Paul's Passing Thoughts

Trump’s Syrian Policy Reflects Individualism Over Collectivism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 12, 2019

ppt-jpeg4I don’t think President Trump is a great communicator, though he is a great doer.  If you listened to his explanation for pulling out of Syria at the end of his Minnesota rally, you heard an emphasis on individual soldiers and their personal testimonies, but no clear explanation for pulling out of Syria other than, we must stop the “endless wars” policy. If you understand  that Trump is an individualism purest, you can read between the lines.

More than not, American war policy is about the individual’s sacrifice for the country. That’s not really the core of American ideology. America was founded on individual equality and a government for the people and by the people, but for the individual is implicit.

Though the question for Americans in regard to war is usually; “How many American lives would be lost and is the cause worth it?” an individualism purist like Trump is going to ask, “Is the cause worth one American life?”

Take Vietnam for example; the war wasn’t brought to a swift end because we were afraid of Russia. Obviously, if the United States had decided to invade North Vietnam to end the war, it would have been over in short order. Was our fear of Russia resulting in an anemic war plan worth 50,000 lives? Hardly. When Nixon decided to end the war, he did the next best thing that stopped short of forcing a standoff with Russia; he ordered a blockade of North Vietnam. He dropped sea mines in their harbors and bombed all of their railroads and the war was shortly ended thereafter. America won the war at that point. When Watergate happened, everyone knew the impeachment of Nixon would result in North Vietnam invading South Vietnam; no one cared. For the Democrats, getting Nixon out of office was worth more than the 50,000 lives spent in Vietnam.

This is just fact: American solders are expendable for American politics and political wars in general. How do we know? The cost of a war will be expressed in numbers of lives. Have you listened closely to the arguments against Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria? It goes something like this: “We are only there giving support for the Kurds and they have lost 11,000 troops while we have only lost a couple of hundred; we are getting a lot of bang for the buck!” Those who have American ideology backwards will always ask how many lives will be lost rather than the following: “Is the war worth one life being lost?” This question weighs the effect on a single family when they lose a young member who had a whole life to live. It reflects the proverb that says, “He who saves one life saves the world.” This is the true measure of life value.

Trump weighed everything going on in Syria including the lack of equal effort by those who have more to gain than us and decided to pull out. Besides, these are wars that Trump inherited and his approach to war is much different because it is based on individualism: he will go in with the full unhindered force of the American military, destroy the enemy, leave abruptly, and leave rebuilding to whom it may concern. Why?

Because the loss of one American soldier is one too many. When Harry Truman found out that an invasion of Japan would cost 700,000 allied and American lives, he decided to use the A-Bomb instead. Trump would use the A-Bomb to save one American life. He measures the cost by the effect on one family, not a hypothetical number of expendable lives.

That’s the difference between collectivism and individualism: one measures the value of life by numbers because it’s a collective mindset, while the other measures the value of life by one. It is the shepherd that leaves 99 sheep to find the single lost one.



2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. johnimmel said, on October 14, 2019 at 2:05 PM

    excellent analysis . . . except I think President Trump communicates pretty clear. He’s just blunt. Everyone looks for a subtext when the plain text is unmistakable.


  2. lydia00 said, on October 18, 2019 at 6:49 AM

    This is beautiful! I had never put war and collectivism in the same category but it’s true when we consider the reason for war/police action/etc. When we consider the reason, we must have an exit strategy which we haven’t for decades!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s