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
- Deadline set for identifiers on for-profit MADD donation bins in NH - 0
- Navy again seeking bids to develop former prison 'The Castle' at Portsmouth shipyard - 0
- Navy: Anyone want keys to the Castle at Portsmouth shipyard? - 1
- Occupy Manchester group ousted from park makes case before New Hampshire Supreme Ccourt - 0
- Former NH state trooper gets new state job after 2010 conviction - 18
- Public hearing is set in Portsmouth on plan to beddown 12 KC-46A aircraft - 0
- U.N. denies reports representative in Ukraine seized in Crimea - 0
- Frigid weather has maple producers expecting a 'couple of weeks' delay - 0
- NH Motor Speedway founder selling lakeside estate for NH-record $49 million - 7
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester police recover $2,000 worth of painkillers in drug arrest - 0
- 600 votes cast in Hudson by midday - 0
- Man dies after officer-involved Rochester shooting - 0
- Londonderry polls average 100 voters per hour - 0
- Faulty lamp caused Manchester blaze - 0
- Nashua school members' letter prompts an apology - 0
- UNH Law named a top 100 law school in magazine’s rankings - 0
- UPDATE: Hudson police standoff ends; person in custody - 0
- Revised lice policy gets cool reception from some at Manchester school meeting - 1
Taken for a ride: Hooksett’s Pinkerton deal
Manchester schools project budget surplus