Skip to main content

See also:

All there is to say about Syria

One day our Predator drones will look like this.
One day our Predator drones will look like this.
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

There is a lot of debate lately about whether the U.S. should intervene with Syria’s civil war. The problem with this is that neither side is something we could throw the “good guy” tag on to muster support. Assad has been an enemy since they chose “against us” during the “with us or against us” lead up to the Iraq war, but the rebels are made up of groups we usually call terrorists. What is the self-appointed police of the planet to do?

The U.S. condemned Assad for using chemical weapons on the insurgents, though nobody is quite sure whether the insurgents are also using chemical weapons. Now Assad is using a more U.N. approved way of committing mass murder. Good, old-fashioned explosives. Though dropping an oil-drum bomb in town from a helicopter still makes for a high civilian body count which critics point to as being like terrorism.

What makes it terrorism? Is it the crudeness of the weapon. Is firing a Hellfire missile from a remotely controlled aerial drone into town somehow better? I always thought it was the act that defined terror, not the level of sophistication. But killing people with make-shift bombs is terrorism while killing people with high-tech weapons of the future is A-OK.

The truth is that neither side is a potential ally. Assad is in bed with Russia and Iran and the rebels will be our enemies as soon as they take over, if that is the end we see.

What we should do is stay out of it. We should also stop passing moral judgments on others that we don’t also hold to ourselves.