Max Boot (TNT, 6-6) argues for U.S. intervention to help topple Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. While recognizing technical difficulties as to targets, he asks, “Is this an argument for simply sitting by and let the killing continue?”
In a word, yes.
That may seem callous, but the plain fact is until we know who we are supporting, running around deposing people – even bad people isn’t smart. That’s true even if it might stop some killing.
Let’s say loyalists in America persuaded France to jump in against George Washington to “stop the killing.” Would that have been a good idea? Let’s say France and Germany decided the burning of Atlanta by Gen. William T. Sherman was horrific, and so they jumped in on the side of the Confederacy to “stop the killing.” Would that have been good?
The CIA’s overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and installation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as shah resulted in unleashing the savage brutality of his hated Savak. The shah’s eventual overthrow led almost in a straight line to today’s repressive Iranian regime.
To stop Russian killing in Afghanistan, we funded Osama bin Laden’s mujahadeen with rather disastrous results for thousands of people on 9/11.
Until we know who exactly we are helping, it behooves America to stay out of fistfights abroad. That has the added benefit of costing zero in American blood and treasure. Getting involved will lead at great expense to dead Americans, and just swaps one group of dead foreigners for another group of dead foreigners.