These are very difficult times for me, when the nation I love is about to unilaterally bomb yet another sovereign nation, and most of my friends are acting like everything is perfectly normal. “Well, we have to do something!” Yes but does it have to be violent, and do we have to do it alone or with some pathetic trickle of a coalition? My friends return a blank stare.

If an individual acted like our nation does, he or she would be committed. If an individual appointed himself as sheriff of the neighborhood and burned down the houses of people he considered bad, none of us would like him. If he was asked what made his victims bad, and he responded without irony that they were violent and did not obey the law, it would not be evidence of his superiority but further proof of his insanity.

If you make a list of the nations we have “helped” in the last fifty years and ask how they are doing today, it would not be pretty. After fifty years of covert and overt interventions Iraq, Libya and Egypt are in chaos. Central America is still bleeding from our “help.” The nations doing well in South America are usually those who avoided falling under our wing. And yet, Americans return to the narrative of our own saintly superiority like a lunatic to an imaginary crown.

I am all in favor of international efforts to bring about regime change in Syria, but right now that nation is locked in a bloody civil war. Perhaps I am cynical but it appears our strategy is to keep the two sides balanced so the nation bleeds out and doesn’t cause problems elsewhere. That strategy will not save lives. Our president made a foolish statement about Syria crossing a “red line” if it used chemical weapons, and now if he does not act the US will lose credibility. Perhaps, but then let’s be honest that our concern is not about saving lives, but saving face.

Most of the world is saying we are wrong, which we hear as proof of their cowardice. When the whole world says you are wrong, sane people question themselves, crazy people double down on their insanity. I dearly love my nation, but at times like this, when we put on our tinfoil hat and take aim at yet another “monster,” with weapons the like of which the world has never seen, I have trouble breathing.