Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Erm . . . Stupid Man."

(Salty language warning.)
It’s probably dangerous to get your foreign policy foundations from Eddie Izzard, but comedians have this certain knack of putting things rather simply.
So when I think of Syria, possible US intervention there, and how most of the rest of the world is turning their backs on what’s going on there, Eddie Izzard comes to mind:
There were other mass murderers who got away with it. And the reason we let them get away with it is because they killed their own people. And we’re fine with that. “Oh, help yourself!” We’ve been trying to kill you for ages.” Hitler killed people next door. “Erm . . . Stupid man. After a couple of years we won’t stand for that, will we?”
Bashir al-Assad is in the killing his own people phase, and most of the world seems fine with that. Well, not necessarily fine, but fine enough that they don’t want to do anything to stop what’s going on. There are folks like Russia and China turning a blind eye to the evidence. But I’m not sure that’s worse than those who see the evidence and yet do nothing at all about it.
But doing something. That’s the scary thing. Post-9/11, we spent a lot of time doing something, and not many would agree that all that something we did turned out well.
But doing nothing? That’s worse than doing something that incites a lot of political disagreement over the goodness of the results.
If only things worked as simply as Mister Izzard suggests:
I just think Japan and Germany should be the peacekeepers of the world. They should be parachuted in. Something breaks in, parachute in the Germans and Japanese . “Look, we’ve done this before, we’ve done the killing, take it from us, just chill out.” They could organize peace really quickly.
Interesting bits and bobs in the news. Secretary of State John Kerry has been adamant that any attack on Syria “won’t be like Iraq.” President Obama has said unequivocally that “This is not Afghanistan. This is not Iraq.”
Meaning, of course, that it is.
Where are the Japanese and Germans when you need them?

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