The U.S. has a long history of meddling in the politics and revolutions of other nations throughout its history. But we have gained little advantage and much disappointment in the majority of our interventions, often at great cost in both money and lives. Yet we continue to repeat history.
Many revolutions, especially recent ones, are extremely complex involving many religious and ethnic factions making it highly problematic what the political outcome will be. Things were much clearer during the cold war when it was a matter of ideologies: Free World vs. Communism. Today there are so many ethnic groups in nations in which we are involved. Often there is a succession of revolutions as in Egypt where ethnic groups continue to fight one another for control.
So when the U.S. supports a government or the rebels or a specific ethnic faction there are all kinds of unpredictable fallout. More often than not we make even more enemies because we cannot predict or control events. The only way to control events is to invade a nation such as Iraq and force the formation of a new nation at extremely lengthy and costly investments in military expenses, building of infrastructure, and lives. Even this is problematic due to the complexity of religious/ethnic factions such that we can never know that once we leave all our work will not suddenly be undone which is often the case. I feel that our nation’s reluctance to support the president sending cruise missiles to Syria in retaliation for their use of chemical weapons against rebels is symptomatic of our frustrations over repeated failures in meddle in the affairs of troubled nations.
It is time for the U.S. to join the growing ranks of other nations which either let the community of nations deal with such matters or simply keep their distance from such conflicts. Our military, as mighty as it is, cannot resolve such problems. At best it intervention is only a short term solution with many unforeseen consequences. No matter how much we hope, history has shown us over and over again that the odds are highly against such actions having the desired effects. All we seem to do is antagonize the other side who want to retaliate. As the saying goes “Violence begets violence.”
We need to learn that we alone cannot solve the problems of the world. Let us try to solve our own domestic problems of poverty, crime, education, economic growth, energy, health care, infrastructure, and the environment first. I feel that these issues are far more critical to us and more worthy of our tax dollars than the billions of dollars that we divert and throw away annually on military actions abroad. There is still more that we need to do at home than we have the money to finance. Why divert precious funds on fruitless wars?
Why is it more moral to kill hundreds of thousands of people with conventional weapons and immoral to kill thousands of people with chemical weapons. A child damaged or killed by a conventional bomb or bullet is just as damaged or dead as a child damaged or killed by a chemical weapon whether it is by command of President Assad or President Obama. It all seems immoral to me. We should stay out of Syria and let history take its course. Let the community of nations deal with such matters. We have much more important things to do at home.
Related posts (category): Foreign Policy