Who Died And Left Us In Charge?

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 09:21 AM.

            I don’t even know where Syria is. Miss Paschall, in junior high geography, must have skipped that one. Or perhaps, I wasn’t paying attention. The Middle East covers a fair amount of territory and the countries comprising it are a tad scrambled in my mind. I have heard of the capital, Damascus, mostly because the apostle Paul was travelling toward that city when he saw the Light.

            I’m guessing it’s arid and sandy. There are probably lots of people living in a relative small area. They wear long robes and head gear when it seems to me shorts and a tee shirt would be more practical. And it surely produces a fair amount of oil.

            The fact that a nasty civil war is raging in Syria is a concern. That it could spill over to other countries is alarming. If the reported gas attacks are true, that is horrific news. What role the United States is taking in this affair has me a little fearful and a whole lot befuddled.   

            This is not going to be a learned treatise. And I’m certainly not taking aim at anyone in particular this morning. Nor am I trying to influence national policy. I’m not smart enough to even half-way comprehend the complexities and multi-lateral, international complications that are swirling around that small country. I’m just thinking out loud here. 

            Why is America carrying the ball on this one? What makes us so anxious to “jump in” when the country is on the other side of the world from us? Let England send the first planes in. Or France! They are a lot closer to Syria than we are. Or why not take the chains off of Israel. They are right next door and most assuredly have a better handle on the situation than we do!

            Isn’t it a little egoistical to think we can fix every global situation that pops up? Does might, in fact, make right? I don’t think we are going to win many friends or influence much of anybody in this deal. I thought everyone in the Middle East already hated us except Israel. And I’m not sure about them sometimes. It’s like going to the ballgame before they started putting names on the uniforms, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard!     

What if the shoe was on the other foot? In the 1930’s the United States had gunboats, specifically the USS Guam and the USS Wake, running up and down the Yangtze River in China. We were, in the official speak from Washington, simply protecting “our interest” in that vast country. The famed humorist and social commentator, Will Rogers, couldn’t let that pass. He astutely asked, “How would America feel if the Chinese sent gunboats up the Mississippi River. They could say they were protecting their laundries in Memphis.”

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