Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Sarah Palin's Comments About Syria Are So Wrong

I am really surprised that Sarah Palin's comments about Syria are getting such wide spread support. I find her comments incredibly ignorant, but apparently most conservatives don't. This is alarming to me.

Speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference Saturday, June 15, Palin made the following statement:
"Militarily, where is our commander in chief? We’re talking now more new interventions. I say, until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing, well, chief, in these radical Islamic countries who aren't even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, ‘Allah Akbar,’ I say until we have someone who knows what they’re doing, I say, let Allah sort it out.

First, the statement: "let Allah sort it out" is a variance of the end of the saying "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out". This is a cruel, heartless, ignorant thing to say in this case. 

The United States is not at war with nor have ever had any sort of confrontation with Syria. 

Syria has been under a dictatorship for well over 40 years. It is also never been known as a "radical Islamic country". Its people have rebelled against the Assad regime and want democracy. The result of this rebellion, after almost 3 years has resulted in almost 100,000 deaths, many of them civilians.

Palin was making a case that the US should not intervene until we have a Commander in Chief who "knows what he's doing." 

I have no quarrel with that sentiment, but to dismiss an entire nation of people as "radical Islamists" when that is not nor ever was the case with Syria, is irresponsible and ignorant. Syrian rebels aren't going around murdering innocent civilians either as Palin implies. The Assad regime is responsible for those atrocities.

It's the Assad regime's military versus the rebels and the citizens.

Palin, a former Vice Presidential candidate who has now returned to Fox News has a high profile and makes no bones about it. 

Let's look at her words in a different light:

Suppose some high profile Middle Easterner said "Let Jesus sort them out" if we were going through a similar situation, how would that play?

I took to Twitter about this the other day and commented to a well respected talk show host that I follow and said that Palin's comments were ignorant and out of line. He and I went back and forth a little as I expected. He was curious as to why I felt Palin's comments were out of line. In the course of the discussion, I was accused by others of being a leftist which is laughable to anyone who reads this blog. I'm pretty far from a leftist. But I'm not opposed to pointing out ignorant comments be either side. (See Ann Coulter)

You can make an argument either way about US intervention. That's not my issue.
As I mentioned in the Ann Coulter article, we don't need rock flinging "firebrands" who are doing nothing but polarizing this nation. 

And that goes for both sides.

A prime example of someone who adds nothing to political discourse on the other side is Bill Maher. But Maher is a so-called comedian and his entire existence is to smarm on about issues and throw gas on fires. That's his act. If you think Bill Maher is a wit, then you need help. 

That said, Maher's remarks about Palin's son were also cruel and ignorant. Here's a piece written by Ron Futrell who caught Maher's act when he made the comment. Futrell, like Palin has a special needs child and (rightfully) took offense to Maher's idiotic use of the word "retard" to describe Palin's son Trig.
Both Palin and Futrell had every right to call out Maher (and Palin certainly did). 

But the same people who are cheering on Palin for going after Maher are cheering her on for dismissing the slaughter or tens of thousands of innocents whose only apparent offense to her is being Middle Eastern.

You can make your case why you do or do not think America should intervene in Syria, that's a reasonable discussion that like most is complicated and must be thought out an planned carefully.

In making her case, Palin went for the cheap sound bite. Simply put Palin should have chosen her words more carefully.

Here's someone who has a different perspective, Condaleeza Rice:

Whether you agree with Ms. Rice's assertion or not, her way of expressing herself is respectful, thoughtful and intelligent. Palin by contrast chooses to go the yahoo route which is my problem with her.

The parochial attitude she poses is pathetic. We're not rooting for some team here.

Whether the US should intervene or not in foreign affairs is an age old argument and certainly is not one that has a plain and simple answer. The famous pioneer aviator, Charles Lindbergh was an ardent supporter of the America First Committee leading up to World War II.

Interestingly enough, the committee disbanded and reversed its stance when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The point being, Sarah Palin put herself in the same mud pit that Bill Maher wallows in by making that ignorant statement. If you are a humanitarian and have an ounce of compassion in your body, you cannot dismiss the murder of innocent people by saying "let Allah sort them out" or any god for that matter. 

It's that sentiment that gets bad play over there just like those who burn the American flag in the streets plays over here.

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