Monday, September 16, 2013

WWIII Averted, For Now

It looks like the United States, Russia, and Syria have reached a diplomatic deal that would stave off war for now.  Syria would have to declare, turn in, and destroy all of their chemical weapons in short order.  Of course, doing so during an active civil war would be a lot easier said than done, but this is a good first step toward defusing a ticking time-bomb in a volatile region and preventing a wider war.  Though long-term success is far from certain, such a deal definitely reduces the risk of World War III from happening in the near future.  And it may increase the chances of a cease-fire in the not-too-distant future.

The True Spirit of America Party believes that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and that violence will only beget more violence in the long run.  While there is mounting evidence that the Assad regime and their lackeys are responsible for at least some of the chemical weapon attacks on civilians, it is also clear that both sides have a ton of innocent blood on their hands.  Those who have committed such horrific atrocities need to be brought to justice, but bombing Syria will clearly do far more harm than good overall.  What may start out as a "limited" air war can quickly turn into another Iraq or Vietnam, or worse as Syria and possibly other countries (i.e. Iran) or Hezbollah fight back, other countries get drawn in, and the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels attempt to take over the failed state of Syria.  At best, we would be killing a couple hundred or thousand people (inevitably including civilians) just to make a point, and end up likely repeating it in the future as the bloody civil war continues unabated.  At worst, we risk igniting WWIII, the road to universal slaughter.  And on balance of probabilities, history suggests that once we start such a war, contrary to our president's wishful thinking, we would have little choice but to put countless boots on the ground for the long haul (years or even decades), and thus be stuck in a serious quagmire for the foreseeable future. (Where will we get all those extra troops from?  Shhhh...don't say the D-word!)  Unless of course America resorts to using nukes, which would become the worst (and most hypocritical) atrocity that our country has ever committed in its entire history, except perhaps the attempted genocide of Native Americans.

So does that mean America should turn a blind eye to the horrific mass murder of innocent civilians?  Of course not.  That is a false choice that the hawks like to throw out there, and other options still remain.  By all means, we should continue to work on stopping the violence via diplomatic means in conjunction with other nations.  We should increase humanitarian aid to the people of Syria.  We should also do our part to take in the large number of refugees that the Syrian civil war is creating.  All of these things would at the very least take the edge off the crisis, and may even bring lasting change.  And as soon as it is feasible, atrocity perpetrators on both sides of the conflict should ultimately be brought before the International Criminal Court so that justice is served.  But war is not the solution--it is part of the problem.  Just ask any survivor of the numerous Middle Eastern wars of the past half-century.  Killing to stop the killing will only lead to more killing, and too much blood has already been spilled in the 21st century alone.