Being engaged in another intractable war is madness, thus the United States and our disparate political factions need to think deeply, expansively and move very slowly.
The latest threat of course is the civil war in Syria. Hawkish voices, many of them from the American right, are foolishly looking to force the Obama administration into an action of some sort. That is not a step we want to take.
John Kerry's attempt to counsel with Russia's Putin is the right action for now.
The Bush invasion of Iraq, and the Obama escalation of Afghanistan validate the lessons of history. It does not go well for a western power to step into the insane slipstream of middle eastern ancient hatreds. Iraq is worse off post American invasion. The US will retreat from Afghanistan as the Russians did before us, confounded by the dark age reality of tribalism, war lords, and a nation that is stuck in a world of ignorance, superstition and a religion of death.
I have never understood the penchant of politicians who want to rush to war. Just look at our own history. How many times have we leaped into the fire, based on emotion, hot air and rhetoric?
All of the options for Syria are bad. Assad is probably worthy of a daily flogging for the rest of his miserable and evil life, but the post Assad Syria is absolutely problematic for the world. The further disintegration of a civil society is an almost certain outcome. Just look at Iraq post Saddam.
Any American move into that hellish stew will hurt and cost us in ways we can not afford. My concern is that we are seeing the early signs of what could be a catastrophic regional war fare between Shias and Sunnis.
Thus far Israel has shown it can and will protect its interests. In the meantime we should not be goaded or talked into an engagement in Syria. If indeed the regime has ordered the use of chemical weapons on civilians, the United Nations must respond. We can not let American windbag politicians talk us into something we should not do. The president can find more appropriate language than the discussion of "red lines" and the ankle biters in the House and Senate need to realize the world is more serious than all their blather and political gamesmanship.
There is suffering, ignorance, disease, and hurting in this world where we could or should be. Syria seems bound for a war amongst themselves, and I can't see that this nation has a player in that game. Post Assad Syria could be the next step to a Muslim war. Let them fight it. In the meantime we can be part of a team to deal with humanitarian relief and aid.
GLIMPSES OF SPRING
See you down the trail.