What would happen if China or Korea or Russia or Mexico sent drones in to drop bombs on Chicago?
Imagine for a moment the scenario. Let’s say Mexico had the influence and power, the chutzpah and the arrogance, to argue that we were not policing our drug dealers or the terrorists who live within our American borders. “Look at how many people have been shot in Chicago alone,” Mexico’s President explains. “As of November 28, 2016, 3,992 victims have been shot.” Out of these 3,992 victims, 688 have been killed, which works out to one homicide every two hours. “The United States is failing to police its own borders,” explains the Mexican President. “Mexican nationals are being massacred because of American indifference to the mayhem happening on the streets of its cities. They are fueling the illegal drug industry, which is infiltrating our borders and destroying our people, damaging our economy, and threatening our security. We cannot delay any longer–we must act to protect our interests and our citizens.” Mexico must act to obtain peace, but at a cost.
Mexico sends in its drones. “We’re avoiding obvious civilian installations,” Mexico states, “But the enemy, with its violent drug pushers, are hiding behind schools; they’re holed up in hospitals, so it’s possible that some unfortunate civilian casualties will ensue. Of course, that’s the United States’ fault, not the fault of our military. After all, they are allowing their criminals to mix with their civilian population. We’re not targeting their civilians! We would never aim at innocent bystanders.” Naturally, thus, innocent American lives would be lost, but it wouldn’t be Mexico’s fault. After all, they’re not trying to kill innocent American lives! And hey, what about the children of the drug dealers, or the wives? They’re choosing to live with a violent criminal. They’re a part of the ring of drug violence. They chose this!
Mexico would become the worst enemy Americans had ever met.
Imagine what Chicago would look like after just a few days of drone hits. Blood would run in the streets. We’d see it all on our social media feeds. We’d watch the nightly news in shock, aghast at the destruction we were witnessing. Most Americans would rise up in shock and dismay, in anger and outrage, and would call for massive retaliation. Indeed, the political in-fighting over the President-Elect would dissipate, replaced by jingoist calls for the infliction of revenge on our southern bullies. Politicians from both major political parties would call for protection of innocent America. Perhaps there would also arise a movement within Chicago itself to police itself. Indeed, the National Guard would be called in, and so would the Red Cross, and the U.N. would send in its peacekeepers.
Russia, France, Germany, and other countries would poke their noses in, offering a mix of assistance, advice, and unwanted criticism. After all, you brought this on yourselves, Russia would probably say. You allowed Chicago to rage on against itself; you and your guns and your drugs and your crime–you did this, America! Now sit back and allow us to root out the source of all this violence. Allow us to kill the killers–otherwise, we will support Mexican efforts to end your drug and gun scourge.
Meanwhile, what would self-appointed militiamen do? Millions of gun-toting Americans, after all, own guns under the aegis of the Second Amendment. Would they allow a foreign nation to attack our people without taking action? I think not. I think militias would gather, and loosely-organized battalions would walk to Chicago to protect it from foreign aggressors. And some of these militiamen would probably travel down to Mexico, and along the way, they would grab whatever Mexicans they could find. Hey, why not? Why allow these deplorable, illegal (or legal, doesn’t really matter, they’re still here and they’re bombing us) Mexicans to live off our land?
Or maybe the militiamen would start taking potshots at the U.N. peacekeepers, who would be doing the bidding of Russia. Violence would spiral out of control. Some Americans would blame the government; others would blame foreign governments; still others would call for the quashing of the self-appointed militiamen. We’d have, quite simply, civil war.
Does this make your blood boil? The mere thought of another country thinking it can police our own borders is antithetical to our nationhood, isn’t it? The sheer gall of those Mexicans is maddening and insane, right? As a country, we know our needs best. We can police our terrorists, our criminals, our people, better than any foreign nation could, and accepting for a moment that maybe we can’t root out every single criminal or terrorist doesn’t mean that we should cede control to another country. We have a right to our own sovereignty, after all. No one else can tell us how to run our country. Not even if our people are dying.
So you’re with me, I think. You get that Mexico absolutely cannot launch drone strikes on Chicago, not for any reason whatsoever. You see that it wouldn’t end well for anyone.
So what are we doing in Syria? How are we making the world safer for the people of Syria? How are we helping the souls who live in Syria pursue their own happiness? Is it right for us to value American interests above the lives of Syrians? Doesn’t that matter to us? Or do we (or our politicians by proxy of our vote) think that Syrian is less important than we are, that Syrian lives matter less than American lives?
If even one bomb dropped on American soil, we would lose our everlasting minds.
American bombs drop on Syria and civilians die, and it is happening with a shocking frequency. We turn our heads and allow the U.S. government to continue its terrifying campaign. But God help everyone if any nation dropped bombs on Chicago. We would not stand for it. But America is not only allowing bombs to slam into Syrian bodies–America is sending the bombs. Because America knows best, is protecting its interests, and is trying to stop the spread of terrorism–and unless a nation agrees to root out terrorism in exactly the way the United States proscribes, America will send its drone attacks.
Have we declared an actual war on Syria? No, we haven’t declared war on Syria. Apparently we don’t need to do that, even though Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requires the President to ask Congress to declare war before initiating non-emergency hostilities. American Executive power has spiraled out of control, so much so that most Americans as well as the vast majority of politicians agree that a President can wage hostilities without consulting with a democratically-elected Congress. In the case of Syria or other countries in the Middle East, we basically bomb them at the will of the President. The American Executive simply declares a “war on terror”, and now the United States is to fight it by any means necessary. If those necessary means include acts of state-sponsored terrorism, so be it.
As human beings, we should realize that our war on terror must not make us terrorists.
But it is.