After reading Lee Abbamonte's controversial blog post 'I Believe the United States Should Get Involved in Syria', I found myself thinking about my own stance on the matter. There are many reasons that I question the motives of our government in wanting to strike.
As an avid traveler and world citizen, I am not an advocate of war, but I am a strong believer in human rights and this was clearly in violation.
The video evidence of the effects of the chemical attacks I found online were absolutely horrific.
The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Assad began in March 2011.
This number gave me the chills. I hate to hear of anyone dying without just cause, but is this enough reason for a military intervention?
Moaz al-Khatib, a former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was quoted stating: “Ending the massacre in Syria is the responsibility of the international community.’’
I found myself thinking… is it really?
Would an intervention by the US and its allies really help solve the conflict that is going on there? As an American citizen and a citizen of the world, I have to pose this question: Are we really being honest with ourselves with the reasons for wanting to enter this war? Is it really for the said human rights violations and to be the "good guys"? Or are we really doing this because we want to hurt Iran? Syria is Iran’s closest partner in the Arab world and John McCain has been quoted saying, 'The fall of Bashar al-Assad would be the greatest blow to Iran in twenty-five years.’ With Iran apparently working toward a program of nuclear arms, he suggested, an intervention in Syria was not just a matter of humanitarian interest but also one of national interest. (Source: The New Yorker)
Is this declaration of war simply to a way to take advantage of a country's weakness for access to Iran's oil reserves? Proved oil reserves in Iran, according to its government, rank third largest in the world at approximately 150 billion barrels. Even though their oil production has declined due to political unrest, limited investment, and US sanctions, can't it be recovered once there is proper infrastructure, especially if the infrastructure is installed by the United States?
Another reason to question the US military motives:
There are thousands of human rights violations all across the world. I can name several off the top of my head: Genocides are happening today in Darfur, Sudan, Eastern Burma, Congo and Rwanda. So why pick this one in particular to wage an enormous, very costly war against unless we also had other interests other than "being the policemen of the world"?
If we look back in history at the US involvement with Iraq and how it left it —a failed state that will take years and cost thousands of lives to rebuild. Here's another question to the US government: Is this how we are going to leave Syria? Is this how we as the United States of America operate as the so-called "policemen of the world"? By interfering in conflicts that we do not belong in and then bail when the going gets tough, leaving the infrastructure of a country in shambles?
These conflicts that we are meddling with are rooted in thousands of years of history. We should know damn well what we're getting into. And we should also know what we're going to do about it when things don't go according to plan. If the US is going to go interfere in the Syrian civil war, it better plan to be there for the long haul.
Let us not think about war in terms of our country's ego, but in terms of the number of civilians that will have to be involved.
Please do not let this be another war fought for the American ego, our ego as "The United States of America". If we really want to save the civilians of Syria as a noble cause, I encourage it, but if this is a thinly veiled excuse for the US to get a stronger foothold in Syria in order to tap into the Middle East oil reserves, then here's the question that I pose to the US Congress: Is this all really worth the blood of our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters that will have to be deployed there?
Taking into account past actions by the American government in developing countries such as Vietnam and Afghanistan as well as the declining US economy, I'm afraid that their answer to my question may be a firm "yes".