“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
I am a committed humanist, so I obviously support some kind of intervention in Syria. However, I do not think the United States should act alone. I believe that doing anything outside our nation’s borders simply in the name of America’s interest is provincial, which is why I never once supported the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. I can forgive us for going into Afghanistan, but only because of the unprecedented nature of 9/11. And I have never strayed from the belief that going into Iraq was a horrendous mistake.
Even though the events in Syria have been unfolding for over two years, I have never really felt like our nation had a vested interest in getting involved. Of course, I believe that any nation with so many resources and the ability to deal with these conflicts has an obligation to do something, but I realize that the climate of each conflict makes that all but impossible.
But international laws have been broken. Atrocities have been committed. And more importantly, many more will be committed if we do not act. Assad will continue gassing and bombing innocent civilians, Iran will feel no pressure to cease their nuclear ambitions, and a dozen other nations/factions/regimes that have been under the radar will start to emerge.
If a married couple were standing on the street and arguing about their relationship, the people walking by might notice it and have their opinions, but no one would have the right to step in and tell the two how to behave. Even if someone did speak up, they would probably just ignore them and continue arguing. But if the man backhanded his partner so hard that they hit the ground, then I would hope that at least one person would punch the guy right in the nose. Not beat him senseless, not kill him, and not merely wag their finger in his face. Just give him a reminder that his behavior is unacceptable in a language he can understand.
That’s what I believe we need to do in Syria. Don’t kill Assad because that will simply make him a martyr. Don’t bomb the living hell out of their nation because that will just create unnecessary collateral damage. Don’t go to war with them because people will incorrectly interpret it as American imperialism. But most importantly, don’t sit on our hands and let this go unabated while touting ourselves as the greatest nation in the world with our beacons of hope and freedom and all that bullshit.