Senator John McCain slipping into Syria and meeting with rebel leaders. While many will applaud the Senator for his wisdom and bravery, I'm feeling more like his actions are foolish and ultimately detrimental to the United States. The Middle East and Europe are nations of eternal war. One war's rebels are the next war's dictators. America seems to have forgotten we supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, only to turn around and fight Iraq in Gulf Wars I and II as Saddam used against us the very weapons we gave him to fight Iran. The same thing can happen if we militarily support the rebels of Syria.
What should be the U.S.'s position regarding Civil War in Syria? Neutrality. Someone might object, "But the United States must choose sides to protect our interests in the Middle East!" What interests? Thomas Paine once said, "Not a place on earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them." George Washington echoed Paine's sentiments when he said two decades later, "The great rule of conduct for the United States in regard to foreign nations as we extend our commercial relations is to have with them as little political connection as possible."
I just finished reading the little book Target Switzerland. It was a fascinating read and the author brilliantly explains how this little country could remain neutral during two World Wars, particularly when Switzerland sat in the middle of the land being fought over. Why did not Adolph Hitler invade Switzerland like he did every other European country? Because...
(1). Every man in Switzerland from the age of 20 to 55 is a member of the Swiss militia and was trained, equipped and ready at all times to fight a guerilla war against any invading force.
(2). Marksmanship is the national sport in Switzerland, and every male is required to be a marksman and trained with his gun to shoot well, so that during World War II there were nearly one million trained snipers ready to fight any invading force.
(3). According to Target Switzerland, Adolph Hitler knew that to invade Switzerland would mean certain death to his officers because the Swiss militia were trained in their guerilla warfare tactics to target colonels and above. To defeat a nation of one million snipers would require a commitment of 6 million troops, for the ration of conventional soldiers needed to defeat guerilla militia is 6 to 1.
(4). In short, Switzerland has historically maintained neutrality by focusing on the defense of the homeland instead of the invasion and occupation of foreign lands.
The United States government would do well to imitate the Swiss.
Our Founding Fathers studied Switzerland in the formulation of our national documents. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Our Founding Fathers believed a well regulated militia was NECESSARY for national security. Yet, in these turbulent days we have the leader of one political party (President Obama) seeking to remove guns from the possession of United States citizens, and the leader of another political party (Senator McCain) visiting foreign lands to see how we can supply guns and ammunition to rebels of a foreign civil war. The problem in our nation is the loss of our founding principles. This problem permeates both political parties. Maybe it is time for us to return to the principles with which we began our nation and emulate the Swiss in both their neutrality and their emphasis on a well regulated militia.