Now that Barack Obama has spoken and is giving the Syrian regime no less than ten days to hide all the military assets that would be our targets if there were to be airstrikes, it is time to step back and contemplate how the civilized world expects to remain not just in power, but taken seriously – AT ALL – by the not so civilized world, when the western allies vote down uses of force against human rights violators and leaders display no sense of urgency when they hand crisis decisions over to a legislative body which is not meeting for more than a week.
To put it mildly, the aggressors around the world have to be laughing. The resolve to stop atrocities before they develop into Holocaust and gulag like international incidents appears to be gone. The countries that came together after World War II and spawned the United Nations to, supposedly, fulfill that purpose no longer seem to want to get their hands dirty.
Keeping barbarians at bay is a never ending job. Just because the more artistic types talk peace and pacifism doesn’t mean it’s always the best option. There always have been, are now and always will be people out there who are willing to take what others have by force, and they can raise great armies to accomplish that.
As information came to light of the Assad regime in Syria gassing the resistance with Sarin, leaders of the countries who banded together to defeat one of the worst human rights offenders in the history of the planet, have each stepped away from decisiveness. We saw saber rattling from Obama before he backed down and punted to Congress as if a one-off airstrike is the same as declaring war. Britain’s David Cameron was humiliated when Parliament voted down taking action. Francois Hollande of France has also ceased his insistence on quick action.
What this has done is open the door to the barbarians and bullies world-wide to press for the dominance they seek. Along with a handful of other countries, Britain, the United States and France generally stand together against such regimes. This has also signaled to OUR adversaries that pressing THEIR causes elsewhere in the world in proxy situations will not be met with any kind of pushback, whether that is true or not. That they continue to fund the regimes that commit human rights violations, is another consequence.
The lack of backbone, spine, intestinal fortitude, other body parts that signal strength and a willingness to back moral certainties with action has discounted any sort of standing that the western allies have when it comes to defending standards of behavior expected of the “international community.”
Barbarians do not heed lectures, they respect bullets, missiles, grenades and other destructive ordinances. It would be nice if they would lay down arms so we can talk this out, but it just ain’t going to happen.
So, in the end, unsuccessful tough talk from men who appear not to have much in the way of street smarts, has been a pretty big disaster. The Middle East is the most prominent hot spot right now, and is important for a pretty simple reason: trade. (Seriously, doesn’t everyone love their Egyptian cotton sheets.) This has been the case for many centuries. That a good percentage of the world is now dependent on the Middle East for energy supplies is how the countries of Islam have any kind of power in the world right now. And they can pretty easily hold quite a few nations hostage if the flow of oil stops.
(Of course, we could drill ours and sell it to Europe…but that would defeat all the “go green” measures that are sure to benefit from an uptick in oil prices.) (Oh, come on, your head went there, too.)
Actions have consequences – so does doing nothing in the face of evil. In that case, evil triumphs. It is true that the Middle East is an ocean away from us and a bit of a trek for Europe, and that the main topic of any sort of fight is lower market prices for oil, but is defending the innocent now passe?
What a sad, sad week for the west.
U.S. history homework: Look up the U.S.S. Philadelphia and why the Marine Corps march includes the words, “From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli.” This all didn’t just start in the mid-20th century.