Why We Fight? To Make Assad Eat Cheerios with a Fork


USA Today has this unedifying tidbit in a story about the Obama administration’s war plan for Syria:

A second senior official, who has seen the most recent planning, offered this metaphor to describe such a strike: If Assad is eating Cheerios, we’re going to take away his spoon and give him a fork. Will that degrade his ability to eat Cheerios? Yes. Will it deter him? Maybe. But he’ll still be able to eat Cheerios.

As I pointed out earlier over at National Review,

In this age of drones, the American military has the ability to strike almost anywhere at any time. Often, we can do so with little or no physical risk to our own military personnel. This makes it all the easier to forget – and all the more important to remember – that the moral limits on our actions are there for reasons that greatly outweigh our physical safety. It would be a terrible thing to put our soldiers, sailors, and marines in harm’s way with no clear objective; it would be far worse to ask them to kill in an unjustified war, no matter how small.

Making Bashar al-Assad eat his Cheerios with a fork is simply not a good reason to kill people, not even wicked ones. (And that was before this led to this and this.)


The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

Stephen P. White is a fellow in the Catholic Studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His work focuses on the application of Catholic social teaching to a broad spectrum of contemporary political and cultural issues. Since 2005, Mr. White has been coordinator of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society: a three week seminar on Catholic social teaching, with an emphasis on the thought of Blessed John Paul II, which takes place every summer in Kraków, Poland. He studied politics at the University of Dallas and philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the St. Patrick's Evangelisation School in London, England.

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