If I had my druthers, the U.S. wouldn't even have a military
In my fantasy world of the US of the W, a world police force would enforce international law, and every language would have it's own state (with sovereignty, in all areas outside of the universally agreed upon international norms), and each state would have it's own government, in a rich ferment of ideas, with multiple political experiments running simultaneously, with the goal of maximizing the personal happiness of every individual.
hm, maybe that's what the world already is. (semantics?)
War, besides being hell, can also contribute to happiness. Camaraderie, the development of new technology, jobs for soldiers, a safer world, and maybe even the elimination of evil people all must be why the bible says God is a man of war, despite Thou shalt not kill being one of the 10 commandments. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the lord. There is a time to kill.
I don't really believe there are evil people, though. There are criminals and psychopaths and gangsters and bloodthirsty murderers, who maybe enjoy splattering the brains of enemies, like a good video game, or in a horror movie, but these people HAVE demons, not ARE demons.
So what I'm saying is there are those who are Good at being Evil, and they play a role in the proper functioning of society like a dentist or a shopkeeper or attorney or what have you... If you ARE God, then you can kill, I guess, but if you submit to God (Islam means submission), well I guess the Koran says you can kill the infidels, too. This is not going where I intended it to. But maybe soldiers killing each other off, for whatever reason, can be good for the planet, for its resources, for lowering the burden of the earth to support a growing population. I, however, like soldiers, and people in general, and don't want them to die. But war is good for the economy, too.
This does not strike me as a healthy moral calculus. There must be another way to make the globe a better place than war and killing and destruction. The negatives of war seem to far outweigh whatever benefits it may bestow, the misery eclipses the joy of thrillkill, the suffering and death overpower the blessings of love from an unseen, mysterious God. Indeed God is dead when war takes away a loved one. The yin and yang, the good and evil, what a mess. We make do. But no one should have to endure it, a lasting peace should always and everywhere be our goal. Once created, it must be maintained.
Syria, case in point. The goal should be an immediate cease-fire, a truce -not escalation. Assad should rule over those who desire his rule, and those who don't should have a separate country, just like the Palestinians should have their own territory, homeland, separate from the Jewish state. If Jews want to live in Palestine, fine, and vice versa, Palestinians in Israel, that should of course be permitted. The U.S. is a melting pot hodge podge, and I like my country that way. But to each his own.
So just stop fighting, everyone. Children, get along or go to your rooms.
I have to say I don't see what makes chemical weapons a "red line" that stands as a criterion for U.S. military action. A death is a death is a death. A bullet does the same thing, in the end. So if we haven't acted already, we should just stay out. We don't want to be in another proxy war with Russia, or mired in the senseless brutality of another war, just on general principle. We should be spending our money on happiness, not perpetuating or escalating misery. And I don't think the U.S. really cares one way or the other about Sunni vs. Shia vs. Alawite vs. Hezbollah, unless it's everyone vs. al Qaeda. Unless we want Christianity to spread at the cost of an imploding, factionalized Islam. Chess is war, and I suspect religious motivation behind a lot of behavior and policy. (and demographics, too, with copious angry youth)
Of course, the pres has a lot more information than I do, and I think his heart is in the right place, so maybe action against Assad is the right thing to do, I don't know, I defer to him- but I am skeptical, and think the military is mostly boys playing with (expensive) toys.
also, now that I've learned congressional approval for U.S. military involvement has been sought, this is what i'd like to see addressed by the debate:
1) what the U.S. interests are.
2) would a "limited, surgical" strike include killing Assad
3) if not, why
4) which option reduces net suffering
5) cost, which option is cheapest
6) how would diplomacy be affected
6 hours ago