Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Obama's Real Syria Problem

Obama’s Real Syria Problem

Barack Obama is considering military action against Syria for apparently using chemical warfare against innocent civilians.  Any military action would not include boots on the ground, occupation, or have as its goal the overthrow of the Assad regime.  The objective would be to punish Syria and to drive home the point to all nations that the international community will enforce the norm against using chemical weapons.
But Mr. Obama has a credibility problem, and it does not just stem from the British Parliament’s vote against military action and the impossibility of getting the endorsement of the UN security council.  No, the heart of Mr. Obama’s credibility problem is that he has long been a strong supporter of chemical warfare against innocent civilians.
Millions of unborn children are aborted through chemical attacks in the United States, and Mr. Obama has been an outspoken supporter.  Not only that, he has opposed efforts at recognizing the pain caused to both the babies and their mothers, and he has forced taxpayers and even religious institutions to pay for the brutality, in contradiction to American law.
So when Mr. Obama gives a stern warning about the brutality of the Syrian attacks, their violation of international norms, and the punishment they merit, a reasonable person doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
But the problem is not only Obama’s.  It’s one that has plagued our country since at least 1973.  We have heard, in recent years, the debate over whether the United States should be “the world’s policeman,” and whether we have the military capability to do so.  But a more fundamental question is whether a society that is increasingly built on the culture of death has any moral capability to be a leader at all, let alone enforce the values of human rights and human dignity.
A fundamental principle in philosophy is that one can not give what one does not possess.  As our culture no longer possesses justice and righteousness, there is no way we can give them to anyone else.  The use and proliferation of chemical weapons is something no one should want, but as we consider the need to deter Syria, we must first focus on repentance for ourselves.