Letter: Fighting Others’ Civil Wars

To the Editor:

Once again, a president is threatening to plunge our nation into a foreign civil war. The Gulf of Tonkin “attacks,” Bill Clinton’s “Sudanese nerve-gas factory,” Saddam Hussein’s “nuclear weapons” and many other presidential lies through U.S. history are reminders that we shouldn’t follow blindly into war.

The U.S. gave the Assad dynasty foreign aid directly from 1971 to 2001 and indirectly through the U.N. since then. We were sworn military allies in Desert Storm. So to the average Syrian, the U.S. is the reason why the Assads have been so hard to overthrow. It must be a little confusing for them to hear that we’ll be bombing targets in Syrian cities to “punish Assad.”

Those who howl for war against Syria are mostly the same geniuses who previously demanded that we support the Assad regime. Of course, in past decades, our “experts” have also given U.S. foreign aid to Idi Amin, Julius Nyerere, the Taliban and even the genocidal maniac Pol Pot. Maybe if we had listened to George Washington and avoided foreign entanglements, we would have saved a few trillion dollars and many lives. Quoting Washington: “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”

The experts will, of course, dismiss him; he never went to Harvard and didn’t get a Nobel Peace Prize right after inauguration. But what is the experts’ record of success? What do we have to show for the Americans who died in the civil wars of Vietnam, Iraq and Lebanon? We do of course have a debt approaching $17 trillion, which is now bigger than our GDP. But other than bankruptcy, what legacy have the wars since 1945 left our children?

Instead of giving our children yet another Mideast war, let’s leave them a strong, financially secure, and morally decent United States. Cutting off all foreign aid to authoritarian regimes and terrorist groups alike would be a good start, and it won’t cost us a single expensive missile.

Bill Walker

Member, Sullivan County Republican Committee