If there is any current event that has signaled a tectonic shift in the American citizens’ philosophy with regard to foreign policy this Syrian debacle is it.
Exhibit A – After weeks of lobbying by Obama it appears the American people aren’t buying it.
The percent of people who favored US airstrikes against Syria stayed about the same (29% to 28) but those opposed increased significantly (48% to 63%). This increase in opposition didn’t come from people switching from ‘favor’ to ‘oppose’ but instead came from the ‘don’t know’ camp. A week ago 23% of Americans were undecided but this week that percentage shrank to 9% so most all of them moved to the ‘oppose’ opinion.
Even registered Democrats increased their opposition from 48% to 53% so it does appear that Obama has lost his bid to start a new war in Syria.
I still have no idea why we are even considering lobbing missiles at Syria and think this drawing of a red line was another in a long line of bumbles by our POTUS who is still, 4+ years into the job, struggling to fill those shoes.
A Shift In Thinking
My opinion of US foreign policy changed many years ago as I watched our young men and women die in Iraq and I wondered why we were really over there. I now have a very libertarian view of military intervention in foreign countries and think we should only be involved if there is a clear threat to US interests.
It is terrible how innocent people, especially children, are killed in numbers of civil wars or terrorist actions all across the globe but we must come to the realization that the US is no longer the World’s Police. What is the criterion for getting involved now? If children die? If chemical weapons are used? If Christians are beheaded? Has this been documented or explained?
We have enough problems at home (skyrocketing debt, Obamacare, unsustainable entitlements, etc.) and are still licking our wounds from 10+ years in Iraq and Afghanistan with little to show for it other than a dead Osama Bin Laden. And don’t get me wrong, I still supported our invasion of Afghanistan to hit back at those who killed 2,000+ Americans on US soil and I’m glad that many of them are dead now.
But that is not what we have in Syria. We have rival groups killing each other in a bloody civil war that doesn’t, in any way, threaten the US. Sad to say, but let ‘em fight it out and figure it out on their own. We don’t need to get involved.
Most of the World hates us anyway so let’s oblige them with their desire to have us butt out of other countries’ struggles. Pull all our military boots off foreign soil and bring them home – that includes Europe. If we need to set up patrols/bases, then station our military on the border of Mexico and help limit the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.
We live in a world where our far superior military can mobilize and strike back at any country in a few days. Our Navy can continue to patrol the oceans and hit viable threats to our national security from the safety of a carrier group hundreds of miles off shore. Drones can hit targets while the pilots sit in an air conditioned control room in the US.
Times have changed and our foreign policy should change with them.