I was going to blog on the Halloweenization of the fall in response to this article on the Christmasization of the fall but then I read this obscenity about our UN Ambassador Samantha Power calling for, in her prior book, extensive humanitarian intervention in alleged genocides and mass slaying all over the world. Here’s a couple of examples:
So I have a sense that Power would believe that the following statement, which she made in her book’s concluding chapter, would apply to Syria: “When innocent life is being taken on such a scale and the United States has the power to stop the killing at reasonable risk, it has a duty to act.”
To those analysts who argue that the American people, tired of the Middle East and weary of war, are comprehensively uninterested in engagement of any sort, Power, it seems to me, would recite this bit of cogent analysis: “The inertia of the governed cannot be disentangled from the indifference of the government. American leaders have both a circular and a deliberate relationship to public opinion.”
She goes on, “It is circular because their constituencies are rarely if ever aroused by foreign crises, even genocidal ones, in the absence of political leadership, and yet at the same time U.S. officials continually cite the absence of public support as grounds for inaction. The relationship is deliberate because American leadership has not been absent in such circumstances. It has been present but devoted mainly to minimizing public outrage.”
“What is most shocking about America’s reaction to Turkey’s killing of Armenians, the Holocaust, Pol Pot’s reign of terror, Iraq’s slaughter of the Kurds, Bosnian Serbs’ mass murder of Muslims, and the Hutu elimination of Tutsi is not that the United States refused to deploy U.S. ground forces to combat the atrocities.”
She continues, “For much of the century, even the most ardent interventionists did not lobby for U.S. ground invasions. What is most shocking is that U.S. policy makers did almost nothing to deter the crime. Because America’s ‘vital national interests’ were not considered imperiled by mere genocide, senior U.S. officials did not give genocide the moral attention it warranted.”
My summary of this is that this book ought to have disqualified Power from representing the United States in any capacity. She has called for US ground troops to intervene in local atrocities throughout the world, for US leaders to persuade the American people that such intervention is appropriate and take action regardless of what the people want and that it does not matter whether it is in our national interest.
I will admit: The alleged use of chemical weapons is very sobering. It would be a temptation for even me to act. But first, we do not know who did it. Second, if we again attack a nation that did not attack us first, we need to have a clear mission and end game. No more Iraqs where the people would cheering the streets for us and pay for it with oil. No nation-building. There is a way to find out what happened and demand the new Syrian government prosecute the perpetrators. I do not wish to give the UN the power to jail anyone, no matter how evil they are.
If we go to war without those facts in place, then it’s wrong. It’s immoral to ask American men and women (even mothers!) to go to war without a clear national interest. If it were left up to me, there would be massive demonstrations throughout the nation: NO WAR IN SYRIA! Samantha Power and others can send their kids to fight in Syria. Don’t send mine. Now, back to Halloween in August in another blog post!