US Involvement in Syria

Drat! Those American ideals are pulling us back into
conflict in the Middle East, this time in Syria. Obviously, when nearly 100,000
people are killed anywhere on the planet we are grieved and angered. We want
the carnage to stop and we all think about whether America should help stop it.
In this case we have people who are also fighting against an authoritarian leader
who they want to be free of. It is written in our DNA that we will feel
sympathy for the rebels. We are always the Rebel Alliance fighting against the
Empire in our hearts. But – we have just slowed down the devastating parade of
maimed soldiers arriving back in the US everyday from our recent endeavors in
the Middle East. These soldiers have not even been processed by their
government to receive their benefits. We have not yet finished mourning our
dead soldiers who still arrive under their flag-draped caskets. We have hardly
given a breather to our soldiers who have been at war seemingly forever. Our
heads and our guts say that we should help this rebel army; our hearts can’t
bear to do it.

There is a question of whether or not we will make America
irrelevant in the Middle East unless we stay involved with freedom fighters and
offer military support. Humanitarian support does not count apparently. We only
get points if we put blood and guts in the game. But we haven’t earned any
points by bleeding on the sands of the Middle East so far. The opinions of both
Iraq and Afghanistan seem distinctly tinged with anti-Americanism. Perhaps this
“revolution” in the Middle East is not as far along as we would like to think
it. Deposing an authoritarian leader does not mean that Syria is ready to be a
democracy or that the country ever will want to be democratic. There is also
the point that we could make our democracy look a bit more appealing if we want
to persuade people that our form of government works best. That might be a good
place to start. Although our politicians often give us idealistic reasons for
entering a war, their real reasons are often quite a bit more pragmatic. I’m
not sure what those pragmatic concerns are but they are the ones that make us
less than proud sometimes.

There are several complexities to consider when it comes to
jumping into the conflict with Syria on the side of the rebels and we have
heard those before. The rebels are not one unified group and, in our
experience, which has recently become very personal, we have learned that once
the rebels win the war a new civil war will often have to be fought among the
various rebel groups to decide which group will get to formulate the new
government, or perhaps a coalition will arise (not likely). And in Syria we
also have elements of terrorists groups which we have no desire to support; not
to mention that we would be pitting ourselves against Putin and Russia.

Call me crazy, but it seems as if there is a preponderance
of reasons not to involve ourselves in the revolution in Syria but that word
revolution has such a pull on the American psyche that we are almost powerless
to resist the siren call of people who are oppressed and longing to be free. I
am glad that I am not the President. I don’t want us to get more involved in
Syria, but I understand why we probably will.


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