Captain America or Batman?

I don’t know how to completely feel about Syria.  I am truly conflicted on this issue.

I am the type of guy that when I see two people fighting, my first instinct is to be a “peacemaker” and physically break up the fight or worse case scenario, simply de-escalate the situation.  There is an old saying that goes, “if your neighbor’s house is on fire, you don’t haggle over the price of your hose”.  You have to be pretty insensitive to arrive at any other conclusion other than Syria is on fire, so to quote the bible,  “Am I my brother’s keeper?”, as Nino Brown in New Jack City said, “yes I am!”.

I believe in helping my neighbor but this was no simple house fire, this was arson.  This also has nothing to do with “Making America Great Again”.  There is a fine line between being a concerned neighbor and being a nosey one.  Officials are saying the response was proportional, which basically means it did not exceed the actions that prompted it.  Do I personally think the response is unreasonable?  No I don’t!  However, let’s not pretend as if this is truly all about America.  Whether, you want to admit it or not, our foreign actions are sometimes about flexing our military muscle.

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While this is a very serious topic, let me put it this way.  I like Captain America, my brother likes Batman.  In the comic book world, Captain America is supposed to be the “All-American” choir boy who just happens to be “bad ass”.  His role and motives are predicated on protecting the US of A and it’s values.  Batman is associated with vigilante style justice but Batman, in his own opinion, is doing the same thing that Captain America is doing. Batman is certainly no criminal but he is not necessarily operating within the true confines of the law.  What’s my point?  America is more Batman than Captain America.  Just because we are not a bad guy does not automatically equate to being a good guy. There is a murky middle.

It’s easy to sit back and applaud these actions when you know that you and your family are not in danger of being harmed by the actions.  That’s one reason I am conflicted. I absolutely like the idea of an atrocity being “punished”.  On the global stage however, it’s an easy stance to take when “We The People” have no real skin in the game.  What about the military? Are you saying the military has no skin in the game?  Of course not!  However, we have a “volunteer army” and in reality is the vast majority of Americans will never serve in our armed forces.  That’s why I can say as a country, we collectively have no skin in the game, it’s peripheral at best.  At the risk of sounding redundant, I am amazed at the amount of Americans that applaud military action when they are not at risk of losing a family member as a result of those actions.  Let me ask this. If every time one of our Presidents launched an attack, what if it was mandatory that someone in your family between the ages 18-35 was drafted?  Would your opinion on America being the world’s police force change?

As my first statement in this article said, I am conflicted on these issues.  While I want to extinguish my neighbors burning house, the reason for my internal conflict is I understand that there are many layers to this onion.  Was the response  reasonable?  Was it measured?  Was it proportional? The answer to all of those questions in my opinion is yes. Was it 100% necessary? The answer to that question depends on how you view America’s role on the world stage.

As a side note, I feel it’s appropriate to highlight the video posted below. While it’s clearly a video of President Obama’s stance on Syria, it’s not an outright defense of him.  The objective is to show anyone that falsely believes he attempted to do nothing.  Facing a hostile Congressional environment, he still chose to attempt to include our Congressional electorate.  Was that a mistake? Maybe. The overall point is, it’s a false narrative to say he didn’t believe in taking action, action that may have prevented recent events.

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000002415936

 


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