Tags: us | military | action | syria

Rabbi Boteach: A 'Disgrace' US Hasn't Taken Military Action Against Syria

Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 05:48 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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It is "a disgrace" the United States has not taken military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons that killed more than 1,400 adults and children, says Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of the Jewish Values Network.

"Our patriotism is undermined when we watch children being gassed as the most powerful nation in the world and we can't even indict Assad as a war criminal," Boteach told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"It is a disgrace that the world's sole superpower has not intervened to do something, at least bomb the guy's palaces, force him to live as a rat under the ground where he belongs. He should be tried as a war criminal, he should face . . . the death penalty; he should certainly be removed."

But Boteach added that history shows other instances of the United States holding back on taking military action in the face of glaring evidence of wrongdoing.

"We always speak about the Holocaust — [President Franklin D.] Roosevelt didn't want to bomb the tracks to Auschwitz and no one gave a damn. How could we not give a damn when people die?" Boteach said.

"That's the moral question and it does affect our patriotism ... For me that makes it a national security issue because if you don't have Americans who love America, you have a country that begins to deteriorate."

That said, he does not believe that America needs to be the world's "global cop."

"I don't think that we can intercede and intervene in every single conflict. We don't have the treasure and we don't have the resources and it's not our responsibility," he said.

"But neither can we can walk away and say that we have no responsibility. There is a balance. The reason why I supported President Bush's invasion of Iraq was because Saddam was the biggest murderer in the world and you couldn't overlook a man who had slaughtered 1.3 million people and gassed children in '88."

He said the same is true of Assad now, and added that Pope Francis should be more active in supporting efforts to punish the Assad regime.

"Pope Francis seems to be a really good guy but he's always speaking about how let's pray and fast," Boteach said.

"Sometimes praying and fasting is not enough. You actually have to strike against the bad guys."

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