The Genocide Dilemma

Posted on April 10, 2017 by Robert Ringer


The Syrian situation is another example of what I like to refer to as the Genocide Dilemma, to wit:

When a country is committing genocide against a segment of its own population, one school of thought is that the “civilized” world has a moral obligation to intervene. On the other side of the coin, a true civil libertarian is generally against all “foreign entanglements,” taking the position that what goes on in other countries is none of anyone else’s business.

Rationally, I favor the latter position, but I’ve never been able to reconcile it with what would have happened had the United States and its allies not intervened in Germany in World War II. Could any civilized person have lived with the knowledge that the Holocaust was continuing unchallenged?

Since World War II, however, there is a new reason for eschewing foreign intervention: We don’t win wars anymore! Worse, we lose a lot of American lives and a whole lot of wealth every time we flex our muscles, which has caused a majority of the population to grow war weary.

It’s also worth noting that wars used to last three or four years, until one country surrendered and the rebuilding began. But it’s a different world today. It’s hard to comprehend, but we’ve been in Iraq for 25 years and Afghanistan 16 years. Which means that anyone born after 2000 has never known a world in which the United States was not at war.

It is therefore understandable why so many people are questioning the efficacy of becoming involved in Syria. We could wipe out Syria’s entire air force in one day and pretty much force Assad to toe the line, except for one problem: Russia. If Russia continues to support Assad, which is likely, what’s the end game? I applaud Trump’s swift and precise action, but I’m not sure what the mid- and long-term consequences of intervention in Syria will be.

But perhaps the best argument for not using force to save innocent lives is the reality that life is neither fair nor perfect, and no amount of well-intentioned foreign intervention can change that reality. In fact, as history continually teaches us, life can be unbelievably brutal.

Think of the long line of homicidal maniacs just since WWII: Stalin, Mao, the Castro brothers and Che Guevara, Ida Amin, Saddam, Pol Pot, and on and on the list goes. Think of the slaughters in places like Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda, and many other countries in Africa that most people have never even heard of and could not even find on a map.

After 5,000 years of recorded history, it’s obvious that mass murderers will always be with us, which is another factor to figure into the Syrian equation; i.e., whenever a murderous dictator is taken out, there are ten more bloodthirsty guys eager and willing to take his place.

Then there’s North Korea, which is unique in that its dictatorship is a family business. The Kim dynasty, which has controlled the upper peninsula since 1948, is the equivalent of a Mafia family. It’s had only three leaders in its 69-year grip on power — Kim ll-Sung, who was declared “Eternal President of the Republic” after his death in 1994, Kim Jong-il, who modestly labeled himself “Dear Leader,” and Kim Jong-un (no official title yet, but whom I like to affectionately refer to as Jumbo Jong).

But aside from the fact that one brutal dictator usually leads to another brutal dictator as bad or worse than himself, most foreign policy (at least in the U.S.) doesn’t even make sense. Consider the fact that Harry Truman dropped two atomic bombs on Japan that killed at least 200,000 civilians at a time when the Japanese war machine was already in ruins and Japan’s people were on the verge of starvation. In other words, the war was already coming to an end.

Yet five years later, Truman let North Korea off the hook by preventing General Douglas MacArthur from pushing into that country and destroying the communist forces. As a result, tens of millions of North Koreans have lived in unimaginable poverty for more than six decades, and untold millions have been jailed, tortured, and killed.

It’s hard to imagine, but today, had MacArthur had his way, North Korea undoubtedly would be as prosperous as South Korea, which is one of the richest nations in the world. In fact, the likelihood is that the two countries would have been united into one, and everyone (including the entire Western world) would have avoided a great deal of anxiety and expense.

But it was not to be. Actions have consequences, and as a result of Truman’s determination to limit the war in Asia, more than 60 years later North Korea is a threat to the very survival of the planet. I’ve always felt that Truman should have dropped the big one on Pyongyang rather than Japan, because it would have stopped the Kim crime family in its tracks and saved millions of lives and untold suffering.

Having said all this, I don’t have any easy answers for solving the Syrian crisis. Watching the lives of small children (and, for that matter, adults) being snuffed out by poisonous gas is stomach turning and evokes anger in any civilized person. But what about all the people who are being jailed and tortured in hell holes such as Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan? Shouldn’t we try to save them as well?

And that is precisely what lies at the heart of the Genocide Dilemma: How do you decide which people to try to save and which people to turn away from? No matter where in the world American troops are fighting to save lives at any given time, there are scores of other countries where people are being tortured and slaughtered. So the question becomes, who deserves to be the chosen ones when it comes to American intervention?

I guess the harsh answer is that we should intervene only where American interests are at stake, but it takes a pretty strong stomach to accept that as a guideline. As I said, life is not perfect; life is brutal. I don’t have the answer to Syria, but I sure hope Trump and his generals do.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

56 responses to “The Genocide Dilemma”

  1. hello says:

    Agree with you. It’s a difficult dilemma!
    Roosevelt did not intervene in Europe because of the Holocaust and when asked about it said that it was only a detail. He intervened in Europe because he was attacked by Japan and Japan was allied with Germany.
    As for the atomic bombs in Japan, the info was that Japan at that time was prepared to sacrifice another 6 million lives!
    As for the choice of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was based on the fact that they were 2 big bases for Japanese armament factories.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      Good information to share. Thanks.

    • Jay says:

      Wrong! Roosevelt would have only had the right to declare war against Japan for the Pearl Harbor attack and not Germany too. But, it was Hitler's support of Japan by declaring war on the US that allowed FDR to declare war on Germany. If Hitler had not done that, FDR would have not either….

    • FWIW Hiroshima, Nagasaki and one additional city were not targeted because of armament factories. In order to measure the true affects of the Atom bombs, the US military planners wanted to test them on cities that had no previous bombing damage. While other Japanese cities were ferociously attacked with iron and fire bombs for many months, the A-Bomb cities were off-limits to regular bombing. The rest is history….

  2. Patrick says:

    So the question becomes, who deserves to be the chosen
    ones when it comes to American intervention?
    I could think the answer is pretty simple. Whichever country
    that has natural resources which USA can exploit. That is the
    country America will intervene. North Korea has non.

    • Bill Thomas says:

      And you might also add, those that do not have the ability to put up a good fight…..I.E. Countries that do not have Nuclear Weapons.

    • John John says:

      Strongly disagree. There is NOTHING to exploit in Syria. Going into Iraq was a huge mistake and although there was talk of going into Iraq for the oil and all the contracts on oil.e could get by going to war, this was not the real reason for the decision to go to war. Having been directly involved in this damned mess on the military side, my assessment is that the administration, quite frankly, had no idea what they were doing and acted on faulty intelligence. What the real reason was, I don't know. What I do know that it was a comedy of errors. I do know that the original decision had zero to do with exploitation of Iraq for their oil! One needs to study military and world history to get a grasp on just how many events occur that are due to just plain stupidity and nothing to do with a solid grasp of the events. Don't pick on the U.S. We are angels particularly when compared to non democratic countries. Having lived in crap holes overseas I kiss the ground every time I come home to America.

  3. One of the main things that make American involvement so difficult is that we don't know half of the time just who the good guys are. Yeah we know Assad is a close relative of Satan. But a sizable portion of the Syrian forces that are fighting Assad would also welcome the chance to gas we the Infidels too, in a moments notice. But Russia allowing this guy to use poison gas ? Wow ! Once the perpetrators feel it is OK to use such weapons we can expect them to continue the usage to the point of it becoming a matter of course. Or at the very least, putting the weapons on the Black Market ! I would not have attacked Syria but I am not sure it was a mistake to do so. I am curious to see how much the left will continue to say Trump was and is a friend of Putin in the coming weeks. And how they continue to press the need for an investigation. Sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you do not. This was Trumps dilemma. Well not so much a dilemma as a circumstance that made certain he was going to get chastisement from the left wing media regardless of what he did or did not do. But taking out Assad out of power at this time with a Russian presence in Syria would be the wrong thing to do !

  4. Stephen Clay McGehee says:

    Another factor that is left out the equation is this: those "brutal dictators" do not fly the planes, nor drop the bombs, nor maintain the bombers, nor fuel them. They do not plan the missions and pinpoint the targets. The "I was only following orders" defense was declared invalid at the Nuremberg Trials. Even the forced labor of Nazi Germany had numerous examples of "monkeywrenching" that were quite effective in sabotaging the war effort. It wasn't always spectacular either – witness the simple act of adding itching powder to the officer's coats by the lowly seamstresses forced to work in the uniform factories.

    I have very little sympathy for a nation that is complicit in its own destruction, and I have no motivation to expend our own blood and treasury to fight to rescue a nation that will not do its own political housecleaning.

  5. Robert Robert says:

    I agree it is difficult dilemma. Lots of good arguments to be made for intervening or not. In my view we need to maintain some moral order in the world – if not us – who would take on that role? Sure it makes us the target of despots everywhere but without our interventions I believe the use of chemical weapons, genocides and other evils would spread and blossom. Like weeds best to catch them early before they spread too much. But we will never be rid of weeds. Best we can do is control them so the flowers and plants we want can grow. It seems many of the problems come from not finishing the job. In North Korea had we finished the job the current lunatic would not be in power. And for him, I think a good old fashioned bombing of their facilities and leadership is in Order. One massive obliteration. That would tend to keep the other lunatics cowering and avoid what to me seems inevitable if Jong is left in power – an attempt to launch nuclear weapons at the United States. So we need to kill the weed before it sprouts nuclear poison and destruction. Sad truth we need to be the worlds policemen to a degree. Otherwise we will see world wide chaos.

  6. Grahame says:

    With great power comes great responsibility – source may be comic book but the sentiment is not

  7. Rick G says:

    While reading this, I took particular notice about mentioning the Holocaust. Many people bring this up when reflecting on man's inhumanity toward man. And it was horrifically terrible to say the least. But it seems rather odd that no one ever seems to bring up the fact that the Japanese were horrifically savage in their brutality toward the Chinese, the Phillipines, Australians, and Americans to name a few. In my.opinion, they were worst than the Nazis. It seems as if all of this has been swept under the rug in discussing war crimes. During World War 2 there were reports of Nazis who witnessed some of the most unbelievably sickening and shocking atrocities imaginable in the Pacific only to walk away sickened by what they saw and learned. Imagine something so horrible to sicken a German Nazi! And after all was said and done, unlike Nazi Germany, there were nothing done to Japan in punishment for war crimes, at least ss far as I know. Few even care to talk about it. Does anyone have an insight, comments, and/or reasons why this is?

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      You make a valid point, and an important one. Japanese atrocities were horrific. No question about it.

      • Linda Schrock Taylor says:

        Did anyone listen to Michael Savage and join him in questioning the official storyline? I certainly did and do! I think that Trump jumped the gun in response to a daughter's emotional whimpering.

    • It had a lot to do with MacArthur governing Japan like an Emperor after the war. Hirohito was forced to bow to MacArthur for all Japanese to see. And thus, MacArthur was viewed as an equal or above the Emperor.. MacArthur wanted the fastest recovery effort for Japan in a 10-year plan. He also felt that punishing the Japanese would be bad for Japanese moral. So in essence, war crimes trials against the common Japanese soldiers who committed atrocities was frowned upon. However, some of the top generals were hung.

    • Bernard B. says:

      I'm from the Philippines and I've heard Japanese brutality direct from my relatives who lived to witness it. But being a forgiving nation, our government – past & present, have accepted Japan's apology for such atrocities committed. And Japan has been supporting Philippines government programs for the longest time particularly in several infrastructure projects. As for the victims, I think Japan has provided compensation for the victims. We recently celebrated the National Day of Valor last 9 April and again Japan has expressed regret and apology for their inhumane treatment during the war. This happens every year & I guess it will be a perpetual expression of grief, regret, and apology.

    • David says:

      There were war crimes trials. Your local library should have books about it. Brunanly mot on the scale of Nuremburg, but it did at least capture the brutality you speak about.

    • Wayne says:

      Do not forget the Russians.
      How many Jews and others?
      WWII and beyond.!?

  8. Bill York says:

    When a North Korean missile goes astray and lands in Japan the launch site should be charcoaled with all the collateral damage, eventually one will go astray in Portland or in Minneapolis. The guy is a egotistical nut. And Truman dropped the convincers to save thousands of American military and millions of fanatically misguided Japanese.

  9. Greg says:

    Like everything else the government determines it should fix (Social Security, health-care, etc.) government is the last group that should have a "right" or an "obligation" to take its citizens to war. In a free society, people should cooperate freely and band together independently of a "government" if they desire to "help" other people somewhere else on earth, weather it be the ghetto's in your home-town or a country on the other side of the earth. As crazy as it may sound that free people would collaborate to do such a thing I am confident that if government did not monopolize war powers free people would band together to do a much better and more efficient job of freeing the earth of dictators.

    You mention "all the people who are being jailed and tortured in hell holes such as…" and I would point out that right here in the USA we have prisons doing the very same thing. Perhaps before we go around the world trying to "fix" things we get our own mess of a house in order?

    • Jim Hallett says:

      AMEN, Greg! Govt. (the State) is the most immoral, most incompetent and most inefficient institution we have, and they mess up everything they get involved with. In the 20the Century alone, more than 200 million people were killed by the State worldwide, and yet people keep clamoring for this intervention, or that attack. To what end?? It always ends badly. The financial interests of the military-industrial complex drive almost EVERY decision made, and war has always been a profitable racket for these folks. Whenever I hear a moral defense offered by someone, I ask why only some immoral actions warrant a response and not others. We did NOTHING in Rwanda or the Sudan, e.g., and the only reason we reacted to the Holocaust was because FDR wanted to get the U.S. involved as a result of his buddy, Churchill, urging us. We did not react to any of the cruelties that happened from 1939 to late 1941. And then FDR cozied up to Stalin, a much WORSE animal than Hitler, and thus all the resulting Cold War atrocities happened for 34 more years. Govt. has NO moral compass at all, and the criminal politicians who make these decisions never pay the price – only millions of innocent people, whose only "crime" was to be a citizen of a certain country at the wrong time.

  10. Realitycheck says:

    The US populace wanted nothing to do with WW I, but FDR told Churchill he would get us in the war, and he did so by blockading the oil into Japan and forcing their attack on Pearl Harbor. The German war machine was already collapsing due to the Russians sacrificing more bodies than the Germans had bullets, and the refusal of Hitler to listen to his commanders, and completely overextending his forces. Their demise was already on the books before we got there; we only slightly quickened it,

    That's old history. But here's new history: US orchestrated regime toppling in Iraq, Egypt, and Libya courtesy of W., Obama, and Clinton (Hildabeast). How's all that worked out for us? And now we 'need' to remove Assad? For chemical warfare? Who says? I don't know if it's even true, and neither does anyone else reading this. What I do know is one of our alphabet agencies has started more wars than all countries combined in a very short time frame. People in those countries have been at war with themselves for thousands of years, before we were even a country. It's their culture. If they wanted a different culture, they would surely have one by now.

    We have our own war right here and now in this country fighting the leftist, Marxist, socialists that are trying to overthrow THIS government. Something about sweeping your own doorstep first. And as Mr Ringer stated, there's always another tyrant waiting to replace the one that's removed. I pray we don't get sucked into the Syrian rabbit hole by the puppet masters.


  11. Rick G says:

    I believe that President Truman prevented General MacArthur from taking what is now North Korea because he was afraid.of getting into a landwar with China. During the Korean War China was reportedly already sending their men into battle there. There is no way the US could even win a landwar on the ground with China. They hold approximately one half the world's population. The only way to defeat them would have been with nuclear weapons.

  12. Ken Overcast says:

    Great article defining a huge problem. Determining exactly who are the "good guys" and who are the "bad guys" is always the dilemma. Please forgive my conspiracy motivated skepticism, but the good ol' USA is the one that secretly started this whole mess … ala Benghazi and arming the unsavory forces that oppose the official government, creating in the process perhaps one of the greatest society changing refugee problems in history. Europe is being crushed by the influx of Islamic refugees as a result of our intervention. The use of poison gas is an atrocity and should never be tolerated … but just who was it that did the gassing? As we've seen in the past, everyone points the finger at someone else. It would not surprise me in the least if one of the nefarious globalists on "our" side of the fence is actually responsible for this and our fearless leader has been duped into believing Assad was the "bad boy". I have a great deal of faith in President Trump, but fear he isn't getting the straight facts. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that forces within our own intelligence community were involved. Just who is our poor president to trust? When President Eisenhower warned us that the greatest threat to our country was the military industrial complex … just maybe we should have listened. Who could possibly profit from a continued, or maybe if we're "Lucky", an expanded war? The intelligence community should not be immune from the "swamp draining", and indeed may be the best place to get a good start.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      "The intelligence community should not be immune from the "swamp draining", and indeed may be the best place to get a good start."

      Good for you for making this important point, Ken.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      You hit the nail on the head, Ken! Many of the "bad guys" are within our own "intelligence" community, and of course, the vast majority of politicians are criminals by definition – their m.o. is strictly theft and coercion mixed in with murder for hire. Casting any moral defense of these folks, regardless of what country they hail from, is absurd. Moral intentions never even cross their minds!!

  13. Gordon says:

    Interesting that none of the commenters thus far have mentioned the possibility that the gas attack in Syria was a false-flag attack, engineered by someone supported by the US to throw blame on Assad. Clearly the neocons have been after Assad for over six years now, and Hillary was certainly in that camp. When Trump was elected, he was willing to leave Assad in place, and just fight the jihadists, but this is totally unacceptable to the Deep State, so it looks like they now have him on board.
    I am especially suspicious because poisonous gas is typically only used in two situations: The first is when you don't believe anyone can find out, and the other is when you are in desperate straits, and have nothing to lose. Neither case applied in Syria, at least for Assad. And it is interesting that despite the fog of war with various contending factions who might have used the gas, from the very moment the attack was announced, Assad was pronounced the culprit. No investigation, no analysis, just instant blame, and Trump is now marching to the neocon drum. Mission accomplished!
    I will concede that it is possible that Assad is guilty, but it is certainly not proven, and from the Gulf of Tonkin to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, it is clear that there are people in the US government who are willing to stage false-flag events or plant other false evidence to suck US leaders into conflicts we would have been better to stay out of.

  14. Jana says:

    And then there is Venezuela. Sigh. It just doesn't end. It is indeed a conundrum.

  15. Vladymir Rogov says:

    Do you really believe this is all well-intentioned foreign intervention?

  16. Reality Seeker says:

    Timely post by RJR… I feel much the same way.

    Some of first-hand accounts of WW2 that I pried out of my stepdad are sickening. Fatther was a WW2 vet, and so was his brother. They joined and ended up island hopping the Pacific. Between the two of them they have at least 19 combat medals… but that's only the ones the family and I have found. Dad is still alive and still collecting "hazard pay for his radiation exposure"…. but his brother died two years ago at age 92. Neither one would talk in detail about what they saw and did. They always quickly changed the subject. That's just the way most of those old vets did things. They put the war behind them. However, I do know from first-hand accounts about what nuclear war looks, feels and smells like. And, believe it or not, it's the smell of death and burning flesh that sticks with some vets.

    After six years of serving in the military and two years assisting in nuclear bomb testing, dad came home and built a fallout shelter, stocked it with a years worth of supplies and eventually joined the John Birch Society​… Down to this day he still believes that FDR knew the attack on Pearl was coming and that WW2 could have been avoided… He feels that American citizens have no idea what danger they are in even now and how fast civilization can be totally wiped out.

    My opinion is that Donald Trump wants to reunite North and South Korea just like Ronald Reagan reunited East and West Germany. Donald thinks BiG! No doubt about it. You heard it here first, so prepare accordingly. The outcome could be very good or it could be very, very bad. Because the the risks involved, I also think we should bring back the Civil Defense program….. Incidently, Russia is bring back a very robust CD…For one thing, if America renewed the CD program, it would cause many Americans to stop and think, "wow! This shit between America and Russia and China is getting real!"

    People really do need to THINK. Thinking is good. Actions or the lack thereof do have consequences —- sometimes deadly consequences. So it's high time for the ignorant masses to comes to grips with modern reality.

    Finally, Trump is now playing for the highest stakes possible, i.e., life, death and maybe mass extinction from a nuclear Holocaust. You have been warned.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      All good points. And your father was absolutely right about FDR's knowing ahead of time that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor.

  17. anne says:

    I agree with you why should we interfere when the people of each country does not rise up to the people in charge and straighten out their problems I am surprised Trump decided since he if I remember correctly was not going to get involved . Perhaps I am wrong but it seems countries do not bother to stand up to their rights what hPPENED TO THE DAYS WHEN FRANCE AND , ENGLAND FOUGHT BACK.. I HAVE BEEN IN WARS SINCE A YOUNG CHILD I DISAGREE WE SHOULD CONSTANTLY HELP UNLESS SITUATION SIMILAR TO WW11.
    am I wrong with my thinking?

  18. John F says:

    "I applaud Trump’s swift and precise action…"
    No investigation, no proof, only the word of jihadist-linked organisations…hardly what you would call a neutral party.
    Assad may have done it, but before dumping over $100m of cruise missiles on top of another country, perhaps establishing the indisputable facts might help. This has not been done.
    WMD's anyone?

    • Stephan F says:

      @ John F

      A hat tip & and up-vote for you, that also goes for Gordon & Ken Overcast. Well said gentlemen.

  19. Mike says:

    The US did not want anything to do with WW II. FDR did. By blockading Japan's oil import route, he forced their action and that American bloodshed is on him. Germany's demise was already in the books when we entered the war. The Russians put more bodies in front of them than the German's had bullets, and Hitler was vastly overextended without regard to his generals warnings.

    The people in the middle east have been at war with themselves for thousands of years. It's their culture. If they wanted a different culture they would have on by now. We can't change it. This whole idea of regime toppling is an insider joke that is the deep state military industrial complex gone amuck that Eisenhower warned America about on his way out of office. Iraq, Egypt, and Libyan regime changes brought to you courtesy of W, Obama, Hilary; how has that worked out for us? And now we want to topple Assad. For what? Chemical warfare? Did he even do it? I don't know and neither does anyone reading this post. What I do know is one of our alphabet agencies has started more wars than all countries combined.

    Besides, we have our own war right here at home. The left is trying to topple OUR government. Something about sweeping your own doorstep first. Lets do that instead of the Syrian thing.

  20. Bill Thomas says:

    What I don't hear mentioned when referring to Syria is that there are two potential competing oil pipelines, one coming from Iran, which Russia supports, and the other coming from around Qatar, which the U.S. supports. Both have to run through Syria in order to reach the destination port facilities where it can be shipped to Europe. So again, it looks as if "Oil" is behind the conflict and most likely the primary reason why they want Assad removed, and why Russia will not abandon Syria.

    • wootendw says:

      "Both have to run through Syria in order to reach the destination port facilities…"

      Not necessarily. They could take a longer route through Iraq and pick up some more oil in Kirkuk. Pipelines do not require a lot of area. There are many routes they can take.

      • Bill Thomas says:

        Yes, but going through Iraq presents as many if not more potential problems as well. Being a much larger country, it would be very problematic to protect the pipeline from attacks.

  21. John says:

    I think the answer to your question of who deserves to be the chosen one is self evident, that is to say, the chosen one award goes to the one who is the most brutal and who most disgusts our moral standards.
    Here, it seems, Assad is the clear winner, having risen to the top position which, in my view, was previously held by Hitler who saw no evil in tossing zyklon B gas bombs into crowded showers, killing millions.
    However, Hitler's Germany killed millions and millions and not just Jews but Assad has killed nowhere near that many, and the citizen's he is killing are his own people, so what is the difference?
    I think it's that Assad is an easy target, 60 Tomahawks at a million each to take out 5 F-15's at 32 million each seems like a fair deal in Trump's mind.
    So, while we have to keep in mind the age old question of who will take care of us when tragedy of the Assad nature befalls us, we also have to recognize that in the end, after all is said and done, there is only one person who can help us avoid and or avenge tragedy and that is the same person who you see in the mirror.

  22. A Libertarian with the gumption to publicly say, "I don't know." Now that's refreshing.

  23. drbsci says:

    Hitler was fighting Stalin's even more murderous regime, so intervening to stop mass murder would have had us fight *both* of them. Assuming that the "old right" history books that opine that Roosevelt provoked the Japanese into bombing Pearl Harbor are correct, a possible U.S. strategy during WWII would have been setting up shop in Sweden to receive Holocaust refugees and ship them to the West. Let all the combatants know that whichever government interfered with our work would see us fight for their enemies. Then private citizens who wanted to ransom some victims could do so with U.S. military protection. Paying ransom to evil governments is distasteful, but millions of innocent lives could have been saved at a small fraction of what we spent on the war (supposedly about 4,000,000,000,000 2017 dollars).

  24. ◄Dave► says:

    Good article. Thoughtful commentary. Personally, I have outgrown 'us vs. them' to the point of eschewing the very concept of 'we.' I could care less how Progressive fools in Chicago, NYC, LA, et al, choose to govern themselves, or police the riotous gangs in their ghettos. Not my problem, or even any of my business. Why should I give a whit how Muslim barbarians choose to govern themselves, or police their rebellious Jihadists, in far off places like Syria? Not my problem, and damn sure none of my business. It is very disappointing that Trump fell for it. ◄Dave►

    • Bill Thomas says:

      I was a ardent supporter of Trump during the election campaign because the alternative seemed so much worse…..Clinton. However, I am forced to recognize that Trump may turn out to be just another Neo-Con Jewish Lobby controlled stooge.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      This is essentially what all the analysts, media whores and others omit in their discussion. All of us are aligned ideologically with certain people all over the world – phyles, as it were – and country lines mean nothing. I find MANY, MANY Americans DESPICABLE in their ideas, policies, etc., so my basic premise always boils down to the Commit No Aggression principle. Let others do as they see fit, and when their actions interfere with my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then I am morally entitled to defend myself. All this other bully intervention (and the U.S. is BY FAR, the world's biggest and most guilty participant in such), just begets more and more violence and leads to bad outcomes for all. We never learn, despite all the tragedy of the past 100+ years, when the State slaughtered 200 million worldwide. Trying to get the world to buy into "Let's all get along" ain't gonna happen. Be true to one's principles, be responsible, and allow others to make different decisions, regardless of how vehemently we may disagree with those decisions.

  25. Jay says:

    Robert, your assessment that Japan was ready to concede the war without the 2 bombs dropped is incorrect. Japan would have defended the homeland with millions of men in hand-to-hand combat. There were still 750,000 soldiers in China that they could have withdrawn to the homeland and over two million more on the home islands. Many thousands of Americans would have died in a invasion of Japan. The dropping of the two bombs forced Japan's hand to to surrender.

    With Assad and the other tyrants, they themselves should be targeted by the cruise missiles. Hitting airfields is futile. Everything can be replaced or repaired. You have to kill the head of the snake. The future snakes will understand that message…

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      There has long been a debate over this, and your belief could very well be correct. But there's no way to prove it one way or another.

  26. US government have had strong stomach and will for sure like it or not.

  27. Sam says:

    The China Russian complex will disrupt western governments for most of this century. Syria, Iran, Korea and all the other distractions are just additional levels of complexity. A nuclear strike simultaneously on both of them should be the only strategic consideration if any of the above should start an overt war.

  28. Kaizen says:

    Very interesting piece Robert but here's the thing. There was no dilemma for the Trump administration. Syria could have been any one of fifty or more atrociously barbaric countries run by regimes that have no place in what should be a civilized world. The difference here…………….Russian involvement. The President's power play was as much about giving Russia a "clip round the ear" as it was about trying to weaken the Syrian air strike force.

  29. GaMbaJd says:

    A more accurate title for this article would have been "The Genocide DEMENTIA" as it is just one more article regarding the Political Correctness DEMENTIA what is leading to the "genocide" of Western Civilization.

    He take several paragraph to present a factual logic, rational and discussion of the issue at hand leading proving beyond a shadow of doubt that “the harsh answer is that we should intervene only where American interests are at stake, but it takes a pretty strong stomach to accept that as a guideline.” He even restates the fact (“ As I said”) that “life is not perfect; life is brutal.”

    Then in an act of pure insanity, the says “I don’t have the answer to Syria,” after just presenting it.
    One possibility that he is suffering from Alzheimer's induced dementia. But I doubt it. The irrational statements he makes in the article are proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he is suffering from the form of dementia knows as Political Correctness created by the Jews after WWII by using the Christian concept of empathy against them, thus creating the PC concept of “victimization” which requires the rejection of logic and reason since those are associated with the concepts of evolution by Survival of the Fittest, commonly known as Darwinism.

    The results of this form of insanity permeate virtually ever aspect of our society.

    For example, the authors asks “ Could any civilized person have lived with the knowledge that the Holocaust (involving the Jews) was continuing unchallenged?” even though he later admits that is an irrational (obviously from a mind suffering from dementia) by pointing out the “long line of homicidal maniacs just since WWII [meaning since
    “the” Holocaust affecting the Jews] : Stalin, Mao, the Castro brothers and Che Guevara, Ida Amin, Saddam, Pol Pot, and on and on the list goes. Think of the slaughters in places like Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda, and many other countries in Africa that most people have never even heard of and could not even find on a map.

    Then again, perhaps he has a point. Perhaps no “civilization person” [interesting enough, a characterization based on racism – assuming that the societies in those countries are “nu-civilized” or inferior ] can live with the truth so civilization is committing committing suicide by political correctness. This would explain why we have turned away from the concept of promoting success to the PC religion of worshiping the inferior, thus for example paying welfare recipients to reproduce and importing “refugees” from Muslim wars and insisting western society is evil for not praising the society that created those wars.

  30. David says:

    Probably not *

  31. jim says:

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    -Albert Einsten

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