Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

04 September 2013

Syria and Intervention

Generally, the American public and certainly most of the media, have concluded that George W. Bush was wrong to put Saddam Hussein out of power in Iraq.  Yet, many of these same people are calling for Obama to use military power against Bashar al-Assad in Iraq.  Let us take a quick assessment of the relative merits of the two cases.


It seems clear that if the action of George W. Bush in applying military power to Iraq was as wrong as so many now claim it was, then those same people should be having a very difficult time justifying military action against Syria.

To be sure, Obama is presently talking about a limited action and one might argue that it could be scaled appropriately to the lower level of justification for the retribution against the evil regime of Bashar al-Assad.  However, these efforts to tune actions to a lower level of violence and effort often become much escalated.  What is more, Obama very nearly took action without Congressional approval, which is an assertion of power on his part that can only be justified if he is acting to protect Americans from a clear and imminent danger.  No such danger exists, so the constitutional requirement for Congressional approval is clear.  I am very inclined to mistrust a man who is reluctant to acknowledge this constitutional requirement.  Note that George W. Bush did not ignore it.

Frankly, one also has to be sure that our own national interest is substantially involved.  Even a limited attack is expensive at a time when our economy is in stagnation and our government is already draining the private sector of its wealth by taking 24 and 25% of GDP year after year.  We have a huge unemployment rate and many people employed only part time.  We have the outrageous expenses and rights violations of ObamaCare hanging over us.  We have an energy policy designed to pay off Obama cronies and cost consumers skyrocketing energy bills with no valid justification in either fossil fuel shortages or a failed man-made global warming hypothesis.  We have a mushrooming dependency of people on food stamps and social security disability payments.  We have a Baby Boomer Generation about to begin retiring in huge numbers with the accompanying loss of production and taxes and a great increase in Medicare and Social Security expenses.

We have a government which refuses to face these realities and which indeed appears to be playing up the Syria atrocities and our military response as a distraction from our own problems.  What is more, we do not have either a clear policy for Syria or for the Middle East in general.  Our policy is pretty near completely befuddled in fact.  At some point one has to adjust our foreign policy to the intelligence and knowledge of those who would execute it and we have to note that the present regime is uniquely clueless.  A regime headed by a community organizer who cannot write a coherent report or article and which first put Hilary Clinton and then Hanoi John at the head of the State Department, is not one we should want leading such military adventures.  A regime that would not face the need for more security for our people in Benghazi and would not even try to come to their rescue, is not one that inspires confidence.  What is more, this regime has long been choosing our military leaders for their political compliance and even those leaders have recently been replaced in unusually large numbers because they were apparently not compliant enough.

Bashar al-Assad is a monster.  One cannot help but wish to see such people removed from the face of the Earth.  But, it is not sufficiently in the interest of the U.S. to do this by ourselves and it sure is not a task I want to entrust to Obama.

Now let us return to discussions of the ObamaCare train-wreck, the stagnant economy, huge government overspending, the needed reforms of Medicare, Social Security, tax policy, the regulatory agencies, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and its NLRB, the Department of Energy and an anti-fossil fuel bias, the monetary messes of the Federal Reserve, the massive snooping on Americans, the general anti-business climate, and the promotion of really bad climate science by the government.  Solving these problems is in the national interest.  Ignoring them is not.

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