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.