It now appears that the U.S. will not be attacking Syria anytime soon, and for a variety of reasons.
Whether Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad was the one who used the poison gas remains uncertain – in this one instance, he may actually not be the “bad guy."
Furthermore, what exactly was the U.S. planning to do? A few token cruise missiles shot into Syria would likely accomplish nothing. Staging a major military action that could topple the Syrian government could lead to Assad being replaced by an even bigger cutthroat. Also, when dictatorships fall, there is usually an initial period of chaos, and during that time almost anyone might get their hands on some of the poison gas.
Despite all promises to the contrary, a serious U.S. attack may eventually necessitate U.S. “boots on the ground,” something that few Americans would tolerate at this point.
It just isn’t smart to pursue this conflict at this time. Accordingly, it is all but certain that Congress will not agree to wage this war.
There is, however, an urgent need for a different military action in that part of the world, one that the U.S. should be considering at present. That action is to attack Iran.
A principle of ancient Jewish Wisdom is, “If one is coming to kill you, rise up and kill him” (Talmud Sanhedrin, 72a). Although human life is always deemed precious, the message seems to be that once someone begins making preparations to kill, the would-be victims should not attempt any dialogue. Rather, if possible, the murderer should simply be killed, post-haste.
This advice reveals a major psychological and political insight. People who sink to the level of killing others lose a component of their humanity, namely the capacity to feel the noble human sentiment that murder is reprehensible. Discussions of immorality with those who are preparing to murder is like lecturing cats on the wickedness of killing mice. The concept is just beyond them.
Hence, although it would be far better to save killers’ lives by peacefully dissuading them from pursuing murder, it simply won’t work. Instead, the only effective deterrent is the knowledge that the murderers may themselves be slaughtered due to their attempt to kill others. This idea is not beyond them.
Other offenses are different. For example, someone contemplating a financial swindle may be convinced to desist because it is morally wrong. Yet, an equally compelling argument would not dissuade that same person if he was about to kill. Having entered a subhuman state, he lacks the humanity needed to perceive that killing people is improper.
The country of Iran is now almost certainly the world’s foremost sponsor of terror and murder. The hideous marks of its bloodstained hands can be found wherever free people live – the horrific events at the recent Boston Marathon serve as a reminder of how Iran does business.
Now they are close to completing work on developing nuclear arms, something that would give them the ability to literally murder billions of innocents. Based on the countless murders and maiming of innocents Iran has already committed, there is no reason to assume that it would not sponsor mass bloodshed on this horrific scale.
Clearly, negotiations and economic sanctions have done nothing to stop Iran’s march toward acquiring the bomb. U.S. policy should therefore be based on the idea inherent in, “When one comes to kill you, rise up and kill him.”
Now is the time to strike Iran with deadly U.S. military force.
Think of pre-World War II Germany. In the mid 1930’s, Adolf Hitler began rearming his country and announcing his plans to annex and conquer much of Europe.
Winston Churchill advised attacking immediately. Germany was still fairly weak at that point and an all-out assault by England and France would have almost surely defeated the Nazis with relatively few casualties on both sides.
Instead, the British government of Neville Chamberlain chose to appease Hitler in the interest of peace. Addressing the House of Commons Churchill thundered, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.”
Those words proved sadly correct.
The ill-advised appeasement enabled Germany to continue arming itself until it felt fully prepared to initiate major hostilities. It then invaded Poland and World War II began. Six years, and more than 50 million casualties later, the war ended.
Although the Germans were morally responsible for what occurred, the war was also caused by England’s ill-advised pacifism. Chamberlain’s failure to preemptively attack Germany brought on World War II just as surely as Hitler did.
It is absolutely terrifying to observe the U.S. repeating England’s colossal 1930’s mistake.
In the interest of “peace,” it is allowing Iran the years needed to arm itself with the terribly deadly weaponry it seeks. Repeating the same error in the case of Iran could lead to infinitely more human death than even the Nazis caused. What is the U.S. waiting for? While it can still do so, the U.S. should utterly destroy all of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
I myself feel that in order to protect the entire world, the U.S. should seek to organize an international fighting force that would oust Iran’s present government, neuter its military, try its leaders for war crimes Nuremberg-style, and plan on militarily, but humanely, occupying Iran for decades, just as it did in Japan and Germany after World War II.
But agree or not agree with the idea of occupying Iran, at the very least, its nuclear bomb-making capacity should be totally destroyed – not tomorrow, but today.
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