Update: The conclusion of this post is deliberately ambiguous. I wrote it that way to spark discussion. Thanks for keeping those discussions, both here and on Facebook, polite. I appreciate it.
Comments here, on social media, and in email, expressed disappointment that I didn’t offer a concrete opinion regarding US involvement in Syria. See the addendum at the end of the post.
Tongue firmly in cheek, I suggested on Facebook and Twitter the following:
You know what I'd like to see? A Constitutional Amendment that says before we can invade a country: 95% of both high school students and Congress have to be able to find said country on a blank map without help.
I posted it to social media on purpose, to spark conversation, to see how people honestly felt about involving themselves in yet another conflict, as research for this essay.
Sure, it’s a flippant comment, but think about it.
Ninety-five percent of all high school students, not to mention congress, would have to know the world so well that you could pick any random country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and they would be prepared to find it on a map. And not only find the target country in question, but describe its people, its demographics, its place in the world economy, its relationship to its neighbors, its politics, its geography, its general history, its various beefs with the rest of the world, and the particulars of whatever conflict is occurring there.
Imagine what that would take. No really think about what it would actually take to make that happen. No, no, not what it would take to ratify such an Amendment (since, well, yeah, obviously), but what it would take to implement it, to bring our population to that bare minimum level of knowledge.
Oh, sure, wish in one hand, spit in the other, right?
But you know, if we’re going to go to war, if we’re going to send our children to war, if we’re going to drive ourselves further into debt, if we’re going to have to suffer the consequences of our involvement in conflicts for decades to come, shouldn’t we at least know what we’re getting into?
I mean a significant fraction of Americans can’t find America on a map.
Doesn’t it seem reasonable that those who send our soldiers into battle – not to mention the soldiers themselves – at least know where they’re going? Who they’ll be killing? And why?
That doesn’t seem like too onerous of an educational burden to me.
Be nice if the rest of America knew too, wouldn’t it?
So, anyway, Syria.
Something has to be done about Syria.
We have to do something, we’re all agreed on that, right?
Sure we are.
There’s been a war going on in Syria for, what? A year? Two years? Ten years? Twenty? Something like that. It’s a civil war, right? Or is it an uprising? A rebellion maybe? The Indian Summer of the Arab Spring? Whatever you call it, it’s some kind of conflict. It’s difficult to keep up with these things. To be blunt, well, there’s always a war on somewhere, isn’t there? Afghanistan, Iraq, The Kurds, Rwanda, Serbia, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Sudan, Egypt, Mexico, Libya, Darfur, Somalia, Russia and Georgia, Yemen, it’s a constant stream of woe and misery and destruction and death in some distant land far, far away.
And now it’s Syria.
Every single day, the news – whatever channel you happen to be listening to, doesn’t really matter – kicks off with an update on Syria.
Syria, Syria, Syria.
For most of America, it’s an academic issue, just another brush-fire war in some place that has very little to do with us. We don’t sell anything to Syria. We don’t buy anything from Syria. We don’t visit Syria and they don’t visit us. Frankly, we don’t much like Syria, do we? They damned sure don’t like us.
We hear about Syria’s Ba’athist government – though few Americans could tell you what, exactly, the Ba’athists believe in and most of us don’t care enough to Google it. We hear that Bashar al-Assad, the dictator (or is it Prime Minister? King? President?), is an Alawite – though few Americans could tell you what that means. Alawite, some kind of Arab, right? Some kind of Muslim, the bad kind, I guess. We hear about the battle for Aleppo, though there are few, very few, Americans who have any idea where that town is or why anybody would fight and die for it. Heck, as long as we’re on the subject, there aren’t very many Americans who could name the capital city of Syria or describe in even the vaguest terms the historical significance of that ancient city.
We hear that al-Assad has committed atrocities, but most Americans can’t really describe what those are beyond the current go-to label “genocide.”
We hear that the rebels aren’t much better. But most Americans couldn’t describe who they are beyond the current go to label “al Qaida” or maybe Hezbollah – and few Americans could describe the current goals of either organization in more detail than “they hate America” and “they hate Israel” respectively.
And yet, people are dying in Syria.
They’ve been dying, for years. How many have died? I doubt very many Americans could hang a figure on it, a couple hundred? A few thousand? Ten thousand? Beats me. Besides, they’re just Muslims, right? They all hate us anyway.
It’s hasn’t really been our business, this war in Syria.
Oh, sure, it’s terrible – in a distant academic somebody should do something sort of way. But it’s not really our problem, is it?
But now, now, a line has been crossed.
We could mostly ignore the conflict, mostly, just so long as al-Assad stuck to killing his people with guns and bombs, that was okay. Well, maybe not okay okay, but at least we could ignore it, mostly. Shoot ‘em? Burn ‘em? Blow ‘em up? Beat ‘em to death? Blast? Shock? Torture? Starvation? Disease? Exposure? Sure, sure, we’re good with that. Well, not good good, but it’s not really our business. We don’t like it, but it’s not our problem. Makes good news reports though, so there’s that.
Callous? Hey, it’s a tough world. We’ve got our own problems over here in the First World.
And it’s not like we get oil from Syria. Right? Right.
But gas? Boy Howdy, we’re going to draw the line at poison gas.
Because, it’s not the killing, it’s the method.
That’s the real moral issue, isn’t it? The method.
Please spare me the hypocrisy.
More than a hundred thousand people have died in Syria over the last two years. Hundreds of thousands more are displaced, homeless, starving, raped, blinded, sickened, crippled, maimed, orphaned, widowed, and without hope. In that they’re little different from the millions of similar refugees elsewhere in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia, in India, in South America, in Mexico, in Indonesia, and right here in the hearts of our own cities – and you don’t have to look very hard to find them. The Syrians are just like all the other people who aren’t our problem.
But gas, that’s the red line.
For us, it’s not the killing, it’s the method. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
Gas, that’s what it takes to goad us into self-righteous action.
And there is little doubt that war gases have been used on civilian populations.
And, so, now it appears we must do something.
The question, of course, is what?
We could do nothing, that’s a popular option.
We could denounce the Syrian regime on the floor of the UN. Always an effective tactic. Then the UN could fight and argue and do nothing.
We could launch a few cruise missiles from Navy ships patrolling offshore, something I have a bit of experience with. And likely this is indeed what will happen. It’s a little better than nothing, honor is satisfied, no Americans get hurt, we blow up a “baby milk factory” or an “orphanage,” the Navy crew gets a ribbon, and America rolls over and goes back to watching the game.
But in reality, those missile strikes do nothing. Who do you aim them at? What are the targets? The country is blown to hell already, what exactly will a few more explosions do? The Assad government is against the wall, they win or they die. They’re not going into exile. They’re not going to share power, even if they had that option – which they don’t. They win. Or they die. That’s it. Why do you think Assad used gas in the first place? He wins, or he dies, what’s he got to lose?
Some people say it was the rebels who used chemical weapons?
It’s the same answer, they win or they die. They’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. We kill them. Assad kills them. The only way they live is they win. By whatever means.
At this point, it doesn’t really matter who unleashed the gas, does it?
Certainly not to the dead it doesn’t.
The country is already on fire, a few cruise missiles are going to do what, exactly?
American cruise missile strikes sure won’t keep anybody from killing anybody else – especially Assad, especially al-Qaida, especially Hezbollah. Honestly, haven’t you people been paying attention?
If that tactic actually worked, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we?
All lobbing missiles at Syria does is make us feel like we’re doing something.
So, what then? Harsh language? Send in the CIA and the drones?
Unless we’re actually willing to commit forces for real and in strength, unless we’re willing to kill a lot of people, there’s not a lot of options beyond harsh language.
If you’re going to start lobbing missiles into Syria with the expectation of actually accomplishing something, then you’re going to have to pick a side. You’re going to have to commit and you’re going to have to follow it up with enough sustained military force to end the conflict and impose a peace on our terms.
And really, good luck with that.
Good luck assembling that coalition of the willing. I was at the last party, I’m pretty sure we burned those bridges a couple years back.
Be that as it may, if you’re going to start lobbing missiles with the intention of actually doing something other than making yourself feel good, then you’ve only got two choices:
You can point your assault at Assad and go for a decapitating strike, wipe out the current Syrian regime and hand the country over to a dozen different mobs, many of whom are terrorist organizations.
Or you can point your strike at the rebels, and hand the country back to Assad.
Those are the options. Note that either way, you’re likely to kill a lot of civilians via collateral damage. A lot of civilians – especially if you start firing missiles into chemical weapons storage depots. You should prepare yourself for those TV images accordingly.
Pick Assad, we’d get Russian help and Vladimir Putin’s undying gratitude. That might come in handy one day. We could ask for Snowden back and maybe some discount coupons for rides to the space station.
Pick Hezbollah, and we could demand that the price of toppling Assad is peace with Israel (oh, ho, didn’t think of that, did you?).
Both options have unpleasant side effects. Lots.
Or we could stay out, but that too has unpleasant side effects.
The simple truth of the matter, the ugly brutal terrible truth of Syria, is that for us, there are no good options – certainly not if we go it alone.
Frida Ghitis, World Affairs columnist for the Miami Herald and the World Political Review, outlined five reasons in her article on CNN today to go into Syria: 1) Other Dictators are watching: if we don’t do something, other dictators will use chemical weapons on their own people. 2) There’ll be chemical weapons in the future: if we don’t do something now, not just dictators but everybody will think they’re ok. 3) The war is spreading: i.e. Shit just got real. 4) Inaction hands a victory to al-Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah: if we don’t do something, the terrorists will win (boy, that sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). 5) A new generation of haters: The victims of this attack will never give up, neither will their kids.
White House spokesman Jay Carney gave a different reason: Carney said the United States and one hundred and eighty-eight other nations are signatories to the United Nations convention on chemical weapons, which opposes the use of such weapons. Carney said that signatories to that treaty have a duty to ensure “international norms” are respected. International norms.
Peter Suderman, senior editor at Reason Magazine gives eight reasons not to get involved: 1) If the rebels win, it’s bad news for us. 2) If al-Assad wins, it’s bad news for us. 3) Limited actions likely won’t have any effect. 4) Limited actions tend not to stay limited. 5) There’s no endgame. 6) Obama’s “red line” has already been crossed. 7) It won’t be easy. 8) The majority of Americans oppose military involvement in Syria.
And, of course, Glenn Beck predicts the end of the world should we get involved in Syria – because, really, isn’t everything about the end of the world in Glenn Beck Land? It amuses me to see conservative pundits siding with Russia and China – and by implication, admitting finally that they fear both because, apparently, their great and glorious God who favors America above all other nations can’t protect us from either Moscow or Beijing. Refreshing, that candor. Apparently God is just fine with what’s happening in Syria, nothing to see here, move along, move along, or I’ll give you a good smiting.
Conspiracy website Infowars agrees with Beck that any strike on Syria will cause Iran to attack Israel in retaliation and thereby precipitate World War Three.
Rand Paul says, "The United States should never get involved where we have no clear national interest. We should not intervene militarily in a country like Syria, where we can’t separate friend from foe and might end up arming the very people who hate us the most." Then he called for a “national debate.” I don’t know that I necessarily disagree with Rand Paul, but it sounds to me like he’s already made up his mind, I’m not really sure what the debate is for – or how a national debate would be different from what we’re all doing right now. From what I can gather, what Paul really wants is to be the one who gets to decide, not President Obama – but then again, he’s hardly alone as on that one, is he?
Christopher Dickey makes a pretty good case for doing nothing in his article Let It Bleed over on the Daily Beast. Dickey says that no American action can resolve the Syrian conflict. That’s not entirely true, there are actions we can take, but they require a far, far greater commitment than a couple of cruise missiles. I figure about $1 to $2 trillion, ten years, and say 6,000 American lives – but hey, they’ll cheer us in the streets of Damascus.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to bomb Syria in 2007, but couldn’t convince George W. Bush. Today he’s not sure if we should get involved or not. Seems the only thing Dick’s sure of is that Obama is wrong, no matter what he does.
Yeah, but what about the average American? What do they have to say about Syria? As always, let’s look to the comments under some of the above linked articles:
When things go badly - Keep this in mind. It was Obama's idea, his stubboen egotistical mindset, his inexperience and his insatiable need for power that killed more of our sons & daughters. No other nation or government approached and sought America's intervention. It was Obama.
Probably a good thing we’ve already assigned blame. Proactive, not reactive, isn’t that what they teach in management school?
This is the third regime friendly to the U.S. after Lybia and Egypt that Obama has sought to topple. In each case Obama's actions have favored and supported known terrorists. 90% of Americans oppose this war yet Obama moves forward - What's that tell you?
It tells me somebody needs to let the nurse know it’s time to double up on the meds.
nice false flag operation. Poor Syrians. They're this generations Iraqis. Except their leader held the peace with Israel for 30 years... and we're taking sides with Al qaeda... makes zero sense. Someone at the helm here in the west is getting greedy..
I can’t imagine why this guy’s reasoning make’s zero sense.
It is foretold in the Bible that Damascus will be destroyed and no building left standing. About to become a reality it appears !!
The bible also said two of every kind of animal lived within walking distance of Noah’s house. I’m just saying, you might want consider the source before you start to panic.
For us to choose a side, in this Civil-war will set the wrong impression for Syria, and the world, that a country can over throw their government and get support form the International community....and that's a message we do not want to send to the world.
I, um, what now? Good thing the French didn’t buy into this idea, we’d still be speaking English, or, well, you know what I mean.
I could go on, there are literally millions of opinions for and against American involvement in Syria. Most from people who can’t even find the goddamned country on a map.
Some of those positions from the professional sources, for or against action, have at least some merit – well, maybe not Glenn Beck’s unless you stay awake for a week on speed washed down with cheap bourbon as a number of those commenters obviously did – but something’s missing.
Did you see it?
For or against, do you see the common thread?
National leaders, pundits, politicians, the media, when these people speak of action, or inaction, one thing is missing.
This red line is about methods, it’s about what other countries think of us, it’s about future wars, it’s about the price of oil, it’s about defending the Holy Land, it’s about the End Times and biblical prophecy, it’s about national interest, it’s about terrorism, it’s about regional stability, it’s about UN treaties, it’s about money and treasure, it’s about making Obama look good or about making him look bad, it’s about the 2016 US presidential election, it’s about hundreds of things for and against our involvement in Syria – but it doesn’t seem to be about people.
Should we get involved?
That’s the question, isn’t it?
Should we get involved in Syria.
Either we give a damn about these people, the ones dying, or we don’t.
It’s really just that simple.
Don’t talk to me of military action unless you’re talking about people. If it’s about political parties, if it’s about scoring points, if it’s about money or defense contracts or any of the usual rhetoric, I’m not interested. Stay out. I’ve been to war, dead by bullets, dead by chemical weapons, dead under the treads of a tank, it’s all the same to me.
Don’t tell me about your loving God or how you believe in the right to life. If this is about your religion, if this is about protecting some ancient temple in Israel, or bringing about your God’s goofy bullshit apocalyptic vision of the end times, if this is about the voices you hear in your head, I’m not interested. Don’t talk to me about the morality of your religion, unless you want to see me call shenanigans on your hypocrisy. If your God has an opinion on Syria, he can stop being coy and just come right out and say it, in fact, while he’s at it, he can finally get off his fat useless ass and take an active role. Otherwise he can butt out, he’s got nothing to say about Syria that interests me.
I don’t care about treaties or treasure or politics or religion or even the supposed end of the world, if you’re going to tell me about the morality, the morality, of getting involved in Syria, or not, then talk to me about people.
Do we care about the dying or don’t we?
Do we have a moral obligation to help those caught in the middle of this conflict or don’t we?
Do we as Americans have a moral obligation as a civilized nation to do something about those dying people, or don’t we? Yes or no. There is no grey area here, it’s not a trick question, either we have the moral obligation or we don’t.
So which is it?
Do we have a moral obligation, whether they all hate us or not, to do something?
Does our morality depend on the hatred of others? Does it really? What kind of morality is that?
I know what I think the answer must be.
I know what the answer for a moral and just and civilized nation should be.
Listen, do you run into a burning building to save those inside? Do you run towards danger or away? Do you risk your own life to save others? Or do you stand outside on the sidewalk debating the religious and political worthiness of those trapped inside? Does it matter that the burning building may ignite the whole block? Does it matter that it may explode at any minute? Does it matter that the building owner is a jerk? Does it matter that the tenants, some of them, may hate you? Do you let their kids burn too? Do you? Do you listen to the screams and say, “well, I don’t live here, it’s not my problem, sorry. I can’t put out all the fires in the world.”
Maybe charging recklessly into that conflagration will get you killed. It might. That’s that nature of the beast. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Maybe you’ll die and save no one, that’s the risk you take.
Especially if you go it alone.
Or do you just stand there and watch it burn, is that who you are?
Sometimes there are no good choices.
Sometimes you just have to do what’s right.
8/30/2013, Addendum to the original essay:
Sometimes you just have to do what’s right.
And what is that exactly?
What is right?
What is the right thing to do when it comes to US involvement in Syria?
That’s the question, isn’t it?
What is right?
What is right for us? You and me, individual citizens.
What is right for government?
What is right for the world?
What is right for Syria?
The above essay raises more questions than it answers.
I used words that are not clearly defined in the context, morals, right. I begin the essay with concepts that would seem to indicate America should stay out of Syria, that there’s nothing we can do except to make it worse unless we’re willing to commit to full scale war … and then managed to work my way around to a conclusion that most of you took to mean that I think we should charge into with Syria guns blazing anyway.
Most of you skimmed over the essay’s lead-in, but that wasn’t fluff. It was there on purpose. The simple truth of the matter is that many of us don’t know enough about the situation, about Syria itself, about its history and people, about the hideously complex nature of the region, to even have an informed opinion. Not really. Not beyond the topical information presented by our news feeds.
The fact is, there are more questions than answers.
From my email, from the comments here and on the associated Facebook thread it seems some of you are confused by what I wrote.
You wanted a clear opinion, you didn’t get one.
That was on purpose.
I don’t have a clear opinion.
Folks, there are no easy answers. I certainly don’t have one. It’s apparent that neither the President nor the US Congress have a clear and unambiguous answer. Nor does the International Community. The Middle Eastern powers have no easy answers, nor does China, nor Russia.
There is no right answer, only wrong ones.
There are no good choices, only bad ones in varying degrees.
We go in, people will die. We stay out, people will die. There are moral choices, certainly, but they lead only to immoral consequences.
If we go in, we should know the cost.
If we stay out, we should know the cost.
Syria is going to burn no matter what we do, it is burning right now. People are going to die, are dying right now. And the truth is that there’s not much we can do to stop it, even if we (however you define “we”) were willing to go all in, which we most certainly are not.
As of this morning, the White House is still indicating that the US will likely take some as yet undefined action. The United Kingdom is out, they will not engage. The UN can’t make up its mind, but the writing is on the wall. Russia is out. China is out. France is in. Israel, well who knows what Israel will do. The rest of the Middle Eastern Muslim powers aren’t going to help and may, in fact, make it worse.
We go, the US, we go alone.
Whatever form our response takes, it’s going to be on us.
And we’re going to have to live with it.
So be it.
Up above I concluded that we should do what’s right.
But what’s right for individual citizens, isn’t always what is right for nations – in fact, it rarely is.
In the essay I used the analogy of a burning building. I asked what you would do. Would you run into the flames to save the people, or would you stand on the sidewalk and watch them burn.
As an individual, you have a choice. You can decide to place your safety above that of those in peril.
The government gets no such choice – or shouldn’t anyway. At least not our government, if indeed we are the nation we claim to be.
But, of course, it’s never as simple as that.
For you and me, we can choose. We can decide to risk our lives for others, or we can decide that we just can’t take the risk – perhaps for good reason. Can we risk running into an inferno to save others when we have family depending upon us? Perhaps we personally lack the courage, and that’s ok for individuals, discretion is often the best part of valor. Perhaps we know that we are physically incapable of the required heroics. Perhaps we know that it is futile, that it is just too late. We can make that decision for ourselves.
The fire department doesn’t get that option. The fire department must take the risk, they must go into the flames.
We have a choice, government does not.
Whoa, now hold on, I hear you say. You’ve pushed that analogy just about far enough.
Sure, the government, ours anyway, is obligated to save its citizens.
And that’s the point.
The Syrians are not our citizens.
The US government isn’t obligated in any way to come to their rescue.
Well, yes … and not exactly.
See, it’s just never that simple.
Remember what I said about finding Syria on a map?
Because of its strategic location, the war in Syria affects the entire world, physically, economically, politically. The situation is staggeringly complex, the secondary effects can’t even be calculated beyond vague generalities.
Syria is a quaking structure made of teetering dominos, when they fall, if they fall, the consequences could be catastrophic.
While the Syrians are not our citizens, the consequences of their conflict already directly affect us. You don’t need to look any further that the fluctuating price of oil to see that. And yes, that matters. And yes, that is a perfectly moral concern, war for the price of gas.
Oh yes it is.
Our economy, the world economy, is powered by oil. Like it or not, that’s just how it is.
The price of oil as it relates to the conflict in Syria (and elsewhere) must be considered. The price of oil directly and immediately affects the world economy. People the world over eat or go hungry based on that value. Considering the the price of oil (and all that follows) when weighing the decision to get involved is no different, morally, than deciding whether to risk your life charging into that burning building by pondering how your risk will affect your loved ones. If you die saving others, your children may go hungry and homeless. And that’s the real moral quandary here, isn’t it?
In fact, not to consider it is immoral, or at the very least selfish, because that value, the price of oil, affects us all far far beyond Syria.
And it’s not just oil. It’s Israel. It’s Iran. It’s Russia. It is economically vital sea lanes and global commerce. It’s complex international relationships. It’s the world economy. It’s political power and balances at home. It’s the political power and balances abroad. It’s international treaties and long term consequences that may affect our relationship to other nations for decades to come. It’s the economic recovery. It’s the price of food. It’s the will and the wherewithal of American citizens. It’s the lives of millions, perhaps billions, of people. It’s what comes after – something that we failed to consider in Iraq. It’s the cost, in blood, in our lives, in our money. It’s millions upon millions of possible outcomes and consequences and repercussions and side effects and unexpected unpleasant surprises.
The world is not a simple place. Actions, and lack of action, have consequences some of which can be predicted, many of which cannot.
This is what the President of the United States is wrestling with right now.
I was asked on Facebook what I would do, if I was standing in Obama’s shoes.
I don’t know.
I don't know what I would do if I was in Obama's shoes, because I'm not in Obama's shoes.
Yes, I know that sounds flip, but bear with me.
The President of the United States sits at the center of a vast, vast, vast web of information, far beyond that of the average citizen, beyond that of the average congressman, beyond that of any other world leader, beyond that of business and religious leaders, certainly beyond that of any blogger or pundit.
I know, I used to be part of that web.
He is surrounded by layer upon layer of advisers and intelligence.
He is the focal point for dozens, hundreds of plans and options military, political, and economic.
He commands vast, vast, vast resources.
And he is rigidly constrained by reality, by law, by political, economic, and military factors that most people simply have no grasp of.
The president's position is complex almost beyond comprehension.
One of the reasons that liberals have taken to hating Obama is that he hasn't made good on certain naive campaign promises – even things that he felt deeply about, such as the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison or military options or domestic spying. Because once in office, he found his reality far, far different than when he was a Senator, than when he was a mere citizen.
Morality for individuals is rarely the same as it is for government. Obama learned that the hard way.
And the same is true of Bush, of Clinton, of any president past, present, or future.
It's easy for me to say, "Oh sure, I'd do this or I'd do that." In reality, there's no way to know what I'd do, what anybody would do, outside of very, very broad outlines. You’d think most Americans would have figured this out by now, but unfortunately they haven’t.
The world is complex, far, far more complex than the simple choices presented by most “authorities.”
There are no simple answers.
There are no easy choices.
Here’s what I think should happen:
I think President Obama should go before the nation and clearly outline the options.
Limited strikes, no fly zones, boots on the ground, invasion and occupation, humanitarian relief only, or no action. Whatever the options his advisers are giving him, A to Z. I think he should explain as best he is able, in simple terms, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the expected consequences and outcomes.
I think he should tell us which option he prefers.
Then I think he should publicly call for a vote in Congress.
I think every member of Congress should go on record, yea or nay, as representatives of the people of the United States.
And then I think the President should abide by that decision.
If we’re going to get involved, we should know the cost.
If we’re going to stay out, we should know the cost.
Government is not moral, morals are for individuals.
Government may be just, it may be rational, it may be ethical within certain broad guidelines, but it’s not moral. It can’t be.
Sometimes you have to do what’s right.
And sometimes, the right thing is doing only what you can live with.