In a previous column, Nicholas D. Kristof argued that the U.S. should bomb Syria even though there were “legitimate concerns” that this could kill civilians, cause an escalation of violence on the ground, further destabilize the region, and empower extremist groups like the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front.
In his next column, he again acknowledged the “all risks and uncertainties”, as well as that American public opinion is against the bombing, but nevertheless asks, “But for those of you who oppose cruise missile strikes, what alternative do you favor?”
Um… How about just not engaging in actions that risk killing civilians, escalating the violence, detabilizing the region, and empowering terrorist organizations? That might be a good start.
Kristof writes that “So far, we’ve tried peaceful acquiescence, and it hasn’t worked very well. The longer the war drags on in Syria, the more Al Qaeda elements gain strength, the more Lebanon and Jordan are destabilized, and the more people die.”
Actually, though, as I pointed out in response to that previous column of his, the U.S. has not “tried peaceful acquiescence”. What actually “hasn’t worked very well” is the U.S.’s policy of intervening in the conflict, arming and training the rebels whose ranks include these very same “Al Qaeda elements”, with most of the CIA-funneled arms ending up in the hands of the extremists.
Kristof’s argument is thus essentially that the U.S. must continue doing what it has been doing only on an even greater scale, despite the acknowledged risk that this might even further strengthen the terrorists, further destabilize the region, and further escalate the killing.
In other words, Kristof meets Einstein’s definition of what it means to be “insane”.