There is outrage among the chattering class over Assad’s use of toxic chemicals, and a supine public is sullenly acquiescing. The United States is about to start its 3rd war in the area. One cannot easily discern coherence as to our interests/policy in Syria from the “wizards” currently pretending to be in charge in DC, a familiar state of affairs, unfortunately.
Syria is a mess, and one imagines history will show that this administration contributed to it through vacillation and a late-starting “covert” weapons supply. The Assad father/son tag team is truly evil and guilty of most of the allegations lodged against it. The United States is about to start another war, ostensibly due to the deaths of one to two thousand from a toxic gas. We would do well to remember that the first hundred thousand, to whom we were indifferent, remain dead.
There is lamentable historical precedent for this ginned up, selective outrage:
The most well-known is the furor still simmering over the use of atomic weapons in FDR’s war. Fortunately, for the purveyors of this, most Americans were “educated” in dumbed-down government schools.
A few examples: Deaths from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima are generally believed to be fewer than 70,000 (and in Nagasaki, fewer than 40,000.) For perspective, more than 50,000,000 died worldwide as a direct result of that war.
A few months before the atomic bombs, Tokyo was fire-bombed with incendiaries. This massive raid was aimed at burning down as much of Tokyo as possible to further strangle the Japanese war machine. It was a great success, and 100,000–mostly civilians–were killed, the majority burned alive/asphyxiated as huge swathes of the city were incinerated. One never hears a word about this. Given the choice, I would much prefer to be instantly killed by a nuclear bomb than burn to death as would everyone who is reading this.
In the 60s, more than 1,000,000 Ibos in Nigeria were murdered; and in the 90s, it was the Tutsi/Huto horror of at least another 1,000,000. How many Americans can even confidently state whether the Tutsi or Hutu prevailed? They, of course, were black Africans and apparently were not worth much consideration. One hopes the UN made a strong statement of condemnation.
Regarding after-effects of biological/chemical/nuclear weapons: there can be long-term suffering from exposure to these substances as in all forms of attempted mass killing/war.
Radiation poisoning and other long-term effects are awful. Burns, chronic pain, and lost limbs from conventional weapons are terrible as well.
Most of us are saddened by the horrors visited on populations by dictators and civil war. One, however, looks in vain for any recent success in shaping another country/culture. There is no point in starting something absent a reasonable hope of success. Intervention is beyond reason when there is no discernible threat to American interests. We have expended vast amounts of blood and treasure in humanitarian efforts and are about to do so again due to the use of “WMDs.” Shall we send the fleet for effect every time a WMD is used?
Someone once opined that no good deed goes unpunished. We shall soon discover that to be true, both in global and personal affairs.