By Mark David Blum, Esq.
A civil war is a bloody, destructive, horrific, deadly experience for any nation. Every nation, at some point, has one. Most nations survive. We almost didn’t.
More Americans died in our civil war than did in World Wars 1 and 2 and Vietnam and Korea. I think the number of American dead during our civil war was around 600,000 or more. Then, there were the wounded, the burnt cities, and destroyed political, social, and economic infrastructure. It must have been horrific for brother to fight brother, friend against friend. Four to five years passed rom the first shots at Fort Sumter to the surrender by Lee at Appomattox,
Every nation that goes through this process suffers miserably. Imagine if after the burning of Atlanta, the Russians and Chinese had gotten furious at the loss of life and destroyed property and called that “the red line”. What if in response to Sherman’s attack, battalions of foreign troops landed on our shores and imposed themselves between our two warring factions. At the point of a gun, we are told to cease fire, no shooting or attacking civilian targets, and that the Mason Dixon line was a permanent border between North and South until such a time as we kissed and made up.
Me, I think North and South would have instantly reunited and turned the foreign invaders into goo. Our civil war was our political fight and it was of no concern to the world.
When a nation is not allowed to have it out and settle its war by externally enforced peace, it creates chaos for generations which only worsen. Korea is a prime example. Thanks to the world not allowing them to slug it out, we have instead the world’s largest mine field and troops constantly in a state of high alert. Korea, however, will never heal.
I could go on and on and on and on and even on some more with examples of nations engaged in their own great civil wars and how the all managed to survive and be the better for it.
Following on the heels of Libya, now comes Syria embroiled in its own internal imbroglio and the whole world is ready to jump in. The dreaded red line has been drawn by both the United States and the Russians. The number, by the way, is at least 75,000; the number of American troops required to secure Syria’s chemical and biological weapons.
I fear that we are having another one of our Concentration Camp Syndrome® attacks. We are being driven into military involvement in Syria. After World War 2, the world in general, the United States in particular were eyewitness to history’s horrors. Whereas every Jew on earth has sworn a blood oath of ‘Never Again’ when it comes to that policy, Americans too took an apparent oath that we too would never stand by and let a slaughter like that ever happen again. A very liberal progressive idea.
Since the Second World War, Americans have tried with great virtue in their heart to stop nation states from killing each other and tearing themselves apart. In how many civil wars have we engaged militarily and drain our territory and blood? We have it engrained in our national conscience that we cannot stand by and do nothing.
So, the question on the table is now, what do we do about Syria. Although a liberal idea, it is our Republican brothers and sisters who are banging their shoes for military intervention in Syria. Forty thousand people are dead; if you credit rebel sources. They are only one year into their war. There are no civilians in a civil war, only non combatants.
One downside to progress is that for all the genius that is good, there are those who profit from evil. War is evil. It is also a cash cow and many get rich developing new and more efficient ways for one human to kill another. Biological and chemical weapons are cruel indeed. How are they any different from any other form of combat death?
Is it the numbers? How many people would die from a biological or chemical artillery shell? I don’t have the answer but I am confident it wont be as many as who died at Gettysburg. Does it really matter when a gas or a bayonet is the cause of a soldier’s death?
Syria has to go through this as part of its social and political evolution. More importantly, this is not our fight. Not one bullet should be fired, not one American boot should set foot on Syrian soil. Not one dime of our treasury should be spent on intervention. Rebuilding, well let the free market decide. It is not our fight and we have to stay out of it; enjoying the show on cable.
On a much grander scale, this is like a marriage. It is a society that is having issues internally. Syria is going through a social evolution. What will be the end result is anybody’s guess. Stunting that change in the social order will create chaos and intervention will be despised by both sides. Syrians don’t have the power of the ballot to fix their social dispute. So they resort to bullets.
I don’t know which side should win this battle. A lot is to be said about the devil you know.
Syria is not America’s fight. We have our own battles to resolve and our own people who need our treasury. As an American and a human being, my heart goes out to all the people of Syria. As a friend of Israel, not so much.
Even if it is determined that intervention is required, let someone else do it. Let those nations most impacted by regional instability commit their troops, equipment, money, and blood. This is not our fight. We should not get involved.