Serious About Syria

There seems to be overwhelming outrage around the internet concerning President Obama’s decision to ask Congressional approval for attacks on Syria. Whatever is going on here, there’s one thing we know for sure; there are politics involved. Our government has long since lost its ability to do what’s right. If Obama truly thought this was the righteous course of action, why make a big show of asking Congressional approval? Many presidents have used their status as Commander in Chief to order military action without asking anyone permission. In fact, since absolutely nothing the President runs through Congress ever comes out the other side as legislation, he probably knows full well these strikes will not happen. So why make the show of “military strength”? Is this a chance to prove he’s not as weak as some think he is, while passing the buck on to Congress? If that’s not weak, it’s definitely not strong.

I’m not even going to pretend to fully know and understand the politics here, but I will tell you that innocent human lives are not meant to be political pawns.

Moreover, depending on which articles (or for most of America–memes) you read, there is still some dispute over what really happened in Syria. Was this an accident? Was it really an attack by a leader on his own people? Did another group perpetrate the action? I don’t know what’s real here. I do know, though, that something smells funny–and not just poison gas. Isn’t this the argument we’ve heard just about every time we want to justify military action against a leader of some nation most of us couldn’t find on a map?

“The monster turned poison gas on his own people! Children have been killed by this beast!”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I’m guessing that the actual reason the Obama Administration wants to attack Syria is only known by a select few. It may, in fact, be for the public good. It may, in fact, be to fight a moral battle against a dangerous leader. It may, in fact, be a national security maneuver in the best interest of the United States. But any of us without Top Secret security clearance can’t pretend to know the true motives here–whether moral or political.

That having been said, I find it interesting to consider what the public reaction would be if this were to happen inside our own borders. What if it happened in France or England? What if it happened in, say, Germany? There are tragedies and injustices going on all around the globe, but we often don’t intercede. We leave the violence in Columbia alone, violence that has been raging for over 100 years. What about Mexico? The American people tell these countries, and countries like Syria, to deal with their own issues. That we shouldn’t get involved.

But what if they were countries with people that looked “more like us”? What if they were countries that were “whiter” or “less Muslim.” Make a joke about any race in a public place, and you will draw the ire of almost everyone in the room. Make a Muslim joke, even in a room with a few Muslims, and nobody bats on eyelash. Are more of the people of Syria going to die needlessly because Americans are still blaming an entire region of the world for September 11, 2001?

There are convincing arguments on all sides, but I’m not convinced any of them are the right argument. Is making sure a man who did something awful pays for what he did enough to blow up buildings in a country that may be housing completely innocent people? That is what typically happens in these “strategic military strikes.” Are the “collateral damage” of American missiles any less terrible than Syria’s “innocent victims”? And in the end, how many leaders have we bombed just to see them fall out of the news while continuing to do the same horrific things that got them into the news?

For me, I’m not concerned with geopolitical machinations. I don’t care if it’s in our best interest or not or any of America’s business. Life is precious and to be valued no matter whose borders that life is born within. Life is precious and to be valued no matter what color its skin is. Life is precious and to be valued no matter what religion it practices. So, yes, we should do something about Syria, Mr. Obama. However, is killing more Syrians going to bring back dead Syrians? Of course not. Is killing more innocent Syrians going to right the wrong of poisoning innocent Syrians? Not a chance. So then what should we do?

I don’t know.

I kind of like the ‘ole “what-would-Jesus-do” answer here. So what would He do? I don’t pretend to know that either. But I can with 100% accuracy tell you that it wouldn’t be a tomahawk missile attack. But it wouldn’t be nothing either.

The rest I’ll leave up to you.


  1. peteybee said:

    Article I of the constitution says pretty clearly the president may not commit acts of war without Congress.

    Even Bush, who gave not a lick about the rule of law (look up the “Bush Doctrine”), asked for and received Congressional approval before attacking Iraq (see link: So Obama is doing the same to make it look proper. If he wants it bad enough I’m sure he can cut a deal with Congress.

    “But any of us without Top Secret security clearance can’t pretend to know the true motives here–whether moral or political.”

    Well i may sound cynical but bet ya the motive is good old fashioned money.

    Likely to do with natural gas pipelines from Saudi Arabia and Quatar to Europe. If such pipelines were built, it the Saudis an Quatari’s would be able to cut into Russia’s monopoly supplying natural gas to Europe, where they pay 4-5x what we do to heat their homes. Now it just so happens, that Russia is Syria’s biggest supporter, and the Saudi’s and Quatari’s are the biggest supporters of the rebels.
    Lets do the math on that one.

    I think Obama owes his sponsors a favor and a favor is being cashed in.

  2. peteybee said:

    PS- forgot to say. syria’s position on the map allows them to block these pipelines.

  3. I think it’s pretty obvious that “doing the right thing” isn’t the motive. But many military strikes have been done by presidents. Congress alone has the ability to declare war, but military strikes are done without approval all the time. In fact, there have been military strikes done in complete secret that we don’t know about until they are over. If we went around voting and giving speeches on military strikes every time, they could never be done without the “enemy” knowing. I think the order could have been given without Congressional approval. Either way, I personally don’t think a strike is the way to go. But what do I know, I’m just a citizen.

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