Are America’s Wars Just and Moral?

By Pat Buchanan

Are America's Wars Just and Moral?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(  “One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies,” writes columnist David Ignatius.

Given that Syria's prewar population was not 10 percent of ours, this is the equivalent of a million dead and wounded Americans. What justifies America's participation in this slaughter?

Columnist Eric Margolis summarizes the successes of the six-year civil war to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

“The result of the western-engendered carnage in Syria was horrendous: at least 475,000 dead, 5 million Syrian refugees driven into exile in neighboring states (Turkey alone hosts three million), and another 6 million internally displaced. … 11 million Syrians … driven from their homes into wretched living conditions and near famine.

“Two of Syria's greatest and oldest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, have been pounded into ruins. Jihadist massacres and Russian and American air strikes have ravaged once beautiful, relatively prosperous Syria. Its ancient Christian peoples are fleeing for their lives before US and Saudi takfiri religious fanatics.”

Realizing the futility of U.S. policy, President Trump is cutting aid to the rebels. And the War Party is beside itself. Says The Wall Street Journal:

“The only way to reach an acceptable diplomatic solution is if Iran and Russia feel they are paying too high a price for their Syria sojourn. This means more support for Mr. Assad's enemies, not cutting them off without notice. And it means building up a Middle East coalition willing to fight Islamic State and resist Iran. The U.S. should also consider enforcing ‘safe zones' in Syria for anti-Assad forces.”

Yet, fighting ISIS and al-Qaida in Syria, while bleeding the Assad-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah victors, is a formula for endless war and unending terrors visited upon the Syrian people.

What injury did the Assad regime, in power for half a century and having never attacked us, inflict to justify what we have helped to do to that country?

Is this war moral by our own standards?

We overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Moammar Gadhafi in 2012. Yet, the fighting, killing and dying in both countries have not ceased. Estimates of the Iraq civilian and military dead run into the hundreds of thousands.

Still, the worst humanitarian disaster may be unfolding in Yemen.

After the Houthis overthrew the Saudi-backed regime and took over the country, the Saudis in 2015 persuaded the United States to support its air strikes, invasion and blockade.

Assad Syria
Assad Syria

By January 2016, the U.N. estimated a Yemeni civilian death toll of 10,000, with 40,000 wounded. However, the blockade of Yemen, which imports 90 percent of its food, has caused a crisis of malnutrition and impending famine that threatens millions of the poorest people in the Arab world with starvation.

No matter how objectionable we found these dictators, what vital interests of ours were so imperiled by the continued rule of Saddam, Assad, Gadhafi and the Houthis that they would justify what we have done to the peoples of those countries?

“They make a desert and call it peace,” Calgacus said of the Romans he fought in the first century. Will that be our epitaph?

Among the principles for a just war, it must be waged as a last resort, to address a wrong suffered, and by a legitimate authority. Deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

The wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen were never authorized by Congress. The civilian dead, wounded and uprooted in Syria, and the malnourished millions in Yemen, represent a moral cost that seems far beyond any proportional moral gain from those conflicts.

In which of the countries we have attacked or invaded in this century — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen — are the people better off than they were before we came?

And we wonder why they hate us.

“Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return,” wrote W. H. Auden in “September 1, 1939.” As the peoples of Syria and the other broken and bleeding countries of the Middle East flee to Europe and America, will not some come with revenge on their minds and hatred in their hearts?

Meanwhile, as the Americans bomb across the Middle East, China rises. She began the century with a GDP smaller than Italy's and now has an economy that rivals our own.

She has become the world's first manufacturing power, laid claim to the islands of the East and South China seas, and told America to keep her warships out of the Taiwan Strait.

Xi Jinping has launched a “One Belt, One Road” policy to finance trade ports and depots alongside the military and naval bases being established in Central and South Asia.

Meanwhile, the Americans, $20 trillion in debt, running $800 billion trade deficits, unable to fix their health care system, reform their tax code, or fund an infrastructure program, prepare to fight new Middle East war.

Whom the Gods would destroy…


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 14 thoughts on “Are America’s Wars Just and Moral?

    1. The real primary decider re war should be what is its impact on USA. Same as Morality has nothing to do with it. Our population at the time of our civil war was roughly the same as Syria now. Lincoln approach to war makes Assaid almost look like a saint. Lincoln’s war cost over 600,000 lives. He drafted new immigrants to fight his war and burned cities and destroyed livestock and crops in the fields to starve the civilian population in rebellious areas. All was done in our and Syrian civil wars to preserve territorial integrity, maintain power and protect financial interest. We built monuments to honor Lincoln so certainly morality has little to do with it then or now.

    2. We, the 321 million fools, allow ourselves to be governed, controlled, manipulated and fleeced by 535 seemingly untouchable oligarchs, who make sure they and theirs get everything they want by keeping the pain just tolerable enough for us.

    3. Mr. Buchanan has conveniently omitted a piece of history and ongoing actions. He asked what Syria has done to justify our involvement. I remember that country, along with Iran, supporting Hezbollah during their takeover of the country of Lebanon to the detriment of the non Shia Muslims, Christians, and other religions in that country. This allowed Hezbollah a base from which to attack Israel several times over several decades. Does anyone remember the bombing in Beirut that killed all those Marines? This is one of the benefits to being older and having a good memory; it is harder for people to pull the wool over your eyes. Given all that, Obama was wrong to support the attempted overthrow of the Assad regime.

      1. @Roy D., Sadly, there are too many who do not understand the philosophical and religious difference between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. During the late 1950’s, corporate leadership sagely advised our government to keep our noses out of Middles Eastern Countries’ wars and flare ups. Their view was that as long as they were busy killing each other, then they could continue to explore and pump oil. The one thing that all Muslims do agree on though, is their mutual hatred for Israel. However, as long as our so-called allies were Sunni, then most of the religions within their borders were protected and safe. Once the Sunnis were toppled and the governments were led by Shiites, that is when all of the purges and ethnic cleansing began. Another topic to understand that our nation does not get, is that radical Islam declared war on the West in the late 1950’s, especially so against Israel and the U.S.

        1. @DB Even the Shiites and Sunnis do not understand the philosophical and religious differences between the Shiites and Sunnis. All that they know is that it is their moslem duty to take over the world, and that other form of moslem is in the way. Therefore it is their sworn duty to kill those other apostates before taking over the world. This has kept them, both, in check for fourteen centuries.
          Seems to me that the answer is buy their oil until it is gone. Sell them small arms until they are broke.

        1. Herman, We are supportive of Gods chosen people. How can that be to our detriment? If you dont believe in God then Thats why you dont understand. If you do read his word and wisdom will start for you.

          1. @ Chuckbone56 – brother, faith require belief in that which is unseen. Perhaps Herman isn’t a believer as we are. At any rate, it becomes his problem when he has to stand before the Eternal Judge and account for how he lived his life. If he hates the Children of Israel, the he is condemning himself. You have done your Christian duty to admonish iniquity – God’s blessings be upon you.

    4. We need to stay the #ell out of other countries affairs .
      Till it effects us , We are not the world morality cops!
      Everyone spews about diversity , Other countries live ,
      way different than us, Leave them alone that’s their
      Diversity. To be the way they want to be ! They can ,
      stay in their own country if they don’t like the way we
      live ! USA. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT ! We won’t force you
      to stay ! If you stay , Be American, Speak American, Live
      like an American. Want to blow $hit up ? GO Back Home !

    5. Assad and Egypt are two sterling examples of Obama’s stupidity and foreign policy blunders of catastrophic proportions. Also the pulling of troops out of Iraq the way he did left a vacuum which was filled by ISIS. Obama should be sitting in prison right now as a convicted traitor. POS!

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