Is it really a novel concept to just stay the **** out of other peoples business?
Like you did initially in WWI and WWII?
- Sorry, that was a cheap shot I couldn't resist.
I do want to know what airstrikes are going to achieve though. Something needs to be done but knee-jerk reactions like this aren't going to do much and the last thing any country is prepared to do right now is send in ground troops.
Afghanistan is a basketcase and always has been so nothing can be done there but Syria will just be another Iraq - potentially fixable but always just out of reach.
Call me drunk. Okay. Being prior mil I must say these douches online saying I didn't sign up for X, Y, or Z are asshats. I signed up to kick in doors, **** **** up, and drink milk. And I've been out of milk. The situation does seem to be a whole halabalue. Chem weapons aside land of glass the whole lot. Humanitarian wise play nice, but what resources do they have we need?
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Guess what, America is the least evil superpower scenario. Who really, I mean really, thinks the world would be better off without America? Maybe certain groups of people would be better off but the vast majority would not be. On top of the world always expecting us to bail them out, we have our own interests to worry about too. I don't always agree with what we do, and I do agree some of it is fucked up and wrong, if only the world was perfect and we didn't have these asshat dictators in shitty countries.
"The United States was the first moral society in history. All previous systems had regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end in itself. The United States regarded man as an end in himself, and society as a means to the peaceful, orderly, voluntary co-existence of individuals. All previous systems had held that man’s life belongs to society, that society can dispose of him in any way it pleases, and that any freedom he enjoys is his only by favor, by the permission of society, which may be revoked at any time. The United States held that man’s life is his by right (which means: by moral principle and by his nature), that a right is the property of an individual, that society as such has no rights, and that the only moral purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights."
"America’s abundance was not created by public sacrifices to “the common good,” but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way."
"In its great era of capitalism, the United States was the freest country on earth—and the best refutation of racist theories. Men of all races came here, some from obscure, culturally undistinguished countries, and accomplished feats of productive ability which would have remained stillborn in their control-ridden native lands. Men of racial groups that had been slaughtering one another for centuries, learned to live together in harmony and peaceful cooperation. America had been called “the melting pot,” with good reason. But few people realized that America did not melt men into the gray conformity of a collective: she united them by means of protecting their right to individuality.
The major victims of such race prejudice as did exist in America were the Negroes. It was a problem originated and perpetuated by the non-capitalist South, though not confined to its boundaries. The persecution of Negroes in the South was and is truly disgraceful. But in the rest of the country, so long as men were free, even that problem was slowly giving way under the pressure of enlightenment and of the white men’s own economic interests.
Today, that problem is growing worse—and so is every other form of racism. America has become race-conscious in a manner reminiscent of the worst days in the most backward countries of nineteenth-century Europe. The cause is the same: the growth of collectivism and statism."
"This country—the product of reason—could not survive on the morality of sacrifice. It was not built by men who sought self-immolation or by men who sought handouts. It could not stand on the mystic split that divorced man’s soul from his body. It could not live by the mystic doctrine that damned this earth as evil and those who succeeded on earth as depraved. From its start, this country was a threat to the ancient rule of mystics. In the brilliant rocket-explosion of its youth, this country displayed to an incredulous world what greatness was possible to man, what happiness was possible on earth. It was one or the other: America or mystics. The mystics knew it; you didn’t. You let them infect you with the worship of need—and this country became a giant in body with a mooching midget in place of its soul, while its living soul was driven underground to labor and feed you in silence, unnamed, unhonored, negated, its soul and hero: the industrialist."
"America is the land of the uncommon man. It is the land where man is free to develop his genius—and to get its just rewards. It is the land where each man tries to develop whatever quality he may possess and to rise to whatever degree he can, great or modest. It is not the land where one glories or is taught to glory in one’s mediocrity. No self-respecting man in America is or thinks of himself as “little,” no matter how poor he may be. That, precisely, is the difference between an American working man and a European serf."
"It was a European who discovered America, but it was Americans who were the first nation to discover this earth and man’s proper place in it, and man’s potential for happiness, and the world which is man’s to win. What they failed to discover is the words to name their achievement, the concepts to identify it, the principles to guide it, i.e., the appropriate philosophy and its consequence: an American culture.
America has never had an original culture, i.e., a body of ideas derived from her philosophical (Aristotelian) base and expressing her profound difference from all other countries in history.
American intellectuals were Europe’s passive dependents and poor relatives almost from the beginning. They lived on Europe’s drying crumbs and discarded fashions, including even such hand-me-downs as Freud and Wittgenstein. America’s sole contribution to philosophy—Pragmatism—was a bad recycling of Kantian-Hegelian premises."
"A European is disarmed in the face of a dictatorship: he may hate it, but he feels that he is wrong and, metaphysically, the State is right. An American would rebel to the bottom of his soul. . . . Defiance, not obedience, is the American’s answer to overbearing authority."
This is a really tough situation. From some of the analysis I've seen so far, there are stark contrasts to Libya. In Syria, the opposition appears to be much less cohesive and includes the Free Syrian Council and the Free Syrian Army - but also jihadists and Hezbollah fighters.
In Libya, you had the "international community" endorsing and participating in the actions as part of enforcing a UN resolution. To this point, there is no such consensus for Syria.
It's almost unfortunate to say, but the cynic in me thinks about how easy it would be to fake video and photos of chemical weapon victims. Unlike the mutilated bodies of people hit by mortars, tank shells, and 50 caliber rounds, most of the bodies shown as victims of the chemical weapons attacks looked like they could just be people lying prone for the image. :-/
I think it is a tough thing: a government using military grade weapons, including chemical weapons, on its own people with massive civilian casualties. I can understand the impulse to say, "America doesn't have to be the world police." But I can also understand the impulse to say, "I wouldn't stand idly by while a man beat his wife on the sidewalk. Why should we stand idly by while Assad gasses women and children in Damascus?"