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Should America Attack Syria?

September 7, 2013
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a ...

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a mission in the skies near Iraq on March 22, 2003 during Operation Iraqi freedom. OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM — An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a mission in the skies near Iraq. The F-16s are from the 35th Fighter Wing “Wild Weasels”, Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was recently asked what my opinion was on American involvement in Syria.  While I am not an expert, I do have an opinion, and I was struck by a few similarities between our current situation with Syria and the situation with Iraq a decade ago.

For the purposes of this discussion I need to make one assumption, that Syria’s government was in fact responsible for the use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.  As I understand it, that is the consensus opinion right now.

Similarities between Operation Iraqi Freedom and our proposed involvement in Syria

  • Neither the Syrian nor Iraqi government want American involvement in their governments.  While the feelings of the people of Syria and Iraq may differ somewhat from their respective governments, the Islamic majorities would seem to hold with their governments.
  • Both Syria and Iraq have repeatedly demonstrated a hatred of America and Americans.
  • Both regimes are oppressive  – possibly even to the point of genocide.
  • Both have demonstrated willingness to use weapons of mass destruction.  In fact, they both have used weapons of mass destruction against their own people.

With these similarities, I would like to point out some differences in the situations.

Differences between Operation Iraqi Freedom and the proposed attack on Syria

  • Size.  Iraq is far larger than Syria, both in area and population.
  • The war in Iraq was precipitated largely by a hawkish movement following the tragedies of 9/11.  There has been no such attack on American lives and American soil to plunge us into a war with Syria.
  • Iraq was entered with a plan.  While it may have been unfortunately vague, there was a plan in place.  There were real goals and plans for leaving.  The plans for the proposed Syrian conflict are laughable.    It is expected to take only 60 days to a) respond to Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction b) deter them from using such weapons in the future c) reduce their ability to do so d) ensure that their weapons are all accounted for and will not fall into the hands of terrorists, and e) foster favorable conditions for the rise of a Democratic government in Syria.  There is already a provision for an extension.  Also, I find it difficult to believe that anyone factors in the likelihood of escalation.  Does this sound like a possibility for open-ended conflict to anyone else?

My opinion on military action against Syria is this –

They haven’t attacked us and pose no direct threat to us so there is no real reason for us to interfere.

While this may sound callused I think it is an accurate and responsible position to take.  I realize that there are many who may be hurting and need help.  I don’t believe that is one of the responsibilities of our government.  I believe that help and aid should come from individuals and groups, not governments.

Here are my main reasons for my position –

  1. As I said, they haven’t attacked us.
  2. They don’t answer to us.  We haven’t been appointed or asked to police the world.
  3. They don’t pose a direct threat to our sovereignty or our soil.
  4. They don’t want us there.

If you were or are against our involvement in Iraq, then one would logically suppose that you will be against military action in Syria as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts,

Dave

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