Tuesday, September 17, 2013

liberal justifications

"liberals" in america do not support president obama's proposal for intervention in syria.  "liberals" in america need to reconsider what liberalism means.

i support social liberalism in america, because i see an importance in fostering equality for all people over absolute freedom.  political and social equality: equal treatment of all people socially and legally, equal access to a pursuit of happiness, equal guarantees of safety.  this means the freedom of others may sometimes be limited.  an entrepreneur cannot use a river or a parcel of land if the activities he conducts pollute those resources, causing harm or limiting the activities, health, or pursuit of happiness of others.

liberalism's fierce protection of equality over liberty puts its goals in opposition at times to conservative and libertarian america, but our ideals as liberal americans, our sympathies and compassion, should not crumble at the border.  liberal america is understandably tired of war, but we also seem to have lost compassion for those people in the world who do not live in a society like ours.

obama is not proposing we go to war.  he's not even proposing we involve ourselves in another war.  he is merely proposing that we have compassion for other people and solidarity with the international community.  chemical weapons should not be used against any people and we have an external, technological advantage to the situation in syria to discourage the use of chemical weapons by the assad regime.  a strike by the united states would not commit u.s. forces to the conflict, would not aim to kill syrian citizens, would not cripple the assad regime, nor aid to any great extent the syrian rebels.  the strike proposed by the president would hopefully dissuade the assad regime from continuing the desperate and monstrous use of chemical weapons on the people it ostensible governs.

the diplomatic compromise worked out by russian president vladimir putin (and john kerry) to destroy the chemical weapons held by the assad regime will probably just lead nowhere.  the country is a morass of a civil war.  according to experts and history (see qaddafi), the destruction of chemical weapons can be difficult even without a war and time-consuming.  we haven't even started the process of negotiating with syrian president assad.  we have not been able to actually negotiate the destruction of these weapons with the syrian government.  this is just an idea floated by the russians.  meanwhile the syrian civil war continues and maybe the assad regime will again use chemical weapons against its own people and half a year from now we will again find our president asking for permission to conduct strikes against the assad regime.  we will find ourselves right back where we are and without even putting boots on the ground we will america sunk in this.

i think the united states will be influential in the world for a long time yet.  we do not have to champion democracy; we do not have to fertilize the world with our goals and ideals; we can make it a goal of ours to protect and encourage all humans so that they may pursue their own purposes.  if universal equality is ever an ideal, we must take measures to protect life equally.

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