Perspectives: Our leaders lack the moral high ground; lockstep into the Syrian conflict

OPINION – One of the telltale signs that a person may be lying is the tendency to provide too many irrelevant details in order to support their deception. A good example of this would be the official insistence of the U.S. government that airstrikes should commence because they have the details of an alleged chemical weapon attack by Syrian government forces.

Thinking Americans should reject these claims for a couple of reasons.

First, prior to the invasion of Iraq 11 years ago, the very same intelligence apparatus was stating as fact that “we know where the WMD are” when they did not. Why would we trust them now?

Remember, the only information we have right now on the alleged chemical attack has come from our own government. This is the same government that regularly lies to us about whether or not it spies on us and why. Propaganda is a part of our daily lives whether we like it or not.

Secondly, even if the Syrian government, or the CIA-backed rebels, or some other third party did carry out a chemical attack, our government lacks any kind of moral standing to intervene militarily. This lack of moral authority may explain our leaders’ desperate attempts to hyperfocus on 1,400 more deaths in a civil war that has claimed over 100,000 lives so far.

President Obama as well as key congressional leaders are seeking to order the military to conduct “limited strikes” to send a message to Syria’s president, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and his government that killing civilians is wrong. The irony is palpable.

No matter how well intentioned, any type of military strike will create unintentional civilian casualties. That is the nature of military action.

Thomas R. Eddlem, in a letter to his congressmen pleaded: “We don’t need more innocent blood on our hands, or more blowback from our military aggression in the Middle East. We especially don’t need to shed innocent blood in a country that is no threat to us.”

Where the U.S. has not been attacked or even threatened by the Syrian conflict, it is morally indefensible to engage in offensive war against Syria. The concept of “might makes right” simply does not square with the most basic principles of justice.

Even attempts to justify bombing Syria on humanitarian grounds fall short when we remember the 500,000 Iraqi children and elderly who died as a result of U.S. backed sanctions in the 1990s. Nor should we forget that the U.S. government sold chemical agents to Saddam Hussein and supported his use of them against the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war.

The question is not whether people have been dying in various horrific ways in Syria, but rather, by what authority does the U.S. government presume to commit military acts of retaliation against a nation that has neither harmed nor threatens us? All the posturing between Congress and the president serves to mask the fact that our government has no moral standing in this matter.

At the moment, it appears that we have a president who foolishly pledged to interject America into a conflict that has nothing to do with us. Congressional leaders have fallen into lockstep with the president, proving at last that there is no real difference between the two major parties. As a nation, we are now divided into the establishment and the remnant. Moral laws and constitutional fidelity notwithstanding, the establishment’s leaders appear determined to lead the world by force.

But have they considered what they will likely reap?

Over 160 years ago, a French economist named Frederic Bastiat penned an essay called “That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen.”

In his essay, Bastiat argued that for every policy or law that is instituted, there are unseen consequences that will arise. Rather than focusing on what is only immediately apparent, Bastiat counseled that wise leaders would carefully consider the unseen consequences that may arise.

Judge Andrew Napolitano is asking the right questions: “But will another war enhance our freedoms or our safety? Will it add to our debt? Will it trash the law? Can we bomb and kill for bragging rights?”

At this point, the political class seems determined to recklessly plow ahead. Instead of spinning our wheels trying to convince them to reconsider the immorality of bombing Syria, perhaps our time and efforts would be better spent setting our own houses in order.

At least that way, our nation’s leaders aren’t as likely to succeed in dragging all of us down with them.

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • Oh Really? September 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Lee opposes Syrian intervention? Really? Shouldn’t the title read “Lee Opposes Anything Obama?”

  • Kay September 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    We have seen the photos of the bodies lined up in the streets in Syria and the devastating shock in the faces of family members with loved ones in their arms. It’s very difficult to view. But the question is: have they been gassed by their own leaders or some extremist group? Do we know the facts and the truth? Do we trust our leadership here at home to make the best decisions on our behalf? My response is “No”
    I voted for Pres. Obama in the last election but, I cannot support his actions should he choose to fire the first shot in Syria. I will vote against any leader who stands behind our President in this matter and I will continue to express my contempt for the escalation to war.
    Thank you Byran Hyde for your comment today and Fox News or not we’re on the same page.

  • oop May 30, 2014 at 11:48 am

    another liberal newspaperattempting to fill a public full of …
    Ed. ellipsis.

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