It’s Time We Face Facts — We Have No Business Getting Involved in Syria

syria-warFor weeks I’ve gone back and forth on the issue of Syria.  Many people simply buy into whatever rhetoric supports whichever side they take, and the shallow responses I’ve seen in regards to this have been staggering—from both sides.

Syria isn’t about being a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative—it’s about deciding what’s the right thing to do.  Not what’s the cheapest, sounds the best or what’s the most politically correct—but what’s the right thing to do.

But to be honest, there is no “right” thing to do.  Like I said the other day, no matter what we do, it’ll be both right and wrong.

So I had to dig deeper to figure out how I felt.  I looked at all sides of the situation.  I’ve seen the countless pictures of mutilated children and dead bodies strewn on the streets of Syria.  I’ve read about the over 120,000 dead and the thousands of refugees facing an uncertain future in countries which don’t want them there.  I did everything I could to look at the “humanitarian” side of this to justify a call for limited military action.

But it’s the word “limited” — that’s what got me.  The situation in Syria will not be lessened, or ended, with some kind of 90-day strategic bombing strike.  Yes, it might weaken Assad, but I don’t believe it will be the “damning blow” that would bring about an end to this bloody civil war.

I believe that if you’re going to do something, you do it right.  Looking at the situation, I realized the only way we would properly bring about the end of this civil war would be with a full-on military operation.  Not just air strikes, but troops in Syria.  Not on the level of Afghanistan or Iraq, but it would still require a lengthy commitment which would put thousands of our brave men and women in harms way in the hopes that at the end we will have done the right thing.

But in the end, the truth is, our actions would just be seen as another example of the United States trying to install some form of government which the people of that nation don’t want—but would be friendly to U.S. interests in the region.

Yet, beyond even that, we simply cannot get involved in another war.

If all that was needed was a few strategic bombings to end this civil war, I’d be all for our involvement.  But trust me, that’s not going to be all it takes.

We’ve been at war for over a decade.  Our troops are exhausted, our resources have been drained and the American people are worn out by the thought of our military being sent, yet again, into another bloody conflict.

Now I’m not saying something doesn’t need to be done in Syria.  I’m just saying I think it’s time we sit this one out.  Let some of our allies who believe something needs to be done—do what needs to be done.

If we want to send aid and resources to the refugees fleeing the country, I fully support that.  If we want to help the U.N., or some of our other allies, in their involvement in Syria by providing equipment, weapons or intel—again, I’m all for that.

But we simply cannot dedicate ourselves to yet another nation which is facing years of rebuilding following the eventual upheaval of a corrupt regime.

And make no mistake, Assad will eventually be defeated.

Hell, our country is still trying to recover from a “regime” known as the Bush Presidency which sank our economy, left us with massive deficits, a huge national debt and two wars that have lasted over a decade.

It’s time we do some nation building here.  

Now don’t get me wrong, I do feel something needs to be done in Syria.  In fact, if President Obama gets Congressional approval, I won’t exactly be “upset”—just exhausted.

While I believe something needs to be done in Syria, I just don’t believe we are the ones who need to do it.  Because what it will take in Syria to accomplish what needs to be done is something I simply can’t support getting involved in.

Not now.  Not after a decade of war.

So while it’s heartbreaking to see these images of dead bodies lining the streets and videos of people begging for help, that’s not going to be fixed with a “limited 90-day strike.”  As I said before, I simply cannot support the kind of military action that would be needed to make a significant difference in Syria.

While some of our allies look to us to “take the lead,” I say this time they need to look in the mirror.  We’ve been “taking the lead” in two decade-long wars—they haven’t.  As a nation, we’re suffering from “war fatigue.”  It’s time we took a break and sat this one out.

So while I do sympathize with the tragedies going on in Syria, I just can’t support sending more of our brave men and women into another foreign country to die fighting someone else’s cause.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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