COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., August 28, 2013—There are two schools of thought about America’s proper role in the world. No matter which position you hold, getting involved in the Syrian civil war is the wrong thing to do.
The oldest school of thought is that America should avoid “entangling alliances.” This is the Realist school, which says the United States should only get involved in foreign affairs when it is in our vital national interest. That means existential threats to the United States. How does Syria threaten us? It does not. What vital national interest do we have in the Syrian civil war? Although they joined the 1990 coalition against Iraq, they are not a formal ally.
Under this view, if we were to get involved, it should be on the side of the legitimate government—and at their request.
The second school of thought is the Internationalist school. Progressives feel we should “make the world safe for democracy” in Wilson’s words, or “spread democracy” in George Bush’s.
From the internationalist viewpoint, whenever we engage in military action we should seek the approval of the United Nations. As a member of the UN, we are pledged not to interfere in the internal affairs of member nations.
A civil war fits that definition pretty well. Again, any intervention would be on the side of the government.
It is unlikely that the UN would authorize the United States to attack Syria. Russia and China, both members of the Security Council with veto powers, will prevent any such resolution. Syria and Iran have threatened to attack Israel should the U.S. strike Syria. Israel is a U.S. ally.
Why would this administration be planning to carry out an attack on Syria? Why would the United States act against virtually the entire world?
The only possible answer is that it is the policy of this administration to support the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Obama administration supported the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a long-time U.S. ally, but did not support the popular uprising against his Muslim Brotherhood successor Mohammad Morsi.
The whole Benghazi fiasco is about Libyan weapons being transshipped by Turkey to Syrian rebels, including the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly even Al Qaeda.
There are other examples as well. Yet you will not find that information anywhere in the mainstream American press. You will find it in the British press, such as the Independent.
In the UK, Primer Minister David Cameron is having a hard time getting the House of Commons to agree to join the U.S. in an attack.
Here at home Barack Obama told PBS that he hasn’t made up his mind whether to attack or not. Unlike Mr. Cameron, he apparently does not feel the need to consult Congress. After all, he didn’t consult them in Libya and there were no consequences.
When Richard Nixon did that, the Congress responded with the War Powers Act.
One thing is certain. The way things have played out, the decision belongs to Mr. Obama and to him alone. When the decision is made, he will not be on the golf course or vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. Jay Carney will not be able to say that the White House hadn’t heard about it or that some bureaucrat in the bowels of the Pentagon is responsible.
It looks like The Man Who Would Be King is going to unilaterally make a very public and very fateful decision.
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