Monthly Archives: April 2018

7 Thoughts on Syria

So I wrote this last year and got a lot of positive feedback, which is why I am reposting it, with an update:
7 thoughts on Syria:
1. The policies of the Assad regime are reprehensible. Some of his policies are better than some of the policies of some world leaders, but that is not saying much and does not excuse his atrocities.
2. This does not justify military intervention by the United States unless we are willing to establish a concrete minimum standard of human rights and then invade/attack every country that fails to meet it. Since we cannot and will not do that, we should only go to war against another country if it attacks or is clearly planning to attack us.
3. Sanctions and other forms of boycotts are not only a justifiable response to the actions of countries like Syria but a moral necessity.
4. If you support Trump’s military intervention in Syria but opposed Obama’s, then that is a double standard. Ditto if you defended Obama’s military intervention but oppose Trump’s.
5. The United States deserves plenty of criticism for its foreign policy, which has often been belligerent, selfish, and inconsistent. That said, criticisms have to be based on concrete objections rather than just opposing everything the U.S. does. One cannot criticize the U.S. for being callous and uncaring when it does not militarily intervene and then criticize the U.S. for sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong when it does intervene.
6. Trump’s hostility to refugees makes his humanitarian arguments for military intervention fall flat.
7. In November [of 2016], I warned on my blog that while Clinton had a proven track record of being too hawkish, there was no reason to think Trump would be any better in that regard. It’s looking like I was right.
Since I originally wrote this, Trump has continued kissing up to the government of Saudi Arabia, which is at least as bad, if not worse, than Assad. This further exposes his professed humanitarian motives as cockamamy.

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