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The Prudential Need for Sobriety and Wisdom – America on the Brink of Global War


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President Trump authorized military strikes on Assad’s chemical weapons facility in retaliation to a gas attack on the Syrian people, which probably means America has decided to remove Assad. Assad is a fiend and should not be in power. But is America pursuing a military regime change in haste without thinking of the global consequences?

I don’t blame Trump for the predicament he is in right now, and the decisions he has to make. I most assuredly do not envy him. President Obama’s red lines he set and didn’t maintain, while making nearly all the wrong choices, put America in this position.

All the more reason why Trump should take a step back, breath, and ignore all the warmongers in his administration. The president should examine all the consequences with sobriety and wisdom before continuing the Syria strikes.

America is the strongest nation in the world. Despite our own sins, we are the only country with the moral authority and courage to speak against and act against immoral and evil atrocities. But are we the policeman of the world to put an end to every sectarian skirmish? Does building American-style democracies around the world always help the cause of freedom or humanitarianism?

Assad was always an Islamist tyrant who gassed his own people. Saddam ruled this way also, but when we entered Iraq in haste without answering all the questions that needed to be asked it led to a prolonged quagmire.

We were also told Assad was a stabilizing force in Syria fighting ISIS and the ISIS-backed rebel groups. Now he’s the bigger evil than even ISIS? Who’s going to fill the power vacuum when Assad is gone?

Let’s say the neocons and internationalists are right. It’s in America’s national security interests to remove Assad, as well as in global humanitarian interests. Who’s going to replace him? Both sides are at least equally as evil as Assad, and without Assad fighting them, they may view his ouster as license to expand and expedite their reign of Islamist jihad.

Taking out Assad, no matter how morally justified, will not be like a pinprick against Islamist terror groups with no nation. We will be declaring war, whether or not Congress officially declares war, on a major ally of Russia.

War is never an answer to foreign or global conflicts. And we should never see it as an answer to our global problems. War is as much a sin as the atrocities we use to justify war. However, we must acknowledge the world we are in, not the world we want, and war is sometimes an unnecessary evil that occurs despite the actions we try to take to avoid it. Sometimes we are forced into a military conflict by the other side.

We must critically think through, with sober and wise heads, our strategy for answering atrocities and removing evils from the world. And military action may very well end up being our answer, but we owe it to the men and women in our military, who will be charged with carrying out the action, to be sure of the consequences.

It’s not as simple as the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It’s not as simple as taking one bad hombre out, so that we can take out the next evil tyrant. And it’s definitely not as simple as “everyone desires to be free,” because not everyone knows why they should desire to be free because all they’ve known is Islamist tyranny.

We must first realize, acknowledge, and understand the complexities of, and radical Islamist ideologies of, the Middle East before any action should be taken. And we, the American people, must be sober-minded and intentional as we pray for our leaders to have the wisdom to make the right decisions.