Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why So Syria

So now it looks like the vaunted Syrian military, with a vaunted 0-4 record against Israel, is trying to improve its target practice on Sryia's own civilians at close range.  I guess you gotta start small scale, right?  Otherwise how else can you move up to the big leagues, like attacking Lebanon?

After this latest massacre--numbering over 100 dead civilians so far--the United Nations is weighing its options, between (a) writing a strongly worded letter, (b) writing a very strongly worded letter, and (c) writing a strongly worded letter with a photograph of an angry Secretary General.  Meanwhile, people with a sense of right and wrong are suggesting a different set of options for Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad, including (d) roasting him on an open spit, (e) feeding him to fire ants, or (f) put him in a room with dogs that shoot bees from their mouths when they bark.

But as the calls for international intervention increase, it raises the usual question--what is our threshhold for intervening in foreign internal conflicts?  Millions being murdered is one thing, but how about a few thousand?  Or a few hundred?  Does it matter how they are murdered--lined up in gas chambers versus gunned down into ditches, or forcibly starved a la Stalin or Mao?  Does it matter whether the victims are armed, completely unarmed, or armed with laughably pitiful weapons?

I don't think there really is an answer to this--basically, we intervene when we are offended enough by what is happening and think we can accomplish the most good with the least risk (Haiti), and it doesn't hurt if we have something to gain (Spanish American War).  Sometimes our intervention backfires (Somalia).

Whatever happens here it'll be nice to see Assad tossed out and his regime toppled, but I'm not holding my breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment