So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Stumbling into war
So now the United States is a war with Syria. No, really. That's what happens when one country conducts military operations within the borders of another country. Dropping bombs counts. Any member of Congress could invoke the War Powers Act, but that would require taking a stand and having a backbone. We all know for sure they are all invertebrates, as strange subspecies of humanity.
Countries have stumbled into war before. How have they turned out? WWI comes to mind. Few expected it to get as large as it did, last as long, or kill so many people. Assassinate just one guy and one thing leads to another and before you know it the trenches run with blood.
Less known than WWI was the Crimean War. In many way it was precursor to WWI: diplomacy gone wrong, underestimation of the length and severity. Heck, it even had trench warfare. There were lessons about that type of fighting that were quickly forgotten before WWI. At least it settled the problems in the Crimea for all time. No? Guess that was a waste too.
The United States half heartedly stumbled into war in 1812. Yeah, Americans like to forget that one. Canada kicked our collective butts, the White House was burned down, New England seriously looked at seceding from the US. The biggest US victory was the Battle of New Orleans, which was fought after the war was officially over. In the end the peace treaty just restored the status quo.
So now we are stumbling into a wider Middle East war. Do we blame the Obama administration? Should we go back to the Bush years when the US invaded Iraq by lying about weapons of mass destruction? Historians can point to the mess that the colonial powers created when they established many of those countries with little regard for ethnicity, religion or even natural boundaries.
Am I an alarmist? Maybe. After all, nobody expects events in Syria to get out of hand -like they did in just about every conflict in the area.
Don't get me wrong. By all accounts the Islamic State dudes are bad news. Something probably should be done about them. Maybe, just maybe, we should look into the events that lead to the conditions that spawn such groups. Then maybe we can stop doing those things. Crazy talk, I know.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.