Advancing Civilization

And so Friday night, the US, UK, and France struck Syria’s chemical war infrastructure. They degraded it, they did not destroy it. Nor did they intend to, they specifically left some targets because taking them out would have caused civilian casualties, admirable restraint in my view. It is a remarkably civilized thing to do, and a beacon to people brutalized by all sides in Syria’s civil war.

There is a lot of bleating from all over the place in the US and the UK about not consulting the legislatures. The Spectator is a fair example.

President Donald Trump has received applause from all the wrong places for his latest attack on Syria. The Bashar al-Assad regime is brutal, but the U.S. government should not police arbitrary rules of war or, even worse, get involved in someone else’s civil war. The president is being pushed into adopting Hillary Clinton’s policy.

The president began his television address on Syria with sharp criticism of “the evil and despicable attack” allegedly made by the Assad government, and evil and despicable it was. Yet there is less to the use of chemical weapons than the fevered international reaction suggests.

What is truly “evil and despicable” is war.

Is it? Or rather, is it always? Say the war for American Independence, Evil and Despicable? A war to end chattel slavery, Evil and Despicable? Or to end the Holocaust, Evil and Despicable?

Yeah, no. Not so much. Some wars are just, some are not. All generalities are false.

And in fact, if the PM and President had gone to the legislatures, there would have been endless speechifying and sometime in 2525, maybe, the strike would have been approved. If Congress and Parliament want to be partners in government, they’d best get their act together. Congress ranks about last in public trust, the media not much better.

It is a great and terrible responsibility to lead the west into war, no doubt about it. But this strike arguably makes that less likely. It shows a firm hand on the tiller, and lets everyone know that there are limits to what the west will tolerate, and what the result can be,

There is never an excuse for intentionally killing civilians. That is what just war theory tells us, it violates all parts of the theory. I grant that Syria’s dictator may not subscribe to this theory.

Well, so what? Things like just war theory are a major reason why western civilization has built the world, it is what we call ‘best practice’ and any attempt to subvert it should be resisted, and strongly.

This Trump, May, and Macron have done. Good on them.

So many, including the author of that Speccie piece, seem to have trouble contrsting the national equivalent of a shot across the bow, a warning that bad things will happen to you, if you persist in bad behavior, with committing to a ground war. Nobody in the west, I think, has any desire to do that, not Trump, not May, and not Macron. But the civilized world has rules that apply at all times, even in war. Gassing your own citizens, even if they are revolting, breaks them. Breaking rules has consequences. Those consequences include the loss of the assets you used. They can also include the destruction of your government, especially if you are a repeat offender.

It is an exact analogy of street crime, if you ignore it and do not punish it, you will have more of it, as Chicago and Baltimore, and yes, London can attest. If there is a price exacted you will have less. Friday night was part of the price. And yes, civilization also imposes costs on the civilized, often paid by our militaries. Well, life is hard.

That is what happened in Syria Friday night. It was an assertion of western civilization, over utter barbarity. As such we should applaud it.

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

10 Responses to Advancing Civilization

  1. the unit says:

    “…bleating from all over the place in the US and the UK about not consulting the legislatures.”
    Yep, that way ever since Marx and the rest figured it out it was them, although they wasn’t then, a middle class civilian population, that needed to be wiped out, not the extremes at a gas plant. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      That is quite so! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    “…civilization also imposes costs on the civilized…”
    Like I asked a few years ago about why must the righteous suffer with the unrighteous in dire times?…answer as Mama said. With a question of course. Who’d else have the gumption to pull them through? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Indeed so! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:


    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Thank you, my friend. Soon I’ll be 30, like you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yeah, if I remember right in about 10 you’ll have my smarts. Just this morning wife was doing the doings on her new i-phone thingy. Said to me that she thinks if you buy their phone, you ought to get free data. I just said “Yeah, I bought the marriage license.” You know the rest. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, I surely do! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Rather than advance, I wanted to set clock back an hour and start over. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Indeed! 🙂

          Like

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