I don’t even know where Syria is.

            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.”

            Will also wrote “When you get into trouble five thousand miles from home you’ve got to have been looking for it.”       

            We’ve heard the “chemical warfare” angle before. How hard has the wind got to blow for those chemicals to reach the United States? And I’m certainly not down playing or making light of a tragic situation brewing in Syria. Again, I’m just thinking out loud. The question that screams out at me here is how come we are so all mighty fired up on saving a handful of lives in a place half way around the world……and we’re not lifting a finger to protect countless thousands of unborn children right here at home.

            I’ve heard of paradoxes, but that one near ’bout takes the cake.  

Here’s two cents more, which group, gang or side in Syria are the good guys anyway? They all look, sound and act just about alike. And please don’t give us the old “lesser of two evils” diatribe. If the group we’re bargaining to help is going to vote against us in the United Nations every chance they get, let’s save our missiles for when it’s a rainy day…..over America!

The United States might have already fired upon Syria by the time you read this. Of course, there’s also a good chance they haven’t. We had to take it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for an approval vote. And we’ve got to wait, I reckon, for a “thumbs up” from the full House and Senate, the vice-president, the secretary of state and the White House butler.

I wish Leon had given me this much warning before he bounced that ax handle off my head. I would have at least ducked! Or worn my football helmet home! Or spent the night with Bobby Brewer! Or hid all my important weapons and articles of mass destruction so he couldn’t bust them up!

I once jumped in between Andrea Hosford and Billy Baumgartner. They just would not quit bickering. They called it love but they’d fuss on the way to school, at lunch, in study hall and during math class. It was about to drive me nuts. I cornered them outside the gym and was setting them straight when both of them jumped on me. Andrea hit me harder than he did! When I was showing off my busted lip and black eye at supper, Daddy just shook his head and laughed as he gave me the ole “nose where it don’t belong” speech.

 Will Rogers also said, “Lincoln didn’t have a foreign policy. That’s why he’s Lincoln.”