My Grandmother and Thomas Jefferson would have been good friends. They would have agreed on the important stuff.
'Don't mix in' was my grandmother's favorite way of saying 'no entangling alliances.' Let them fight, argue, whatever. Not your business.
And 'no entangling alliances' was Thomas Jefferson's way of saying 'don't mix in.' Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all.
But then what do we do when governments in Syria and Egypt and Libya and who knows where next 'massacre their own people?' How can we just stand by and watch?
Well, the fact is that there is no country, NO country, in the world whose government will tolerate an armed insurrection, whether justified or not. Take up arms against the government and you've got a pretty good chance of getting yourself shot.
Think it only happens in 'brutal dictatorships?' that it couldn't happen in a democracy? Think again. How do you spell 'Fort Sumter?'
And the South didn't even want to take over. They just wanted to leave. "Slip out the back, Jack. Hop on the bus, Gus...."
Maybe the best and only presence we should have in places where we're not the ones being threatened should be a hospital ship stationed off the coast to help the wounded on both sides. Grandmothers and Founding Fathers know about these things.