In the 1930s, a couple thousand Leftists in the United States traveled to Spain and fought alongside the communists against the nationalists in that country’s civil war. Appropriately enough, they fought under the name Abraham Lincoln Brigade. These Left-wing ideologues were on the losing side of that war but at least they fought on their own dime, at no expense to the US tax payer. The US government wisely avoided taking sides in that foreign conflict.
US Senator John McCain and fellow hawks in Congress (supported by pro-war elements of the US media) daily agitate in favour of US intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Of course, if such a policy were to be approved, US military personnel would be put in harm’s way. Certainly there would be US casualties. US tax payers would have to pay for John McCain’s war – a war which a large majority of US citizens oppose entering.
There is another alternative to McCain’s plan and it was recently proposed by Doug Bandow in an article for The National Interest. Mr Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant in the Reagan Administration, argues convincingly that ‘We need a new Lincoln Brigade.’ Imagine John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman and their cheerleaders in the US media actually suiting up, buying a plane ticket to Syria, flying over there on their own dime and putting their principles into action. Since the conflict in Syria in no way endangers us here on the other side of the Atlantic why should we be sent to fight and die in it or be forced to pay for others to do so? The moral solution is precisely the one Mr Bandow suggests. I never thought I would ever endorse anything remotely Lincolnite but this alternative certainly makes sense. Let’s see how much McCain and company actually want intervention in Syria. Are they willing to put their own lives on the line there and fund such an intervention out of their own pockets?