John Stossel on Attacking Syria

John Stossel, “Road to Damascus” (from Rare):

Some things you just have to do in spite of great uncertainty.
Launching missiles at Syria isn’t one of them.
Many pundits talk about going to war as if all we have to do is make up our minds about what “ought” to happen — who the bad guys are — and the rest is just details.  If we decide we must punish a tyrant, let the military worry about how to get it done.
We ought to worry more about details.
Everyone agrees there are huge “known unknowns” in Syria — we barely know the composition of the rebel movement we’re supposed to aid — but we should be more concerned about “unknown unknowns,” to borrow former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s phrase.
Remember the confidence with which he and other Bush administration officials described their plans to remake Iraq?  Dick Cheney said, “We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”  The Wall Street Journal beat the drums for war for a year.  I read that Iraq was full of repressed democratic activists just waiting for Saddam to be overthrown.
Pundits also argued that once the authoritarian ruler was gone, Iraq would blossom into a showcase of peace and democracy that would inspire transformation throughout the region. I wanted to believe it.  Once they had a choice, why wouldn’t they pursue our way of life?  It’s clearly better!  […]
I’m glad Saddam is gone, and Iraqis are better off. But the masses yearning to breathe free turned out to include more troublemakers than we expected.
I don’t trust John Kerry, but I’ll accept his claim that Syria’s leaders probably used chemical weapons to kill 1,400 people. Horrible.
But are we going to enforce a “red line” to tell dictators that if they murder their people, they better use conventional weapons?  […]
I hate Assad.  I hate what’s happened in Syria.  I also hate what happened in Rwanda and Darfur and what still happens in Somalia, China, Russia, Zimbabwe and so on.  But there’s just not much we can do about it without making new enemies and exacerbating America’s coming bankruptcy.  America cannot police the world and shouldn’t try.

Go, Florida

A View from the Right, “Go, Florida!: A Case Study in Successful, Conservative, Pro-growth Policies”:

[Gov. Rick Scott said] I took office with a projected $3.6 billion budget gap.  As we made the hard decisions to live within our means during my first year in office, there was plenty of criticism to go around. We streamlined services and targeted reforms to help businesses compete.  But, we heard from the critics when we turned down stimulus funds and balanced the budget.  They said, federal money was “free.”  I was told to grab all the free federal money I could.  […]
If we believe in common sense, conservative solutions, we must be willing to face the critics and get in the arena and fight.  I have now been in office for more than two years and we are beginning to see the results of conservative, pro-growth solutions in Florida:
• We have turned around a four-year record of 800,000 lost jobs before I took office, and the private sector in Florida has now created nearly 370,000 jobs over the last 2 1/2 years.
• Our unemployment rate has dropped below the national average, and Florida’s rate has had the second biggest improvement in the country.
• We have paid off $3.5 billion in state debt.
• We have downsized our state government workforce to the lowest level in the history of Florida.  Why?  Because the private sector is the engine to job creation -– not government.
• We have eliminated more than 2,600 state regulations on job creators.
• We paid back $3.5 billion in federal loans for re-employment assistance.
• And, we did all this while also cutting taxes five times in three years, including:  The elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment to help jump-start manufacturing investment.  Continuing to roll back the business tax, so that today around 70 percent of our businesses no longer pay it.  And, we cut property taxes for homeowners and businesses.
I hope the critics -– and the tax and spend liberals who think you have to grow government to grow the economy -– are paying attention to what happened next…
• After right-sizing government and cutting taxes, this year, we had our first budget surplus in six years.  But, it gets better. […]
Conservative, pro-growth policies are clearly working in Florida.  And, more revenue into the state means we must return more tax dollars to the hardworking people of Florida.  After all, it’s your money.
That’s why I am excited to announce today that I will fight to cut taxes and fees for Florida families by half a billion dollars in our next proposed budget.  It’s your money, not the government’s.