If a genocide takes place out of the range of a camera does anyone care?
That is an important question as we gauge our response to the horror of the gassing of people by its own government. The Syrian government without question has committed a horrible atrocity against its own citizens. Several thousand women, children, teenagers and men were gassed to death wiping out an entire neighborhood.
That fact is clear.
The photographs on this page proves this point. Most will be tempted not to look at these photographs because they are too gruesome. Turning our head away from such horror makes it easier to do nothing.
Is nothing a solution in such ugliness?
That is where America has to make some very difficult decisions. What are the ramifications of those decisions and does it bring us closer to peace?. This is not about 'crossing the line' since the 100,000 killed already is just as horrifying as the several thousand who died by gas. The 'line' really doesn't exist and never has existed.
Here are some important points for all of us to ponder as we head toward most likely air strikes upon Syria.
1. Will the bombing of Syria stop the violence and killing? Will it bring us closer to a solution or is it just an act of outrage?
2. Every action taken has a consequence and what are the consequences if we bomb Syria?
-More terrorist attacks against Americans?
-More slaughter in retaliation?
-Russian intervention to a greater degree?
3. Are Americans willing to pay the price of those consequences?
4. When does our involvement stop? One time bombing? Continuous bombing? What if they use gas again?
5. Is this reaction now an anchor in American Foreign Policy that we now intervene in situations that horrify the world? Does that mean we will finally take action in the Congo where six million have died and no one seems to care? How is this different from Dafour?
6. Does American policy only cover where people can see the photographs and capture the slaughter on film or is there other interests? If so, what are those interests?
The photographs sicken me but over the years I have learned that careful and rational thought must be given in times of great emotion. America is long overdue for a real foreign policy that answers these questions while maintaining America's national interest.
America can't be everywhere to correct every wrong by strategic bombing. The question is when and where and why? Failure to answer these questions will lead to great confusion, mistakes and unintended consequences as we just respond to one horror after another.