September 8, 2013
to be posted on


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Regarding Fight This War, Not the Last ECONOMIST vol. 408 no. 8852 page 11:
The Syrian issue is an existential crisis for America.  First, I do not know why we should be exporting something, The American Way, without getting paid for it.  It is tantamount to a religion, and forcing it on people seems wrong.  We are not exporting loyalty or fair play; they are universal and we will be judged by them.  Assad tried to run a multi ethnic secular government with elections; for much of the local population there he is thus indistinguishable from us and we are stabbing a natural friend in the back.  We are offering to shed blood over a principle we ignored when it was to our advantage and our need was far less.  We score poorly on both points. 

The more thoughtful of our targeted customers might judge us on the very principles we are selling: rule of law and freedom under the law.  An act of war against a non threatening nation without UN support would be illegal.  The vast majority of nations, American politicians and most importantly the American people are against this.  When I travel abroad I am always struck with the open faces, the warm smiles and the vulnerability of people.  “How innocent,” I think.  “How unlike churlish, self-centered Americans.”  But maybe it is we who are the innocents.  We actually think we live in a free country.  If Obama can carry out further murders (I think that’s the word for extra-judicial killings? Or is it “lynchings”?) against the will of the people, we shall be disabused of our belief that we are free. 

Closing America would just take an amendment, “This constitution is annulled as of _/_/201_.”  Founding fathers gave us that.  Any contract is frangible, cannot be considered eternal.  There will be internal inconsistencies as in the college song: the Fompf Bird, with one wing shorter than the other that when startled flies in ever decreasing circles until it disappears up its own ass.   Fompf! 

Linton Herbert

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