If you read my thoughts here before, you’d know that I’m not the biggest fan of war. And now we’re apparently entering (notice I didn’t say “declaring”) a war against Syria. As you might guess, I’m against this war.
Usually I’m pretty theoretical and dare I say ideological when it comes to my opinion on economics, ethics, and politics. I could spend time talking about how the war is going to be financed with stolen money via taxation. I could talk about how there are some people who are going to make huge amounts of money when this war is fought. I could also talk about how there’s no threat against the United States, and therefore no real reason for the United States to go to war.
Instead, I’m going to give a practical reason why we shouldn’t engage Syria in a war.
It’s just not going to work.
Just take a look at the record of the United States. Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Iran, Afghanistan (this was when Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were considered “good”), Vietnam, Iran (not a typo), etc. were all botched efforts. Can we honestly look at any of those events and say that the United States left those countries better off when they left them than when they found them? And in some of them (see Libya, Egypt, and now Syria for recent examples), our friends were enemies in wars we were simultaneously fighting.
How far back do we have to go to find a war that ended well? Most people will immediately point to World War II. Don’t get me wrong—stopping Hitler and the Third Reich was a very good thing. That said, the United States fought on the side of the Soviet Union and communist China in World War II. Both Stalin and Mao each killed significantly more people than Hitler did. I don’t see how that should be considered a win for the free world. The US may have fought against a very bad dude, but it allied itself against some other very bad dudes.
I don’t expect any good to come out of a war with Syria. Well, you might make out well if you work in certain sectors of the defense industry. For the people we’re told that are going to be helped (the Syrian people), don’t expect much. If the Assad and the Syrian government are overthrown, expect some even worse players to enter the political arena and seize power in the vacuum that’s left behind.
And remember, al Qaeda is our frenemy.