BY STEVE DUNN
I have been on vacation and by intention, I generally restrict such times to baseball news and not national. And to be honest, I try to stay away from the endless political dramas that so often dominate each day’s news cycle.
When I started on vacation, Egypt occupied much of the attention on the airwaves. Now it is Syria. And the news is that our government has evidence that President Assad’s government in Syria has used the deadly chemical sarin in its attacks upon the people in opposition to its power. (If you are behind in all of this, this link from the BBC seems to me the most unbiased and accurate reporting on this issue as of Sunday.)
To be honest, I am also concerned when any nation’s government uses chemical weapons on anyone–friend or foe alike. There is ample evidence of the brutality of the current Syrian regime to give credence to these reports.
The President is waiting until Congress reconvenes the week of September 9th to get their support of any military action against Syria. People in other nations are declaring this to be a “failure of leadership.” It may be more a “confusion in leadership.”
I am confused, for example, by our government’s threat of withdrawal of support from the Egyptian military, who by all reports that I receive, acted to stop a “popularly” elected President who was in the process of turning his nation into a dictatorship of the Brotherhood, a Muslim power group that does not enjoy popular support in that nation and who is clearly anti-American, anti-democracy in its positions. We have taken no action when thousands of Egyptian Christians have been killed, their homes and churches burned, and forced from villages they have lived in in peaceful coexistence with their Muslim neighbors for centuries. This does not seem to be a “human rights” issue that even rises to the level of a protest by our nation and our perceived bullying on behalf of the other side is earning us enemies in that land that have been our friends for much of our nation’s briefer existence.
Is there no coherent policy that takes a pragmatic and moral position on the Middle East. Do we not understand that the constant swinging of the pendulum of foreign policy undermines our national interest and erodes our moral leadership?
And what price do these policies exact from the body politic of our nation? What cost is paid in the lives of Americans who deeply love and defend liberty? Maybe it’s time for a national discussion about these questions instead of all the time we spend things like marriage policies and gun control and Miley Cyrus’ adolescent stupidity.
If you want to read more about the Syrian situation, I found this very helpful from The Washington Post.