A United Nations resolution to punish Syria if it doesn’t stop its military crackdown on civilians was vetoed in the U.N. by China and Russia. The United States supported the resolution. The selectivity of who can commit atrocities and who can’t shows the politics of the world body. It may seem that the U.N. should have a policy of opposing violent civilian oppression by governments or it shouldn’t. But then, where would we start and where would we stop. It seems that much of the world is ruled by ruthless leaders.
Violent civilian oppression presents a moral dilemma for countries like ours. Do we stand by while legions of innocents get slaughtered or oppressed? Or, do we step in? But again, where would we start and where would we stop? We’d have to invade and essentially colonize much of the world. Is that the righteous role for nations like ours or do we let these oppressed people live and die under conditions they have lived under for hundreds and thousands of years, because no matter what we do they will keep at it? Further, the government we replace has often been better than the new one that comes into power.
It’s hard to be consistent in the way that we interject ourselves into another country’s affairs. I suppose we’ll continue to meddle in the ones that we deem to be of national interest and leave the rest to themselves. China and Russia have invested a lot of money into Syria, ever increasing the threat against Israel. Although we found it in our national interest to attack Libya, I doubt we’ll ever find it in our national interest to attack Syria while it has the backing of China and Russia.
The White House has just announced that it is once again granting waivers to some countries who use child soldiers so we can give them U.S. military assistance. The waivers are for Yemen, South Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Why do we grant waivers to them although they recruit soldiers under the age of 15 while we punish other countries for doing the same? We’re seemingly as political as anyone else. Rather than policies based on defining principles, we do what we deem to be in our national interest…just like everyone else.