The Lesser of Evils

…is still evil, I know, but that’s for another day. See, digressions while you wait, too!

Twelve years ago today, four commercial airliners in the USA were hijacked in an attempt to influence USA foreign policy or force us out of the Middle East.

Currently, the USA is considering a violent response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons in its own country. We’re doing so openly, relatively transparently, not hiding behind a covert operation that will intentionally kill civilians. Should we attack Syria, “collateral damage” casualties will be just as dead as those killed on September 11, 2001, but while I will regret any such deaths, I won’t equate Syrian civilian deaths with USA terrorist victims because the circumstances are fundamentally different.

I’m not saying that any attack we make will be more effective ultimately than al Qaeda’s attack. I’m simply saying that it will be less evil.

We’re giving the Syrian government a chance to react somehow; this may be why they’re admitting possession of such weapons and are talking about placing them in someone else’s custody. We’re also trying to persuade others of our cause instead of using an attack as our presentation to the world.

I hope we can disarm Syria’s chemical arsenal without the use of military force. I hope we can one day conclusively judge whether the chemical attacks were launched by the regime or the rebels. But I accept the possible permanent ambiguity of the situation and would rather take that direct, overt action in response to the overt war crime of the use of chemical weapons than either covert, ambiguous, cowardly action or an apparent unwillingness to act in the face of evil.

Says me.


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