Saturday, September 7, 2013

On Syria

I usually try to refrain from writing about mainstream political issues. However, I do think that this particular subject deserves attention in the midst of all the crisis.

President Obama shows surprising restraint against an international intervention. In a speech quoted from the Huffington Post, he said:
This attack is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm.
Since this proclamation, he has sought support from congress and foreign committees. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a 10-7 vote that would authorize a limited military intrusion. Although, he is still hesitant to command a strike and wishes to receive more conformation of chemical attacks from medical investigators.

In response to this hectic circumstance, I think the most important question to consider is: Is intervention the moral thing to do? If it is confirmed that the Assad regime instigated a series of chemical attacks upon his own people, this answer seems intuitively obvious. It is my belief that this is the most pressing question about the situation.

Obama seems to think that the chemical attacks "... presents a serious danger to our national security." Our president seems to think, moreover, that the use of chemical substances can increase to eventually threaten the well-being of the United States. While this may be true to some extent, the issue of national security seems to exist as a secondary concern. I always feel a bit uneasy when a leader feels obliged to mention the threats to his own people and freedoms as an excuse to intervene on behalf of innocent men and women of other nationalities. These people are ends in themselves and should remain protected for that reason.

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