by Kirk McConnell.
The very notion that Syria would poison its own people in and of itself is a reprehensible wrong. What kind of human being would gas an entire village, and not expect a response from the rest of the world? There is no need to decide whether this is a moral issue because any person with enough decency will on some level value human life in spite of one’s power or status. But should the United States do anything to respond to Syria’s test run of poison gas?
People’s minds are not at ease considering the very recent past. Former President George W. Bush led America into elongated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from which U.S. soldiers are just beginning to return home. One needs to consider the ramifications, how America’s economy will be affected, how the global economy might stagnate, and how nations outside the United States will also respond. The past is creeping too much to the present.
President Obama’s announcement that he planned to approach Congress to send an air strike on Syria is reminiscent of what George Herbert Walker Bush did when he was president in the early 1990s. America’s bombing of Iraq at that time still resonates and raises animosity in countries of the Middle East. Many nations around the world, and even many Americans, are apprehensively weary that if America should carry out this proposed air strike, it could have lasting consequences for years to come.
Urgent protests could be seen on the news and social media from people wanting to express their objections. Even Congress seemed likely to not back the president’s desire to strike Syria. One has to ask what good will it do to strike at Syria?
The President says that by not striking Syria it could bring catastrophe, but what does he mean? Many Americans living at home in a struggling economy feel that their tax dollars could be better spent on something beside missiles and another war. I have to agree.
Finally, with the shift in diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to disarm Syrian of its chemical weapons, we may be returning to the old “cold war,” the 20th Century’s long power struggle between the Soviet bear and the American eagle. The more we see, the more things look and sound familiar.
“ A Skeptical View on Peace”