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America should not intervene in Syria

EDITORIAL

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013

Updated: Thursday, April 25, 2013 23:04

Civil war is something most Americans have not thought about since the turn of the 20th century. It has become lost to the pages of history and is survived through museums and weekend re-enactments where gung-ho enthusiasts dress up as Yankees or Rebels and simulate battles that marred the rolling hills of Appalachia and Southern plantations almost 150 years ago.

Out of sight, out of mind and conveniently located 6,000 miles away, Syria is currently embattled in a civil war that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people. Since 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has pummeled his country with missiles in a frantic attempt to cling to power.

Despite a history of jumping the gun in international affairs, the United States has managed to remain out of the fight during the two-year conflict.

America’s neutrality may not be an option anymore after the use of a chemical weapon Thursday. In 2012, President Barack Obama warned al-Assad the use of chemical or biological weapons on Syrian soil would cross the “red line.”

While it is too soon to say whether the blame for the use of the chemical weapon lies solely on al-Assad’s shoulders, he has shown that he is fully capable of committing such atrocities. In the coming weeks, Obama will have to make a difficult decision whether to intervene or not.

In 2008, Obama rallied many dissatisfied voters to his cause when he promised to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if he was elected. Three months into his second presidential term, one war — the war in Iraq — has ended.

Despite promising to bring American soldiers home after a decade of war, Obama has dramatically enlarged America’s military presence in the world, and the drone program continues to be a controversial issue.

There is no question the civil war in Syria has gone on too long and has claimed too many innocent lives, but American military intervention would only beget more unnecessary bloodshed. Action must be taken, but peaceful options must be exhausted before America gets involved in another war.


 

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