Is it better to kill one bad person by assassination or to kill thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions to accomplish the same goal by the virtual annihilation of a country. America supposedly has high moral standards and does not allow the assassination of an evil or bad leader in another country. Yet it has no problem with finding or creating a just reason to invade a country. Over the years America has supported many leaders who in the long run turned out to be quite evil. Then because of a turn of circumstances has chosen to invade a country to correct a problem they created by meddling in other countries affairs in the first place. Just to name a few the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein and even Osama bin laden. America's meddling created the situations that allowed these leaders to rise to power.
If the people in the countries involved had been asked what should be done or how. Would they prefer we assassinate their leader, overthrow their country or just leave things alone. It is pretty reasonable to believe they would have said leave things alone. Especially since they were probably going to be the ones who suffered the misery and pain of decisions that involved aggression. It is the little guy on the street that is called on to pay the price of any choice. Even if the leader is assassinated they are the ones that have to live through the turmoil and upheaval caused by any form of aggression.
The war in Vietnam is a perfect example of the cost of incompetent decision making. Especially leadership that is moved by slogans and fear. "Better dead than Red" "If one country falls it will start a domino effect and many will fall." If the end result is all that counts or matters. America blew it in Vietnam. First let me say I am a Vietnam Vet 1967-68 and I would do it again, because at the time I felt I was doing the right thing and still do. However time has shown me that if America had done nothing to meddle in Vietnam's affairs the outcome would still have been the same with one exception. Millions of Vietnamese, almost sixty thousand American lives and hundreds of thousands of others who were maimed would not have died or been mutilated for the rest of their lives. Was the price worth the outcome. Everyone has to make their own judgment on that issue. What I find hard to take is that America still has not learned to weight the cost and consider the consequences before we get involved in foreign entanglements. The liberation of Kuwait was necessary and justifiable. The only thing we did wrong there was not finishing what we thought was a worthwhile undertaking. Years later that decision came back to haunt America. The decision to aid Afghanistan in throwing out the Russians was a worthwhile cause, but again we left a vacuum and did not follow up. Failure to follow up created the situation that grew into Osama bin laden. Years later we again paid for failure to weight the consequences of our actions. Was the invasion of Afghanistan necessary and justifiable, Yes. The problem and the failure was too not plan a course of action that would not entangle us in a ten year nightmare that it has become. Had America spent as much time and planning on getting even as the terrorists did in planning the 9/11 attack it would have been over long ago. We did not do that though. We did it the same way we did in Vietnam. We used the standard American tactic of "Swatting flies with Sledgehammers" which is the way America solves problems. We use money and power and very little common sense in dealing with our problems. Which is part of the reason America is in the financial crisis it finds itself in today.
There is no discourse or attempt to solve the problems facing America in a practical and sound way. The leadership just keeps changing hands and stumbling forward. America needs a third party that it guided by common sense, sound and thought out policies and long term direction when it comes to dealing with foreign affairs. How many Americans know that America helped Britain overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran and place the Shah in power because it was thought he would be more friendly to western goals in the Middle East. Considering it is not stressed or taught in most history classes and the fact that almost 75% of Americans were not even born sixty years ago when it happened. The answer to the question is very few. If you would like a short history of how all the events played out together I suggest reading my blog of 3/9/11. Hope this inspires some to at least voice their opinions against America invading Iran which the stage is being manipulated and set up for. America has a habit of making themselves or using their victim status to attack other countries. The Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, also the invasion of Afghanistan. In all the cases a reply was necessary and justified. It is the how that might have been changed of the actions that provoked the attacks in the first place. History is an interesting subject, but sometimes ignorance is bliss. Especially if you are a politician.