John Stossel: Our road to Damascus
Launching missiles at Syria isn't one of them.
Many pundits talk about going to war as if all we have to do is make up our minds about what "ought" to happen — who the bad guys are — and the rest is just details. If we decide we must punish a tyrant, let the military worry about how to get it done.
Everyone agrees there are huge "known unknowns" in Syria — we barely know the composition of the rebel movement we're supposed to aid — but we should be more concerned about "unknown unknowns," to borrow former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's phrase.
When pro-war pundits did admit to uncertainty about what would happen in Iraq, it was often to stoke fear about what would happen if we didn't intervene. Saddam might use chemical weapons! Saddam might get nukes! Well, maybe.
I don't trust John Kerry, but I'll accept his claim that Syria's leaders probably used chemical weapons to kill 1,400 people. Horrible.
Even if that's the goal, our options are limited. Maybe we'll:
• Lob a few cruise missiles, like Bill Clinton did in Sudan.
• Kill Assad himself and then ... what?
President Obama argues that limited intervention in Syria might accomplish good more quickly and cheaply than our efforts in Iraq did. He said he wants a two-day engagement instead of months of fighting.
Even if the conflict remains localized and contained — a dangerous assumption in the "fog of war" — we can't assume that a new government will be more democratic or tolerant than Assad's regime.
Given what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, there are worse things than leaving murderous Russian-backed governments in place.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Girl Scouts need help sending cookies to military personnel overseas - 0
- Auto dealers group offers scholarship aid, funds to NH veterans programs - 0
- Commentary: Chronically homeless vets are a problem for all of us - 0
- Rep. Shea-Porter bashes planned military cuts - 0
- New Hampshire Veterans News in Brief - 0
- Sen. Ayotte concerned about cuts in COLA for new service members - 0
- NH veterans get a deal at Amesbury Sports Park - 0
- VA Medical Center to host open house - 0
- Parents of fallen SEAL will speak in Hollis - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Excess school money may target crowded classes in Manchester - 0
- Nashua board members apologize for signingCommon Core letter - 0
- Sen. Shaheen participates in all-night climate change ‘talkathon’ - 0
- Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs' Derek Forbort in the right place at the right time - 0
- Educators, advocates speak to new standards for use of force - 0
- Two Manchester health clinics working on merger plan - 0
- Manchester CrimeWatch: City woman connected to fatal crash in court again - 0
- Franklin’s newest police recruit, a German shepherd pup, can smell trouble - 0
- VFW still eyeing old Crown Hill fire station in Nashua for new home - 0
Allenstown rejects town and school budgets
Crowley elected in Northfield
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Shaheen among speakers at Senate Dems' climate change 'talkathon'