Wednesday, April 5, 2017

- A Word On Chemical Weapons In Syria

The world is full to the brim with ruthless, heartless people who are motivated toward evil. And the use of Sarin gas is atrocious. It's a horror. But it isn't my horror.

My world works out from the self. First, of course there is me, and my survival. Just behind that, is my immediate family, and I'll admit the lines get blurry there because there are a lot of circumstances where I would sacrifice myself for them. But as we move further out from my family, there are fewer and fewer circumstances where that will be the case. Third in my priorities, are my friends and allies. And since I consider myself a man of honor and loyalty, there are still a few circumstances there where I would sacrifice myself for them. Hopefully it never comes to that, and all it ever means is a sacrifice to my wealth or standing. But I'd defend my closest friends with my physical well being as well. Fourth is my tribe. I see my tribe as "Americans" though that pool has gotten pretty muddy lately. No, that's not a racial comment. I just mean that there is a fairly large contingent of Americans who believe that America is the worst place in the world and the people who support it are monsters. they can hang for all of me. But if the military started drafting middle aged former hedge fund manager,s I don't think I'd have any trouble sacrificing myself for my brothers in arms.

Fifth is another group, I'll call them my 'extended tribe'. These are people from foreign nations who are similar enough to me that I can see them as having a common interest. The British, Irish, Canadians, Australians, and the other members of the anglo-sphere certainly. I like every German I've ever met so they'd qualify. In fact I think most ethnically northern europeans would. But I don't have a thing in the world in common with a Cambodian rice farmer or Nigerian shephard. So I don't feel very compelled to risk myself on their behalf.

Now I don't feel affinity with everyone in Northern Europe. But to the degree that they have collectively chosen a government and that government has stated their affinity to mine, I'm happy to help them stand up to existential threats. Either through diplomacy, or if it comes to it, with force. But I don't want it to cost me much in either money or treasure. this is the nature of international allies.

As for the rest of the world - the part incidentally where most of the people are from and where virtually all of the uncivilized monsters who will use Sarin gas on their civilian population are - I have no real interest. In as much as they may represent a threat to our nation I believe in pacification from orbit. As the Derb so often says "Bribe em, bomb em or leave em alone." But I go further than him.

To all the nations or failed nations who are engaging in atrocities toward one another or themselves, I would say we should seal the border and let them fight it out. Their brutality toward one another is no real concern of mine. I can appreciate that there are US interests in the region, but I don't think it's worth much in US blood to try to ensure stability, in a region that won't be truly stable until everyone is dead.

If the cultures of the third world stabilize themselves and want to act like responsible members of the international community, I would welcome them. If they act like they're acting in Syria, then I'm disappointed, and horrified but I don't want to die to get them to stop.

I appreciate that this is a simplistic, un-nuanced and deeply linear view. But we've been up to our eyes in that part of the world since 9-11. And I think it's time to stop.

1 comment:

ikaika said...

Tom, I am with you on this but I have a slightly different take. Based on the recent news that China has sent troops to NorK border, it appears that Trump made an impression on Xi Jin Ping. I'm sure Derb will disagree, but this action was nothing more than Trump announcing his presence to the world: "Hey I'll wade into the bar fight, bloody the nose of the guy that Obama ran from and then go back to work". Xi Jin Ping saw this and Trump probably said "how would it look if I had to be the bully on your block?"
I don't see any further military intervention in Syria or the Middle East for that matter.
North Korea will probably be handled vigorously by our long-time trading partners in China.

Putin is a paper tiger. Let him saber rattle. His navy is weak and his air force is in desperate need of upgrade. His nuke stockpile is in need of maintenance (that's the scary part), but we may need him to stop the muslim invasion in Europe.