Who Do You Support When Both Sides Are Bad?

By Grant Davies

Imagine for a moment that there is a gang war going on between two crime families of modern day organized crime. They keep killing each other with drive-by shootings, executions, bombings and the like. In one of the attacks, innocent women and children are killed. The whole family and some of the neighbors of one of the thugs are killed in a particularly heinous manner to send a message to the other family and terrify them.

A high law enforcement official says "enough is enough" and vows to intervene. He decides to enter the conflict on the side of the crime family who has suffered the death of the family. Now imagine that the high law enforcement official is not from the US, but instead from another country with a large police force. That police force has the power to intervene and claims it's a moral imperative that they do so.

Both sides are enemies of the police force in question. And both are equally evil and violent. Hardly anyone in the country (or the world) except the members of the police board agree with the intervention. The high law enforcement official (who has argued against such intervention in the past) vows to intervene anyway.

The imaginative story above is not a perfect analogy. There are no perfect analogies. I designed it to get people thinking about our current situation with Syria.

Whatever you think of Glenn Beck, the video below will inform you of one thing; both sides are bad in this conflict. The presentation of the video is flawed in many ways and it's obviously designed to get you to agree with Beck's conclusion on the issue. There are legitimate questions which could be asked about the video itself. I bet you can think of some without my help.

The fact remains that both sides in this civil war are bad actors and that outside of the legitimate revulsion every decent person feels when confronted by the events in Syria, there is no imminent threat to America by those events.

On the other hand, contemplating the horrible specter of the unforeseeable consequences of intervention there is frightening to thinking people who do not support nor oppose the war for reasons of political affiliation.

WW III is a bugaboo that is overused sometimes, but I think it is a possibility because so many of these wars spin out of control. There are too many "what ifs?" and "what thens?" that follow these adventures. WWI was a good example.

What do you think? Feel free to tell others in the comment section below or just contemplate it in the privacy of your own conscience.

Disclaimer: the video is hideous and revolting. You have been warned. Those with a weak stomach are advised to take a pass on it.

Hat tip to contributor J Vanberger for submitting the video.

Cross posted to Whatwethinkandwhy.blogspot.com


  1. Who do you support when both sides are bad?
    A- Neither.

    That's precisely why I haven't voted for R's or D's in 20 years. A vote for the lesser evil is still evil.

    Vote well or not at all. Libertarian.

    1. In any environment where the Libertarian vote gets one or two percent, such a vote, however, does not gain Libertarians any power. At best it becomes a vote for the status-quo, at worst (in a situation where there is a hardcore progressive/statist) it ends up helping the hardcore progressive/statist.

    2. Is there a suggestion in the comment?

    3. No, just a caution, and reminder that throwing your vote away on someone that has 0% chance of winning might have even worse negative consequences than a tossed-away vote.

    4. I could make the same caution. Voting for the least worst party and candidate perhaps has led us to where we are. I don't normally vote for anyone that I think will take the country in the wrong direction.

      I'd be happy to hear any suggestion. Without a suggestion the caution rings empty to me.

  2. Who do you support when both sides are bad?
    A - Alternate support between players to prevent regional hegemony by either side because that is in our national interest.

    Assad and Egyptian generals are crushing the momentum of the Muslim Brotherhood right now, and that was the bigger threat, for the time being. When Iran and Shiite allies (like Assad and Hezbollah) become a bigger threat, we may have to adjust policy. As long as both sides are murderous, and we lack the resources and will to impose a military solution, the best solution is to keep them killing each other, so they don't kill us. BTW, I am not in favor of imposing a military solution, we learned from Iraq, how fraught with peril that approach is.

    We need grown ups in charge of foreign policy who think before opening their yaps and painting the U.S. into a corner. This all went south with Obama's typical moral posturing last October. Now the best outcome would be for Congress to vote no so that we can do a reset on this stupidity.

    1. I'm not sure what kind of alternating support is being advocated.

  3. I always think of the Battle of Stalingrad. Both sides bad...


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