Sep 04, 2013 Pragmatists and pacifists should oppose military strikes in Syria – Please contact Obama and your Congressmembers now
Before going to bed tonight, please urge President Obama and your Congressmembers to prevent military strikes on Syria, which Obama is chomping at the bit to launch. Opposing such a strike is something that pragmatists and pacifists alone can agree on.
Bashar Assad is a gross human rights violator, whether or not he ordered or permitted the use of chemical weapons against his own people. He is not alone, of course. China also is a gross human rights violator — while usually not extrajudially killing its people left and right, at least not after Tiananmen Square — and the United States has been overly cozy with China ever since creating diplomatic relations with the Chinese communist government over thirty years ago.
In war, rarely do we find pure angels among the combatants. One good reason for the United States’ limited aid to the Syrian rebels is that their ranks include serious human rights violators, including, but not limited to, alleged desecration and cannibalization of the corpse of a Syrian soldier.
We know why pacifists will oppose military strikes against Syria. They are against all war.
Pragmatists also should oppose any United States warfare against Syria as premature (including getting proof first of Assad’s level of involvement with chemical weapons use), without justification under United States law and international law, bringing risks of killing plenty of non-Syrian military members, bringing a further expansion of Obama’s violating individual liberties in the name of war and fighting terrorism, finding the United States in a Vietnam-like quagmire of war escalation to avoid losing face by pulling out, and inviting a powder keg and Pandora’s box of retaliation from governmental and extra-governmental opponents of the United States, including but not limited to terrorists. On top of all that, in Nixonian and Reaganite unilateral warmongering fashion, Obama asserts that he is empowered to strike Syria without even seeking Congressional approval; tell him he is wrong.
Obama would not need to be concerned about the United States’ looking weak had he not in the first place threatened decisive action with the use of chemical weapons. Obama either has not studied and understood Sun Tzu (see more on Sun Tzu here), or is ignoring him, in not being quieter about his military plans for Assad’s regime and in seeking a strike that will be ineffectual other than to retaliate or punish, neither of which are legitimate goals of war. War should be about reversing imbalanced situations and to remove the threat of violent wrongdoers. Retaliation and punishment does not fit within those goals.