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I am no foreign policy expert, but I am an American with a brain. As such, I’ve curiously observed President Obama’s case for military intervention in the country of Syria. Like anyone else, I was hurt to see the images individuals and children who’ve been harmed by chemical attacks within the country. In fact, it almost makes me feel that intervening would be the right thing to do.
But after thinking about the situation long and hard, I’ve concluded that fighting even a limited war in Syria would be wasteful, problematic and ultimately harmful to both our country and the world. So, here are a few reasons why it’s hard to support military action in Syria:
1) The US government has no credibility after the lies told to justify the war in Iraq: Colin Powell didn’t just use up his own credibility to convince the world to go to war many years ago, he used up much of whatever credibility was left in the US government. It’s difficult to trust any form of intelligence coming out of the CIA or FBI, when these agencies have been known to lie to the American people for so long. Unless an attack has been proven absolutely necessary and our nation is in danger, it makes no sense to rely on faulty evidence to engage in military action overseas. Even as the president speaks about not putting any boots on the ground in Syria and keeping military action limited, the truth is that it’s difficult to take the word of politicians who break campaign promises on a regular basis.
2) Syria is a sovereign country: The idea of the United States engaging in military strikes against another country because of human rights violations makes as much sense as another country attacking the US because we falsely incarcerate so many American citizens. Most Americans would scoff at the idea that the American people would need to be liberated from President Obama, so many Syrians might take offense at the idea that we feel compelled to undermine their leader as well. Can you imagine if another country were to supply the anti-Obama “rebels” in the state of Texas with enough weapons to overthrow the federal government? Perhaps there is something to be said about the blatant double standard that defines the American sense of entitlement: “We can go into your airspace and do whatever we want, but you can’t do the same thing to us.” This might explain why so many people hate us.
3) US global partners are not supporting the war: This is yet another scenario where the United States appears to be pulling together imaginary band aid coalitions to cloak the fact that the rest of the world thinks of our nation as imperialistic bullies. Going at it alone is not only expensive, but incredibly arrogant. It should also remind those of us with common sense that this war may not be such a good idea.
4) The money should be spent in the US: The same country that swears it doesn’t have money to fix broken schools seems to always find the funds to declare war whenever it wants. How about addressing the poverty and jobless problems in the United States before attacking other countries? What about the fact that our nation’s infrastructure is falling apart, and we’re just a few late payments away from defaulting on our national debt? Perhaps this means that there are just some battles we simply cannot afford to fight. We just don’t have the money.
5) There are probably ulterior motives for military action: Why are we continuously choosing to topple regimes in the Middle East? Could it be because the Israelis are pushing us to do so? Could it be because there are so many natural resources available in those countries? War is profitable, and it is not inconceivable that the same government that has been bought out by corporate America would want to use its military to expand capitalist opportunities abroad. Dick Cheney and his friends earned billions from the Iraq war, and it’s pretty clear that corporate interests have made a habit of war mongering for profitability. It is only required that they come up with a good story and lean on our patriotic sensitivities to justify whatever they want to do.
6) It’s horribly hypocritical for Obama: Right after being the keynote speaker on a day that celebrated the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it is embarrassingly audacious to turn right around and declare an unnecessary war. Dr. King was a champion of peace, and would vehemently disagree with any military action in Syria. This is not a good look for our president.