The first thing I want to do is list our foreign policy successes in the Middle East over the last 20 years.
Ok, that went well. Now, I’ll list a few of our foreign policy failures in the Middle East over the last 20 years.
- Iraq—remember those cute “WMDs”? They were there but not there. The invisible WMDs left the U.S. with over 4,000 dead, 32,000+ wounded, over 200 suicides, and somewhere around 122 thousand civilian casualties. Cost of more than $1 trillion dollars, not including over $9.5 billion in taxpayers money and spare parts lost. This doesn’t include the dead, wounded and cost to the coalition partners.
- Afghanistan—chasing Bin Laden left us with over 2,000 dead, 18,000+ wounded, and over 18,000 civilian casualties. The war cost is over $625 billion. Of course, this also doesn’t include the dead, wounded and cost to the coalition partners.
- Libya—remember Benghazi, the Republicans do and they like to blame it on Hillary.
This, of course, does not include the so-called ‘ghost money.’ The New York Times reported that the CIA delivered tens of millions of dollars to the Afghanistan government to buy influence that instead fueled corruption and empowered warlords. The result was undermining our exit strategy from Afghanistan. The Afghanistan government has said repeatedly that they don’t want us in their country, so our money didn’t buy anything and, as one American official said in the article, “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States.”
This also doesn’t include the millions of dollars in Halliburton (and other companies’) overcharges or the billions of dollars in reconstruction costs our Congress wants us to pay.
Now Republican senators including McCain and Graham (et al) want to involve our country in Syria because of the alleged use of chemical weapons. Several top US Republican senators are calling for further American involvement in Syria, arming the rebels, establishing no-fly zones, bombing Syrian air bases and leading a multi-nation invasion of the country, but they disagreed on the particulars. Except for one thing, they just want to arm friendly rebels. What situations like this inevitably lead to, if the right decisions aren’t made, is ‘boots on the ground.’ And we all know that ‘right decisions’ don’t come too easy or too often for our government, especially our congress.
We also can’t forget that republicans rattled sabers to Iran (I think they want a war there) and we have North Korea rattling sabers at South Korea.
In a CNS News article, the president said he will “rethink the range of options available to us” about Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The president has described this as a “red line” and “a game changer”. No, the red line needs to be no involvement!
Now, I don’t remember exactly, but I think we have some sort of organization in New York where nations of the world come together and work to improve universal peace…I think it’s called something like the United Nations. Oh wait, now I remember, we do have the United Nations headquarters in New York. Ah, now the memories are coming back. Let’s take a quick look at the UN Charter, specifically, Chapter 1, Article 1, paragraph 1. Notice that the purpose is to “maintain international peace and security”? The paragraph goes on to state, “to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace…” Ah, so we do have an international body that is interested in events, such as we find in Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons. This should be a big red flag for the UN, but that’s not the case. The UN doesn’t seem to care if the Syrian government unleashes chemical weapons on its population or that terrorist groups may purloin those chemical weapons for future use against UN member nations. And, let’s not forget Africa. How many millions of people died, and are still dying, in Africa while the UN stands by doing nothing. What does it take for the UN to act?
If Syria has chemical weapons, and I don’t doubt that they do, let’s get the UN to become involved because it’s an international problem. In the wrong hands, those chemical weapons will kill and maim people in other countries—you know, international. The UN is supposed to deal with international problems so let them do it. The UN should take the lead to secure chemical weapons in Syria. If the UN doesn’t take the lead, we don’t need the UN and we should get rid of the UN and convert the UN headquarters building to condos.
The bigger question—what does it take to keep the US from being the world’s police force? Why do we have to involve our country in every situation in every country that has problems? We don’t have the money, we’re wearing out our military, and we’re wearing out our welcome with many countries of the world.
Syria represents a financial and political quagmire for the president, and us—remember us, the taxpayers and military? However, no matter what the president does, the republicans will say he’s wrong. No matter what the president does about involving America will be wrong for America. So, as long as he’s going to take the heat, let’s do it in the name of peace for our country and stay out of it! Let’s take the money we envision spending in Syria and use it to create jobs in our country. Remember the sequester, that meat cleaver approach to managing our country? Let’s correct the problems here and not worry about starting a war in, or invading, another country.
– Syria map by this author