In response to, “Syria in shambles, Congress on vacation,” by Rebecca Price
By Daniel Royster
Everybody hates injustice. Nobody in their right conscience approves when thousands of innocent civilians and children die. It brings out a fight in us, a natural urge to “do something,” to “get involved” in some way even if we have little grasp on the far reaching implications of these choices. The reactions of the president on the crisis in Syria are a testament to this phenomenon. However noble our intentions, or those of the president, may appear to be, they cannot be allowed to clog our vision of the bigger picture of the Syrian crisis.
As Becca Price rightly said in her article on global awareness and this crisis in Syria, we need to “care a little more about what’s been happening outside of Kentucky, whether or not it affects us directly.” It is true the American public for the most part doesn’t seem to care, and therefore hasn’t done the homework about what goes on in the outside world. However, is it possible that just as the cheap entertainment on MTV can compromise our values, the good intentions and emotional impulse to immediate action can cloud our vision of the best solution to crises such as the one in Syria?
As Ms. Price exhorted us, “Will we at the very least, back the president’s intentions?” True, the president has noble intentions. Who could say no to helping innocent civilians and children? However, this seems to have become a common catch phrase when speaking about the Obama administration’s policies. Since his entire campaign and presidency has been entirely based on “good intentions,” let us use him as an example of the power of good intentions to actually solve a crisis.
The president had “good intentions” when he spent billions to boost the economy. Yet one only has to look at Detroit to see how well that worked out. Unemployment nationwide has not improved by even by one percent since he trumpeted his psalms of “Hope and Change” 56 months ago (CNS News).
The president had “good intentions” in going into Afghanistan. Yet, with the resources of the greatest military super power in the world, he has still not quite figured out how to suppress the ravaging force of ragtag skirmishers with AK47s.
As the first African American president in history, Barack Obama had “good intentions” to improve race relations in America through civil discussion and mutual understanding. Yet under his presidency, there has been more racial hatred and more racial violence than before his presidency began. This was obvious in the Trayvon Martin fiasco, and the dozens of deadly, racially motivated attacks that emerged out of its hysteria.
Barack Obama apparently had “good intentions” to improve civil liberties in America by backing gay marriage and the right to free abortions for women under Obamacare. Yet on the other hand, he signed into law the ability for himself to arbitrarily imprison and drone U.S. citizens without warrant or trial if he thinks it in the “best interest” of national security (ACLU).
If I were a betting man, I would say that there seems to be a bit of a credibility gap between “good intentions” and good outcomes, especially when it comes to the high-minded dreams of our lord and savior Barack Obama. But hey, it’s a good cause and worth the effort, especially if you ignore the fact that by supporting the rebels against Assad, we are supporting Al Qaeda (the same guys we are fighting in Afghanistan). Let’s also forget about the scores of Christians being martyred everyday in Syria at the hands of these noble freedom fighters the president wants to support. As far as humanitarianism is concerned, is it truly honest to suggest that the president’s motives were to help the people of Syria when he has turned a blind eye to the slaughter of over 100,000 innocent lives since the advent of this civil war two years ago? Oh, but that doesn’t matter because they were killed humanely without the aid of chemical weapons.
Don’t misread me here. I too was truly sickened when I saw the footage of the casualties brought about by the recent chemical bombings. And the more I make myself aware of what goes down on this planet the more I realize what a fallen place it is and always has been.
As Christians I don’t think we should be silent or passive about atrocities in the world. However, we should also be aware that our flawed systems are severely limited in the good they can accomplish especially when speaking about the American government. If we as Americans and as “wanna-be” social activists can dismount our high horses for just a second and transcend our myopic emotions and “good intentions” we may actually be able to see a wider array of possible solutions to the problems we face. (Like maybe fixing America before we presume to fix every other country in the world).
Even if we don’t end up going to war with Syria, this episode should be a wake-up call to all those who believe in the credibility of our government’s intentions for “good” in the world. As the Middle East continues to blaze in the fires of our “peacemaking” is it rational to assume that another military strike would send a message of nonviolence to the world? If going to war with Syria is another example of good intentions by our president, I would say “good intentions” look an awful lot like inept if not corrupt politics.