On August 21, Syria crossed the line by allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people. Obama has, therefore, decided that it’s time for the US to punish Syria. Assuming he gets Congress on his side, the US will once more be dragged into another senseless war in the Middle East.
Why is Obama eager to bomb Syria? In part, because it’s important to uphold international “norms” against the use of chemical weapons: “What’s the purpose of the international system that we’ve built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons […] is not enforced?”, said Obama. In part, because it’s a matter of national security: “It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm”, Obama added. Do these arguments hold any water?
Non-conventional weapons are not inherently immoral. Morally speaking it makes no difference what weapon you use, as long as it’s in self-defense; practically speaking it makes no difference to the victims. If so, then why should the US be barred from using the most efficient weapons available (be them biological, chemical or nuclear), when defending itself? There is no rational reason to bar the use of chemical weapons in self-defense, let alone wasting any American military resources upholding an international ban on it.
If Syria really is a threat, then Obama’s suggested “shot across the bow” won’t do. Recall Clinton’s pathetic attempt to “deter” Al Qaeda in 1998 (by making useless holes in Afghanistan and Sudan)? Much good that did. You don’t deter murderers by *threatening* them with a slap on the wrists. The fact that Obama does not take this threat any more serious, proves that it really isn’t that much of a threat to the US in the first place.
But Syria is hardly a threat. Remember, this is a regime so weak that it has just barely been able to stop a bunch of ragtag rebels from taking over the country. And who are the rebels anyway? Radical Islamic totalitarians (e.g., Al Qaeda or their associates); enemies of the US. Yet it is these very warriors that Obama is now urging us to indirectly support by going after their target: the Assad regime. Does this policy make any sense? Obama says he is worried that Syria’s WMDs might fall into “the wrong hands”, (i.e., terrorist groups). But indirectly assisting these Islamic warriors fighting the Assad regime, will arguably only ensure that they eventually will fall in the hands of terrorist groups.
It is, by the way, nothing but a disgrace to tell the world that the US is a war weary nation; it’s true, but you shouldn’t make a point about it in public. Instead it’s your obligation as the commander-in-chief, to rally the people behind your decision–especially if it’s a matter of national security!
It’s true that the Syrian civil war is a horrible humanitarian disaster. It’s equally true that this is NOT America’s problem. It’s NOT America’s problem precisely because there is no threat. And our government is *our* agent. It’s not the “police of the world”, nor should it be. It IS, however, our “police”. And it’s been granted the power–by us, the people–to protect *our* rights. No more, no less. Not upholding irrational international “norms” or assisting Al Qaeda.
The US should not intervene in Syria. And there’s a chance (however slim) the American public can change the fate of the nation. Obama has asked for the support of the Congress to authorize this war. With this in mind, I would urge you to let them know where you stand!