Syria is just an example of the bigger problem in US foreign policy

I am against intervention in Syria. It is not, however, because I am anti-war or a pacifist. Rather, it’s because I am pro-reason.

I have a pretty simple philosophy, based on logic, that I believe the US government could use right about now. Namely, you can’t use reason on unreasonable people. You can’t have a rational conversation with an irrational person. It’s impossible.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on the geopolitical situation in Central Asia and the Middle East, but there’s one common thread that runs through all of the conflicts in the region: religion. Religion is irrational. In other words, religious zealots cannot be reasoned with.

So what recourse is left, if negotiation and sanctions don’t work? Force? Well, this is going to be counterproductive in the long run–it’s only going to make people feel persecuted against and deepen any religious fervor.

This whole situation is like getting in the middle of a shouting match between two schizophrenics. They won’t understand any rational pleas or suggestions that you make, and hitting one of them isn’t going to magically de-crazy the other one.

We can’t use 21st century western values to appeal to societies and cultures that still operate on the philosophies of the middle ages. It doesn’t make sense, and any outside intervention is not going to solve anything. The only people who can save the Syrians are the Syrians. The same applies to the other countries in the Middle East. They have to join the rest of the world. If they don’t want to join the rest of us here in the enlightment that science, education, and reason brings, fine. That’s an unreasonable choice, though, and therefore cannot be appealed to with logic. Nor can you drag them by force into the modern age.

Either let them destroy themselves, or let them grow up. But whatever they chose to do, let them do it without wasting our time and resources.


3 thoughts on “Syria is just an example of the bigger problem in US foreign policy

  1. You know, the more I follow these conflicts and America’s military response to action, the more I’m beginning to agree with Ron Paul’s non-interventionist approach and not getting involved in the internal affairs of other nations. He makes more sense than I gave him credit for previously. Only go to war when Congress declares it. He said, “It is the advice of the Founders to follow a non-interventionist foreign policy, and stay out of entangling alliances, be friends with countries, negotiate and talk with them and trade with them.” I don’t see anything good coming from military action.

    1. Ron Paul’s foreign policy was the ONE thing I could get behind him on (I thought his domestic policies were very naive). And I agree with you, I really like his non-interventionist positions. He was totally right; in his farewell address, George Washington warned everyone about the dangers of “entangling alliances.” Words that still ring true over 200 years later.

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