Wednesday, September 4, 2013

As for Syria, America is the world's Shabbas Goy

Around the world, nobody civilized wants Syria's dictator to be allowed to murder over 100,000 innocent civilians--thousands with nerve gas.

And around the world, nobody civilized wants their government to go to war with Syria to stop the dictator and his allies.

And around the world, nobody civilized wants to ask America to stop this mass murder of civilians.

They want America to stop the mass murder without the world's permission.

It's a win-win. You get to demonstrate against the hated Big Bully of the World while America does the unpleasant, deadly work without which Syria's dictator will never stop--not as long as anyone is left alive in Syria who opposes him.

Meaning that America is the world's Shabbas Goy.

In strict Orthodox Judaism, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, you aren't allowed to do secular things like turning on the AC or the radio or getting takeout from the Chinese-To-Go place on the corner. But you can let a Goy (non-Jew) do it for you. But only if you don't ask him. He has to guess what you want, because asking him would break the rule.

That's us. War is so horrible. And Europeans know this from millennia of wars fought on every square foot of European soil, over and over and over. The last war fought on American soil (apart from Oahu and the Aleutians) was 150 years ago, and it's still being refought on the downlow by the revanchist Southerners who are now the hard core of the Tea Party and hence of the GOP--in part because it was on their soil that the war was fought. No real wars have ever been fought in the state I live in, not since the dawn of history. So for me the Civil War is a history book thing--especially since I don't see blacks as The Other.

Imagine what it's like for the Euros. Practically every sizeable plot of arable land could have a plaque commemorating some battle or other--maybe a bunch.

And of course Syria is a very tricky situation with more than two sides. You've got the Sunni majority pitted against everyone else (mostly Shiites and related sects). You've got the educated and the middle class and probably a solid majority of Syrians who want a secular democracy--at least as secular as Turkey's. You've also got Islamist militants who want a theocracy couple with exterminating Christianity and the Shiite branch of Islam in Syria. You've got the Christian minority who are terrified of a post-dictator Syria treating them like post-Saddan Iraq has.

You've also got the bad reputation the Republicans gave America with their trillion dollar (over time) invasion and occupation of the country that hadn't attacked us, based on trumped-up charges and an activist but incurious President telling the world "Trust us." In addition you've got the same administration's incompetent, attention-deficit mishandling of Afghanistan. All within the last decade or so.

And the world has mass murder and mayhem going on elsewhere as well--the Eastern Congo, Sudan, China's stealthy ethnicide of the nation of Tibet. Though weapons of mass destruction aren't being used anywhere else to my knowledge.

At any rate anyone around the world who opposes American intervention in Syria can give a lot of reasons for waving placards and denouncing those Warmonger Americans.

I'm sure Dr. Assad the Ophthalmologist is touched by all the support he's getting. If you look at the demonstrations around the world you'd think it was the Americans who were dropping nerve gas on thousands of noncombatants including small children. This is eased by the fact that the murdered civilians aren't Europeans, aren't Anglo Whites. They're Muslim, so they're part of the vast Other whose lives and deaths appear not to be very meaningful to most Rich World inhabitants.

But in the last analysis I think a majority of the rich world's populations want us to stop Assad from using WMDs and then blame us for whatever we do to accomplish that--even if killing a hundred civilians saved 10,000 lives that would otherwise have been lost.

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