Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Combating Genocide

When a dictator and his regime embark on a course of genocide, as appears to be happening in Syria, the civilized world must intervene.  The question is always how that should be done.

Military strikes or shipping arms to the insurgents, which may soothe our sense of impotence, only worsen the situation for innocents who are caught in the struggle.  Rather, it seems to me, our focus should be on providing safe zones, funding refugee shelters and arranging emigration opportunities for those under siege and on doing whatever we can to cut off the economic and military resources that fuel the regime.  Whatever actions might be required in reaching those goals must be coordinated with as many allies as possible; that coalition (the U.N., NATO or other alliances) must be willing to put economic and political pressure on countries that support the genocidal regime; to do so, we must be willing to accept whatever economic consequences might result from that policy.

Some opine that America and other wealthy countries cannot police the globe and should only act if it is in our nation's interest.  In my opinion, the welfare of humanity as a whole is directly tied to our willingness to combat genocidal forces wherever they may arise.  Economic, not military, war is the answer; while military hawks (many of whom have never experienced combat) want to send our youth to war, it is better that we all participate by living with higher fuel prices, by accepting a drop in the value of our stocks, by welcoming refugees into our countries and by donating to the legitimate relief organizations that serve the innocent victims.  Of course, the arrest, trial and punishment of the dictator and his generals will follow in due time.