Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Uncle Sam Is Not Your Janitor

America may be on the verge of yet another war - something the American people don't want - but you wouldn't know it if you checked the U.S. news media. Monitoring America's major legitimate news sources, only a few are even talking about that uneasy feeling we're having about Syria, that the ghosts of pre-war eras of the past are walking among us again.

The stories our colleagues are covering do include some important topics, like the announcement by NBA player Jason Collins that he's gay - the first out and active player in the NBA, or any major professional men's sport in the U.S. That's a topic we'll likely revisit ourselves later this week.

The continued cowardly actions of Congress in dealing with the effects of sequestration also grabbed some of the headlines, as did the Elizabeth Colbert-Busch smackdown of Mark Sanford at the debate in South Carolina, and the story of Justice Sandra Day O'Conner finally admitting the Supreme Court's 2000 Bush v. Gore decision seriously harmed the legitimacy of the Court.

Still, of all the major U.S. newspapers and other legitimate news organizations, not a single one over the last ten hours prominently featured the fact that the world once again appears to be waiting on the U.S. to clean up the ongoing mess in Syria.

That wasn't the case last weekend, when some of the same Republicans who got us into the mess in Iraq were again banging the war drums on the Sunday shows.

On Fox, several guests made it clear how they think America needs to get involved in Syria militarily. Loyal conservative Bill Kristol even called President Obama 'irresponsible' for not wanting to rush into war. Republican Rep. Mike Rogers insisted on ABC that some action be taken by the U.S. to help cleanup the situation in Syria. Sen. John McCain tried to have it both ways, saying that putting U.S. troops in Syria would be the "worst thing the United States could do," but also insisting that Syrians would "take revenge" on America if we didn't invade.

Meanwhile, the Syrian elite remain mostly unaffected by the civil war raging in their own country. All this while the leader of last nation we've been trying to help for over a decade - Afghanistan - admitted the U.S. has been wasting millions trying and failing to bribe their way to peace in his country.

We're aware of America's place as a world leader, but as we've pointed out previously, more than once, America can no longer be counted upon to be the world's sole policeman. What's more, America has already been supporting the rebels in Syria for some time - just without putting U.S. soldiers on the ground there, in harm's way.

The rest of the world needs to learn that they cannot scream at America to clean up every mess around the world - and then scream at America when and if we do intervene to try and clean up the mess in question.

There are many nations that are competent and have more of a stake in conflicts going on near them. Israel, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt all have far more to lose if Syria remains a war-torn nation for years. What's more, some of those nations could earn international praise if they successfully attempt to help Syrians clean up the mess the Assad regime has left there.

The days of America as getting dirty up to our proverbial elbows as worldwide political janitor and supercop are ending. We'll still help, sure.

But it's time everyone else learned to grab a political mop and bucket, and do a bit more political cleanup themselves.