Just as the US is preparing to withdraw its military personnel from Afghanistan, some hawks in Washington are rattling their sabers and urging war with Syria.
The plan is that US military presence in Afghanistan will have been withdrawn or at least kept to a minimum by the end of 2014.
We have not gotten out of Afghanistan yet and already some members of Congress would have us involved in another armed conflict. Senators John McCain. Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham have urged President Barack Obama to intervene in the Syrian Civil War. The trio claims that Syrian President Bashar Assad has been using chemical weapons against oppositionists. The Senators want President Obama to stand by a statement the President had allegedly made about the use of weapons of mass destruction as a "red line" that once crossed will have "consequences."
I am still confused about finding a moral justification for war, especially since waging war exacts an extremely high toll. We pay the price not just in lost limbs, eyes and lives but also in mangled minds and souls. The cost on our lives is ironic. We may not be victims of bullets and rockets but we are surely victims of deprivation. Money spent to fight overseas could have instead been expended on our soil to create more jobs, educate our children better, make health care more affordable, maintain peace and order. The list is endless.
Reading a story about a disillusioned war veteran didn't help bring me clarity either. In the story, the veteran is back home but no longer the same man who left to fight abroad. He can no longer walk. His spine is no longer whole. He constantly needs medical attention. Everyday, he slips closer into the grave faster than most of us do. And he is only in his early '20s.
My heart went out to that young man. Sadly he is only one of thousands who boarded that airplane for Baghdad or Kabul excited and starry-eyed about fighting an enemy only to return home disillusioned, bitter, angry and maimed in more ways than one.
Why can't we just leave strife-ridden countries alone and let them exercise self-determination? What are we doing extinguishing fires out there when our own house has so many fire hazards, some of which are already smoldering? Wouldn't it be better to use the money expended in other countries on our own soil and for our own problems?
On the other hand, it does run contrary to humanitarian principles to be coldly blind and apathetic to the plight of others; to not intervene and support an underdog when conflict is heavily skewed in favor of a regime that has lost mass support and only continues to survive on the strength of its arsenal.
But perhaps economics might be able to compel an answer to the question about the moral justification for war. Weighed down by a fragile economy struggling to sustain its fledgling growth, can we still afford to be Watch Dog of the world?
What do you think?
What do you think?
|Source: flickr.com (Pink Sherbet Photography)|
Here's the link to the dying veteran's story :
- Ariel Murphy