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: 3
- Bow man sworned in as New Hampshire's Army civilian aide - 0
- Freedom Salute for NH Guard unit is Saturday in Concord - 0
- New squadron operations building at Pease ANG base opens - 0
- Military says ordnance blast killed four U.S. Marines in California - 0
- Pakistani Taliban chief killed in drone strike, possibly scuttling peace talks - 0
- USS Alexandria arrives at Portsmouth shipyard - 0
- Officials say U.S. commandos capture al Qaeda leader in Libya, also raid Somalia - 3
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Teen injured in pedestrian/car collision in Hudson - 0
- Manchester police recover shell casings in gunfire incident on Taylor Street - 1
- NHIAA Boys' Basketball Preview: Top dogs still have lots of bite - 1
- Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Wildcats have come a long way - 0
- Another weekend, another three games for Monarchs - 0
- Another View -- Mark S. MacKenzie: Raising minimum wage would lift NH families out of poverty - 3
- Pray for safety: The state did not provide it - 2
- Big league gambling: AG makes right call on casinos - 1
- Students add their special touch to Christmas - 0
Hooksett man arrested on assault charges
Driver was trying to kill himself
Budget gets House OK, heads to Senate
NH reps eyeing budget deal
Decision to tap F&G habitat fund explained
Another View -- Mark S. MacKenzie: Raising minimum wage would lift NH families out of poverty