The first indictment of a war criminal is losing the war. Some generals understand this innately and so endeavor to keep their morality pristine by plowing over as many corpses as their infantry can burn. By this measure William Tecumseh Sherman may have been the most ethical fighter of his age. One of his most famous assertions was that War is Hell. It was a quote he strived to uphold.
Yet while war may be Hell, Hell has never been vacated by American troops. So Satan is hardly in the best position to gauge whether war or no war is the more lurid horror. Now perhaps the people of Syria can. Because according to the Carlos Slim Tumblr page Trump is planning to completely de-occupy that ravaged country. As you can imagine, the anti-war left is livid.
I suppose liberals have every right to be angry. Trump pulling out of Syria means one less American appendage stuck in the Levantine sand; it means fewer brown refugees streaming into Europe; and it means more Southern white boys having birthdays instead of funerals. You can see why they would be furious.
But not wanting to just speculate on the source of their discontent, I went straight to its expression in the combox. The performances therein featured more emoting than a production of ghetto Shakespeare. At times they were quite entertaining. Though that’s not to say they were lean, logical, or concise. Most were so blubbery from high-fructose preening that I had to jettison quotes in favor of paraphrasing, lest readers’ eyeballs expire from overuse.
So in order of most theatrical exhibitions of lugubrious outrage, here are the liberal reasons America must occupy Syria:
🇸🇾 Putin. Like black holes, Vlad exerts a gravitational force on liberal emotions that pulls most over the event horizon. Once succumbed to the Putin Singularity, no other cause, course, rhyme, reason, or purpose can physically exist at that point in the space/time continuum.
Those progs within the Putin Singularity ascribe all wickedness to Putin, including the wickedness of Trump, which physicists previously considered its own celestial carnivore. So to them, America should bleed and spend lavishly in Syria if the loss of our lives and money will in any way inconvenience Russia. Not one of these commenters opined on the cost or benefit to an accountant in Topeka being asked to pay for it all.
Times readers were additionally uncontemplative on the philosophical question of whether a rational entity should work for its own interests or against another’s. Most people would counsel against going to the electric chair, even if killing your irritating neighbor would be bad for him. So if it’s good for America, and also good for Putin, is it bad for America? No.
🇸🇾 Kurds. If America leaves Syria, someone will attack the Kurds and/or thwart their ambition for carving out their own political entity. First, we must acknowledge that the left’s commitment to the formation and defense of discrete ethnostates is simply non-negotiable.
Remarking on the left’s hypocrisy long ago became a rote exercise. Though it was practically impossible to read such fulsome pro-Kurd commentary without feeling awe at the liberal capacity for principle compartmentalization. Ethnostates are evil and we must help the Kurds defend their ethnostate is a sentiment that slides across their minds without a spark of friction.
🇸🇾 Iraq. Leaving Syria will create an Iraq. Do you ever try to drive your car on its roof rather than its tires? That’s the question I wanted to ask Times commenters upon digesting this premise. The truth is America creates Iraqs by creating them, not by not creating them. For instance, invading and occupying Iraq created Iraq. In comparison, not invading Tajikistan did not create an Iraq.
That doesn’t mean leaving the place makes it small town New Hampshire. But it does mean it won’t be a sink where greenbacks and gore are ground into a gray slurry. That’s creating Iraq.
🇸🇾 Finally, the dismount was struck with this solemn lament: we should keep our troops in Syria and get them off the US border where they don’t belong. Where do troops belong? That’s actually a fundamental question more than a political one. As such, why does a country form an armed forces? To defend foreign ethnostates? I mean, an additional foreign ethnostate? Is it foreign democracy? Foreign freedom? Foreign trade? What does the military do for us? Given the Pentagon’s $676 billion price tag, it’s a question to which many more non-foreigners should be demanding an answer.
The obvious fact is that the core function of militaries is to prevent invasion of their sponsoring nation. If they do nothing else, they have served their purpose. If they do not serve this purpose, then nothing else they do matters. Thus troops on our border is precisely where they belong. The Japanese emperor has been subdued.