The enemy of my enemy

Chris Ware

Bashir al-Assad has put the White House, particularly President Obama, in a tough position. If you recall, President Obama and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Syrian regime that if they crossed the infamous “red line” of using chemical weapons against its own people, then military action would ensue.

Apparently, Assad called the world’s most powerful man’s bluff. And since our allies have deserted us after promising to help if that red line was crossed, the president is in a situation he definitely did not want to find himself in.

So why won’t we just keep our promise and strike Syria? Why not send a message to the Syrian regime that chemical weapons are foul play? The reasoning behind military intervention is a good reason, but many believe the unintended consequences that could stem from military intervention could be problematic to say the least. Syria has all the aspects of a tragedy waiting to happen. For one, there are many factions fighting for control in Syria, one of those factions being Al-Qaeda. America’s number one enemy would stand to benefit from any type of attack carried out by the U.S. on Syria simply because the strikes we would conduct would, in fact, diminish the enemy of our enemy to a degree. With these strikes, we could in fact prop the door open for Al-Qaeda and its allies to gain some control in war-torn Syria. Second, the American people have become a war-weary people, and to some this Syria situation has the markings to turn into the next Vietnam or Iraq. We don’t want to become bogged down in yet another potential war that will leave us asking ourselves “why are we fighting there anyways?”

Before the drums of war begin, our leaders need to seriously think about the consequences that we might face if we intervene. We all agree that the use of chemical weapons is horrific when used in the way that Assad did, but will sending that message through missile attacks justify anything that might stem from those strikes that may cause us to put boots on the ground? My answer is a resounding no.