By Mark David Blum, Esq.
Right now the drums of war are beating across the nation. Republicans and the far left are clamoring for American military intervention in the civil war raging in Syria. It would be a terrible mistake to take action and no good can come from it.
So long as humans continue to organize around the nation-state, there are going to be civil wars. What seems like a good idea today for a government or legal system may next year be so bad and unpopular that change has to come about. When the entrenched refuses to surrender power, the people will almost always rise up and force that change.
Every time the United States has entered a civil war, the results have been a disaster. We lost political clout, spent gobs of money needed at home, and in the end did not resolve the underlying dispute which still simmers. Only when we gave up and left, such as in VietNam and Lebanon did things quiet down and those nations fixed their own problems.
We had our own civil war not too very long ago. More Americans died in that war than in World Wars 1 and 2 combined. Much can be debated as to the cause and whether the right side won but it is something that we worked out and now all live by the outcome.
Imagine if during our civil war, the French, British, and Spanish governments decided that too many people were being killed? What if they held a meeting and decided to enforce a cease fire. Better still, what if these foreign powers decided that Lincoln had to be removed from office and the United States partitioned along the Mason Dixon line. What if American forces; north or south, refused to accept foreign dictates causing an invasion? What if Russian and Italian soldiers were bombing us from the air and sea to quiet down the American burning of Atlanta. I bet if any such scenario would have manifested, Americans north and south would have reunited to clobber any invader. A Civil War is an internal household matter that a family needs to fight out. The United States needs to stay out of this fight.
Nobody wins in such a war. Only when the fight is over and the healing starts does everybody come out the better. Because the fighting factions cannot hop a plane and go fight somewhere in the middle of the Sahara desert, the battles take place in the cities, towns, and countryside of the nation at war. Civilians are killed. They are killed in any war. In a civil war, they are killed by crossfire or by being sympathetic to one side or the other. I doubt any citizen of any nation could remain neutral while their country is in the midst of a civil war. Though perhaps not militarized, every citizen has a side and a sympathy for who they want to win.
If the United States should intervene, even in a humanitarian way like in Libya, we will be seen as having effectively chosen sides. The question will become which side did we choose; whether we did or not. It matters because the other side of the conflict and those who sympathize will always see Americans as the bad guys. Someone may shove a bayonet up Assad’s rectum as was done to Ghadaffi and that would be a fitting end to a tyrant, son of a tyrant. What if the tyrant’s government remains intact? What if the new government resulting from an overthrow is more tyrannical or hostile to American interests. It would be a no-win overpriced dangerous use of American military firepower. This fight is a regional fight and the dispute is their responsibility – not ours.
I say, not one dime on Syria’s war. Not one drop of American blood. Not one boot on the ground. Not one bomb. Not a single bullet. The money is better spent at home.