was fine with the Bush Administration doing the same thing in 2003. Beyond that, there’s plenty of room for partisan bickering. But I think keeping WMDs out of the hands of unstable, mass-murdering fascists and religious fanatics ought to be something both parties can get behind.