instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sometimes there is no prudent balance

Boy, there are so many reasons for the U.S. not to attack Syria that it was hard to boil them down into a single message, particularly one that might get through to a Congressman who has already issued a statement supporting "a narrowly drawn resolution to authorize military force so long as it is limited in scope and purpose."

I wound up sending this:
Please reconsider your position and vote against any resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria.

Military intervention of the sort being considered is a bad idea, militarily, strategically, politically, and morally.

Militarily, because there is no prudent balance between a token demonstration of power and a attack sufficient to change the balance of power in Syria. A U.S. attack will not constitute deterrence to the use of chemical weapons unless it leads to regime change.

Strategically, because no amount of overt U.S. involvement in the Syrian Civil War -- from a single cruise missile to a full-scale invasion -- will make the U.S. or our allies any new friends, while any amount will make new enemies and stir up old ones. Not to mention that Russia has its own interests.

Politically, because the American people oppose it, and because to vote in favor of attacking Syria is to own the military and strategic problems it will cause. Ask yourself: What about the way the U.S. has responded to the Syrian Civil War to date makes you confident the U.S. will handle to consequences of military intervention in a way that benefits U.S. interests, or even the interests of the Democratic Party in 2014 and beyond?

Morally, because even if we stipulate that such an intervention might be justified in some circumstances, the military, strategic, and political reasons against intervention make it imprudent in these circumstances, and to act imprudently is to act immorally.

For all these reasons, please vote against the use of military force against Syria.
I don't expect it to do any good. But that just means I can hope it will.