It has been four months since we began an in-depth national discussion about Syria.
Has the metaphorical “red line” been crossed? Should we send troops? If so, which ones? Should we send weapons? If so, who should we send them to?
Support a murderous fascist dictator or radical Islamist fundamentalists?
Hmmmm, so many choices, so little time.
Back in April, I stated unequivocally that not a single American life should be put on the line for Syria or any other country, for that matter.
And here is why: On Sept. 11, 2001, 3,000 Americans were murdered in cold blood on American soil.
Instead of going after those who attacked America, President Bush (who ran for president because “God told him to”) attacked Iraq because “God told him to.”
As of last Sunday, 4,486 Americans have died in Iraq and 2,264 in Afghanistan, bringing the total to 6,750 dead American soldiers overseas in retribution for the 3,000 who died within our borders.
And lest you think this is some sort of petty partisan bashing, 265 in Iraq and 1,634 in Afghanistan is the body count under Obama’s watch.
I don’t care who is in charge — the Americans are just as dead, and we spent over a trillion dollars for the privilege.
Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who do nothing about it,” and I could not agree more.
However, there is simply no good end game in Syria. With Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Sunni and Shiite extremists, Russia, Iran and the Taliban all involved, there is no side to choose in such an obvious quagmire.
Whether Assad knows better than to use chemical weapons against his own people is certainly up for debate, but the so-called rebels would happily sacrifice innocent citizens to make their point and draw Americans into their hopeless impasse.
They’ve done it plenty of times in Iraq and Afghanistan, so why wouldn’t they use the same tactic here?
It’s what they want in order to fuel anti-American sentiment around the globe.
The atrocities in Syria are truly horrific, but those sitting around on the short chairs enjoying their little tea parties and yelling for the president to take action are the same who will condemn him the moment he takes action.
They can yell and scream all they want about Benghazi, but that pales in comparison. (FYI: another 200-plus Americans have died since Benghazi, but somehow those four are more important?)
Or do you think this is our problem because of the price of a gallon of gasoline? Where do you think the money comes from to pay for these pointless military actions?
Our failed attempts at helping Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, etc., to think and choose for themselves (Democracy! Hell yeah!) has only resulted in our being hated and distrusted by the majority of countries on the planet.
We’re having a hard enough time trying to fix our own problems, so why in the world do we think we can fix theirs, especially if that “fix” is paid with American blood and money?
If we can take action that does not risk a single American life (more than are already at risk around the globe), then I’m all for it. But until then, no American parent should have to understand why their son or daughter had to die fighting in a country that was not actively threatening the United States.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.