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Archive for June, 2013

It’s no surprise that those who advocated perpetual war, a war on “terror”, whoever that is, with no definable victory or end, war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and so many others, are now making the case for Syria.

Cheney-conservatives (a shrinking minority of conservatives) see America’s authority in the world as primarily rooted in our ability to maintain fear of our military power and will. The thinking goes that failure to act leads to a decline in our influence. But that is a bad and dangerous mis-reading of history.

American power is based, at its core, on moral and economic progress, on the attractiveness of the American experiment, and not at all on our kinetic capability. If power alone carried the day, we could all be speaking German or Russian. But military power is only useful to America to the extent that it is seen (by the intended foreign audience) as right – engaged only as a last resort, minimally, for legitimate self defense.  Use of military power as a preventative is self-defeating and undermines the true source of our power and influence.

So where does that leave us in Syria? I’ll make common cause with the isolationist-conservatives, the Tea Party, and the anti-war liberals. There are no good options, but many very bad ones. Great caution.

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