Vietnam was known for being a surrogate fight between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It was long and bloody, it cost the lives of over 50,000 American soldiers.
Was it worth it?
Some would say it prevented the “domino theory” from being actualized and stopped the Soviet Union from dominating country after country, pillaging their resources to further a failing socialist state. President Kennedy made the decision to escalate this war.
At that time, the Soviet Union was indeed a threat to the rest of the world in terms of military might and philosophical opposition to democracy and free enterprise. The Soviet Union’s threat was even perhaps equivalent to the Nazi menace in World War II.
I believe those lives lost in Vietnam were not in vain, were not purposeless as some have suggested. Despite the protests and the public outcry at the time, we made Vietnam too expensive for the Soviets to use as an expansion model.
But why are we in Syria? I’m wondering this because the press has reported we have sent another batch of F-22 Raptors to the Middle East. F-22’s are first strike fighters, designed to clear the way in an initial attack on the enemy.
We have already betrayed the Kurds who had been our allies. We are trying to support forces who fight side by side with ISIS, and who have the radical muslim point of view. Yes, Assad is a ruthless dictator, but if “our” side wins it could easily be worse as a ruthless religious dictatorship.
Yes, Putin bitch-slapped Obama in the U.N. last week. Its embarrassing and we as a country have reason to feel humiliated. Russia laid out a strategy for Syria, something we haven’t done, and not only for Syria, but for the rest of the Middle East as well. A knee-jerk reaction might be to set up an opposing agenda and make it more difficult for the Russians, but what would be our strategic value?
The Russians have established a no-fly zone over Syria. It is our intention to have the F-22 Raptors defy that zone? Hard to say at this point, but a build up by the U.S. will certainly warrant additional buildup by the Russians. This could get ugly quickly.
The question is what would we be fighting for? The Russians may still be expansionist, but they are no longer dedicated to destroying the Free World as was the Soviet Union. Their goals are largely aligned with ours, in that we both have issues with radical Islam and we both desire more stability in the region.
Syria has little strategic value to the U.S. and we have no strategy to make them free in the Western sense. They have Assad or ISIS, there are no democratic choices here.
Frankly, I just don’t see the point.