Does The United States Really Want To Get Involved In Syria?

As the violence continues to escalate and the defections of top officials from the Syrian government continue to mount, the United States is sooner or later going to be called on to make a choice of whether or not to support the rebels.  Many powerful people in Washington, including Senator John McCain, have already called for U.S. involvement.  The United States has just come out of a long and tiresome conflict in Iraq and is still mired in turmoil in Afghanistan.  Is it really the place for the United States to get involved in yet another conflict?

While the U.S. has long been viewed as the world’s police, perhaps it is about time that view is shed.  There are many domestic problems here that need fixing.  At this point in time it is debatable whether the U.S. truly has sufficient resources to wage another “war of freedom”.  Although such an isolationist view may be perceived by some as being un-American, perhaps the time has come where the U.S. needs to put itself first instead of concerning itself with everyone else.  If the rest of the world desires to intervene, there is no reason why the U.S. should oppose them.  My only contention is that the U.S. does not need to lead the charge.

Furthermore, if the U.S. was to get involved, do we really know who we are supporting?  From what I have read, it appears that many of the Syrian rebel leaders may have links to terrorist organizations.  If there is one thing that the U.S. should not be doing, it is putting terrorists in positions of power over a nation.  Do you think that the U.S. should get involved in Syria?  Would an isolationist stance be beneficial to the U.S.?

3 comments

  1. Oftentimes, I consider the United States as the “big brother figure” in the international arena – sometimes it is a bully, sometimes it flexes its muscles and is overly protective of its younger or vulnerable “siblings,” and sometimes it is the one to talk to when you need great advice. Here, I would strongly suggest option number 3, and it looks like that is what the United States is opting for thus far. There have been a good number of meetings recently with the Syrian opposition in an effort to explore in what direction Syria can go should it transition from President Bashar al-Assad.

    It really is so tragic to hear today that the death toll in Syria has exceeded 8,000 since the uprisings began a year ago this week. Sources say that the repression perpetuated by Syrian authorities is basically “indefensible.” However, other world powers, including France, Syria’s former colonial ruler, are wary of giving aid, by way of money and resources, out of fear that a civil war among religious factions will certainly erupt.

    Obama did state on Wednesday of this week that at this time, as the death toll continues to rise, it is important to think through all of our actions before taking any steps to respond on an international scale. Hopefully, this statement is a sign that the United States is leaning towards calculated, deliberate participation rather than rash actions.

    Links for more commentary on this issue:
    http://www.npr.org/2012/03/11/148398069/how-should-u-s-proceed-with-syria
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57398243/un-syrian-uprising-death-toll-passes-8000/

  2. I agree that a more isolationist view may be beneficial to the US at this point in time. There are so many problems here at home, and while presidential candidates all discuss the national deficit, I think it is time to pick our battles carefully. While there could be ripple effects of not getting involved in Syria now, the task should not be taken lightly or simply because of a feeling of obligation as the “world police”. Clearly those in the government know more in terms of why and why not to enter into a situation like this however, I think it is very important to think it through and really weigh the pros and cons of getting involved. At this time and in this domestic political climate more Americans would likely be interested in getting off unemployment than having the country enter another war.

  3. I agree that the United States should not lead the charge in becoming involved in Syria. As the post states, given the problems that our country is currently facing (the deficit, crumbling infrastructure, a deteriorating education system, unemployment, etc.), the last thing the United States needs is to become involved in a potentially expensive conflict. However, I do not think that the United States should take a completely isolationist stance regarding specific international situations. For instance, in regards to Syria, the United States should continue to support the United Nations’ efforts in establishing peace. Recently, the United Nations Security Council unanimously accepted efforts by Kofi Annan to negotiate a cease-fire in the Syrian conflict, funnel aid to victims, and begin a political transition in the country. The statement read to the Council was endorsed by China and Russia (which was one of President Bashar al-Assad’s most important supporters). Kofi Annan’s plan apparently “would facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations of ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition.”

    See: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/world/middleeast/in-moment-of-unity-security-council-endorses-plan-to-halt-syria-conflict.html?ref=world

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