News outlets this week are filled with statements like:
“The Navy has four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea within range of targets inside Syria. The U.S. also has warplanes in the region.”
“The U.S., along with allies in Europe, appeared to be laying the groundwork for the most aggressive response since Syria’s civil war began more than two years ago.”
These things, to many American’s, are unwanted at best, with the heavy majority saying they do not want any U.S. intervention in Syria. Obama should not be chomping at the bit for U.S. intervention either, having just shucked the wars from the previous administration. But, here we stand, at a proverbial line in the sand drawn up by President Obama himself.
It is very difficult to imagine a way in which this entire situation will turn out well. Americans are hesitant to jump headlong into another conflict in the same exact region that has plagued us for more than a decade. But, if we do nothing, Assad, the brutal tyrant, would stay in power in spite of U.S. threats. This would damage U.S. credibility the world over, sending the wrong message to places like Iran and North Korea. Doing nothing could also lead to the fall of Syrian government to the hands of al-Qaida led rebels, giving the group access to militarized WMDs, which of course would be a terrible thing.
Our lack of response over the last year has upset the Syrian people. They watched as we helped Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Our lack of support led them to accept the help they needed from anywhere they could receive it. Al-Qaida was more than willing to help.
In the never ending argument over whether the United States should mind it own business when it comes to foreign affairs, perhaps we should consider that neither side of the argument seems to work. When we do nothing, there is always someone who will do it in our place. In a world plagued with a rising terror network which specifically wants to take the United States down, letting someone else do it may not be the right choice. Doing something, in the other hand, costs an incredible amount of money, especially in an economy that is already weak.