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Where does this leave us?

Let God sort it out?

Why get involved with people who have no use for us?

Terrific questions, all.

Just don't look here for the answers.

But we can talk about it.

TomDGimp is right, of course. Why get involved.

Leave it to God? He's caused a lot trouble. Or maybe it would be better to describe it as people have caused a lot of trouble, justifying it by invoking his name.

When I analogized to the neighboring village or house being pillaged and burned, justifying help, I had a couple of things in mind.

One was FDR's justification for his Lend-Lease Program, sending ships, food, and guns to England when they were up against it, being blockaded and bombed by Hitler. We weren't in the war. We hadn't (yet) been attacked. The Isolationists opposed getting involved. Took comfort from the fact we were surrounded by two wide oceans and friendly neighbors.

What FDR told the country was that when your neighbor's house is on fire, you act. You bring over the garden hose and let him use it to put out the fire. He can return the hose when he's done.

This view prevailed and probably saved Britain.

The other thought I had was this. Yes, we are bombing Serbia for combating a breakaway province, and what right do we have to do that. After all, this is an internal matter, right?

We say, or used to much more, that what the neighbor does in his house is his business. However, we know that crimes are sometimes committed in the neighbor's house. Spousal violence, child molestation, leading to terrible consequences. We call the police. We override the reluctance to invade another's privacy for the greater good of keeping the peace and preserving life and limb. We feel this is right and proper.

So why shouldn't the same argument apply to international affairs?

Are we ready for this fairly big leap? Why wouldn't we be?

We've made other quantum leaps in the organization of society over the centuries.

Present-day France and Germany are composed of smaller ethnic groups that resolved into the nation-state of today. We accept this, even though not every constituent ethnic group gets to have its own nation and life in the sun. It seems to be the price of peace and internally it seems to work for the most part, not always. Ain't no universal categoricals around no mo.'

How would I feel had someone interceded and put a clamp on the U.S. when it was fighting the civil war, killing millions? That was then, this is now.

China, it was said on the tube last nite, doesn't like us getting involved in Kosovo because it's got breakaway territories of its own, such as Tibet and Taiwan. So this could get very dicey.

And I have no idea how it's apt to turn out. We (meaning NATO) may very well wind up sitting a long time on that lid.
I don't expect any of the combating parties to thank us for our effort. The grievances will be stored deep and long. And they'll break out again if given a chance. In the meantime, someone has to sit on the lid, for as long as it takes. It's the price of living in civilized society; you've got to give up something to get something and work the rest of it out. Otherwise your family and kids all die.


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