Syrian Siren Call

9 Mar

There are statements being made in Washington DC to intervene in the events occurring presently in Syria. While at the same time, talk continues much as ever about war with Iran over their nuclear ambitions (very likely is my guess). Plus did you know the Pentagon has recently admitted to having a presence in Yemen that suggest activity there as well?

My question is, does the United States have an obligation to any nation that attempts to rebel against its own government (cruel as it may be) and find itself stuck?

I know the United States has a history of toppling and replacing leadership during the last half-century or more, banana republic anyone? But hasn’t the idea been lately, that the United States shouldn’t meddle internally in the affairs of other nations. Isn’t that why a great number of people voted for a anti-war candidate for President in 2008?

So what does the United States owe to the people of Syria?

Surely, we owe them nothing, but it is about freedom is it not. Besides, France assisted the United States in its own revolution, and it owed nothing to the United States at the time, so why should this be different?

Because it is, that’s why. Does anyone even know what the Syrians are rebelling for?

France assisted the United States in its revolution, not to stand up for freedom and liberty against tyranny. How could it, when it was ruled by a monarchy which would itself soon be overthrown.

No, France helped the United States to better serve it’s own interests by delivering a blow to their bitter rival, Great Britain, and they did, right in the ribs. POW!

Although I don’t know their motivations, I do sympathize with the people of Syria and what their lives must be like in this situation, I truly do.

It is difficult to hear of fighting and destruction in the news everyday and know that it is so far away and doesn’t affect us, but for those people it is not far away, it is happening right in front of their houses.

But still it is not the United States place to intervene on behalf of the people of Syria. Without knowing why and what they’re fighting for we may end up with a situation detrimental to US interests, which is a consideration that must be made.

Syrian President Basher Al-Assad may be a bad guy, but he’s the devil we know as the saying goes and we certainly don’t we to rush headlong into things and end up with someone worse.

Besides that I expect defections to increase, such as the deputy oil minister who did so yesterday. Despite what Kofi Annan says, Syrians need to work out this problem for themselves.

If the people of Syria are fighting for their freedom, then the United States should offer them material and humanitarian aid, while denouncing the grip President Assad has on power, to build compassion and goodwill relations with the people of Syria without getting directly involved. As Theodore Roosevelt would say, “Walksoftly and carry a big stick”, this would be an easier image to project if the United States was currently so apologetic in it’s political persuasion (but that’s a talk for another day).

But there is one idea in this whole process that must be respected.

Freedom is never given, only earned. If the people of Syria truly want freedom they will continue to fight until they have it, and then administer it’s use wisely, with the knowledge of what it costs to earn. However if they merely want to trade one tyrant for another, their work will fail for its shallowness.

Concepts such as freedom, liberty, and personal governance are rare birds in the middle-east and as such should not be granted too easily, (if that is truly what they even want), so as to avoid unappreciation of its value.

I will finish with this section from Thomas Jeffersons letter to William Smith, for it sums up the issue quite nicely.

“..what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants”.

Thomas Jefferson. November 13, 1787.


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