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: 6
- Surprise, surprise: Obamacare funds abortions - 55
- Casino gambles: Hopes dashed all over - 6
- USNH's raw deal: Part deux - 2
- Every vote counts: Here is the proof - 5
- Burning rubber: And public dollars - 0
- Hassan was right: 'Bullying' bill goes too far - 12
- Strategery: A war by any other name - 28
- Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.? - 6
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Scots spurn independence, vote to stay in the United Kingdom - 0
- Roger Brown's First and 10: Answers forthcoming - 0
- NHMS chief Gappens is on board with the Chase changes - 0
- Another View -- Ben Rose: How NH's John Stark helped defeat the British at Saratoga - 0
- Celebrating Claremont: A 250th birthday party - 0
- Hampstead's Suess ready for Whelen Modified race - 0
- College Football: Big Green kick off season vs. Cent. Connecticut - 0
- Son says shooting of mom during DEA raid was a mistake - 10
- Londonderry Rotary to host forum next week - 0
Supporters eager for Hillary's return to NH
Manchester family heartbroken after finding lost kitten was adopted from shelter, family refuses to return it