Here’s how to deal with Syria

As Congress deliberates President Obama’s proposed military strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, I keep seeing the same counterarguments on Facebook and Twitter. It’s always something like, “Hey President Obama, let’s stop spending so much on foreign wars; let’s start spending more money at home, on infrastructure, on healthcare, on education.” And while I’m no hippie peacenik, I’ve got to admit, the school system here sucks.

syria conflict map

So let’s send them to Syria. Two birds, one stone. Right, I know, Obama’s only calling for limited military action, with both houses of Congress explicitly prohibiting American troops from engaging in the civil war. But come on, that’s how Dwight Eisenhower got the whole Vietnam War thing started: US military advice led to the draft led to that whole boring scene in Forrest Gump where he’s running through the jungle taking care of Lieutenant Dan.

I’m off topic. Send US students to Syria. After all, the real world is the best classroom. You can’t learn street smarts in school. These kids are going to get hands-on, real life experience, far superior than anything they might learn out of a dumb textbook recited from the podium by some overpaid union teacher. They’ll get to see another part of the world, maybe learn a different language.

The old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well what if it is broke? The liberals are always quick to point out the inefficiency of our school system, how we’re lagging behind almost every other developed country, with even some of the poorer ones starting to catch up. What’s the answer, to fix our broken school system? I don’t think so. It’s like when the engine finally went on my car, the mechanic was like, this would be crazy to fix. Just buy a new car.

So let’s buy a new education system. And when I say buy a new education system, I’m talking about enlisting our kids in the military and sending them over to Syria. I saw The Hurt Locker. I know what all of the adult soldiers are up to in their spare time, drinking, punching each other in the stomachs. If all of the soldiers were little kids, there wouldn’t be any down time. We could get all of that formal education reading-and-writing type stuff taken care of when they’re not out patrolling the streets.

But is it safe to have young students moonlighting as frontline infantry? I say, yes, because think about it, imagine you’re one of these Syrian soldiers, or you’re a Syrian sectarian, or a Syrian religious fundamentalist, or maybe you’re a rebel, but you’re taking heavy gunfire, and even though the US is on your side, you’re scared out of your mind, and so you lock and load, ready to pull the trigger on whatever crosses your line of sight. If that’s a regular soldier in the wrong place at the wrong time, well it’s not looking good for either party. But if it’s a little kid dressed up in an army uniform? I can’t think of anything more unexpected, giving everybody a moment of hesitation, just enough time for the Syrian to lower his weapon.

And that’s when we’d open fire, just when the enemy has his guard down, that’s how we’d take everybody by surprise. Kids are so good at video games. I used to love playing XBOX, I’d throw in Call of Duty and sit back to enjoy some online Team Deathmatch. But after a while I’d always give up, throw down my controller in defeat. Why? Because all of those kids were constantly pwning my ass. These little shits are natural killers. If there were just some way that we could program actual guns to operate like XBOX controllers, almost like Ender’s Game, I’m sure we could make the whole Syria thing a really limited engagement, five years, tops, just enough time for everybody to get in, get out, and get back home in time for senior prom.

Why not? We send all of these able bodied adults overseas, they come back home all messed up in the head, and after a few years we’ve got vets living in streets, broken men and women unable to piece their lives back together. I’ll be walking to work and I’ll see some disheveled middle-aged man wearing his army fatigues, begging for change. I feel bad for him, guilty even, I can see his embodiment of living despair, paid for by us as the cost for our freedom. But replace him with an eighteen-year-old kid, I wouldn’t have any guilt at all. I’d be like, come on dude, you’re young, get up off your ass and get back to work.

Let’s do it. Let’s fix the US education system while simultaneously fixing a two-year old sectarian civil war in Syria. If you think about it, the two problems are practically interchangeable. Here’s a sensible solution that deals with both problems without having to worry about diverting too much money to one resource in favor of another. Let’s send our kids to Syria.

Originally published on HonestBlue.com

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