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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  • duif73

    To any US citizen, get your hair tested for Sarin Gas, you will test positive. Same test is used for Fluoride poisoning..which is in your water, these tests can’t be told apart..all this evidence is non existent other than he said she said which is not good enough to attack another nation to make them weak to allow murderous savage rebels to win this war then fight each other for control of a country, Syria is a country that allows freedom of religion, currently the Christians are being butchered, decapitated and dismembered on camera by the rebels that the US wants to support….this is disgusting and shocking that attacking Syria has any support at all. If anything, Assads legitimate position – not regime – should be supported to assist in ending this war, or at least get it back to a Syrian war, not a jihadist crowd butchering christian civilans, these jihadists are not even Syrian, they the same people the US is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.. and no way will the bombing take place by the US without a response… It will be a very sad day if the US people support this and do not stop it from happening.

    • Catswhisper

      Regardless of my position on Syria – your suggestion that the lab data shouldn’t be trusted is just ridiculous and indicates a very limited understanding of testing procedures and the way evidence is collected.and evaluated. If you want to make an intelligent contribution – that’s one thing – but to drag in false flag bullsheet based on purposely twisted information is just not helpful.

      • duif73

        My suggestion is nothing coming out of Kerry can be trusted… my mention of Fluoride is also a very simple point of view that is accurate regarding testing, does no mean the tests never took place, just means you are being poisoned in your homes with Sodium Fluoride as well.. The US buys Sodium Fluoride, same chemical used to make Sarin gas and puts it in your drinking water…known side effects, massive increase in asthma, autism, lowers IQ by around 5 points, African American and Hispanic genes are predisposed to be more damaged than exposure of white people… all online for you to research for yourself… watch a movie called the Great Culling – your drinking water.

        So rather read what I wrote before suggesting I am saying the tests were not done…the simple matter is what do the tests prove…. nothing other than the fact that a chemical attack occurred.. who did it??? more than likely the jihadists. Common sense should prevail on this one before the US population allow the US leaders to go to war illegally again.. this one will not go according to the stupid plans Kerry s throwing around.

        Another thing that is not helping is the apparent apathy of the population…disgusting that 200 people turned up to protest the war on Syria in Washington.. guess the folks are far more reactive than proactive… protest in a years time when its too late…

      • Catswhisper

        Yes, let common sense prevail indeed. I read your comment and found it to be just completely lacking. I even googled it and found that this lunatic theory comes from a bunch of conspiracy sources only. YES – you get a gold star for knowing that sodium fluoride is used as an ingredient to make sarin – woohoo for you – you can at least READ a conspiracy tale anyway. But your lack of any scientific understanding beyond that is sooo laughable. Testing for sarin gas in this instance involved not just testing hair and blood, but also clothing, soil and environmental samples. There was a chain of custody for many samples, and other procedures followed to safe guard samples plus samples were sent to multiple high tech testing facilities in a variety of countries along with blind samples. And there was observational evidence from medical personnel near the location. So lets say, just for argument’s sake, you die and the police find your body weeks later. Nobody saw you die and there is no evidence to suggest any cause. IF a lab then tested your hair they certainly could find traces of fluoride but that wouldn’t be an indicator you died of sarin gas. In this instance, people watched the victims die – you can too on dozens of youtube videos if they’re still up. Doctors could make an evaluation of symptoms of hundreds of people. The very unique symptoms tell a compelling story alone; but when they test the samples they aren’t necessarily looking for fluoride – they are looking for the break down components of sarin which are isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA) and methylphosphonic acid (MPA). As for your second absurdity, the reason that Assad’s government is more likely to have used the gas rather than the opposition is that sophisticated chemistry is historically a bit tricky to manufacture in somebody’s basement. It would take millions of dollars, specialized equipment and delivery devices to kill and mame on this scale. In Japan only 12 people were killed from exposure to clandestine sarin. To kill thousands, more likely, requires good chemistry and facilities and sophisticated delivery mechanisms. As for fluoride in our water killing us….correlation does not imply causation. Look here’s the deal, I just found very little of what you had to say to be all that logical and therefore I didn’t believe it. Maybe you need to learn how to read conspiracy stories with a more critical eye.

      • Catswhisper

        And let’s just talk about your notion that we should protect a brutal dictator because you have some romantic notion about freedom in the middle East in general, but freedom of religion in particular. For somebody who you claim is “protecting Christians”; it’s interesting that he is also most closely allied with Iran and Hezbollah. Sure their constitution protects people’s ability to CHOOSE a religion but to suggest somehow that he is protecting Christians is just maybe …depends on how you look at it. My neighbor’s are Coptic Christians from Egypt. They left many years ago because while they certainly could CHOOSE any religion; the Christian community faced fierce discrimination. He was a doctor who was paid a mere pittance for the same work simply because they were Coptic Christians. They finally chose to leave because they couldn’t feed their family. So I’m not buying that Assad is some kind of misunderstood Saint that is fighting for equality and protection of Christians. He has one of the absolute worst records among the dictators on human rights. A brutal man who I’m sure would just as easily kill or imprison Christians as anybody else if it suited him. So here’s the real pull – if he loses then we are probably looking at another civil war between Muslim moderates and Muslim extremists and yeah Christians are probably going to have to leave or be victims. But in Syria while you CAN be Christian, you are forbidden from sharing your religion with anyone else or you face retribution – that’s their law. So for me there are 2 issues here: 1) If he has sarin, he can use it on us or Israel or the Saudis and 2) if he loses it will be hard for us not to support the moderates in the almost inevitable civil war. That will mean we will need to figure out who is a moderate and back them. THAT’s the real tough part. No winners then. But to suggest that there is an altruistic aspect of keeping Assad in this horrible mess is just ridiculous.

  • duif73

    From other news sources.

    “To be fair to the Obama administration, we should listen to what
    US leaders have to say about chemical weapons; they’re experts on
    the matter. In Iraq alone, they used white
    phosphorous and depleted uranium munitions, which coincided
    with an explosion of birth defects documented by a recent study published in the Bulletin of
    Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. According to an Al Jazeera journalist,
    incidences of congenital malformations in the city of Fallujah
    surpassed those that followed the atomic bombs dropped on
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II”

    Support the US to take care of its own problems.. rebuild Detroit and the many other failing environments before getting involved elsewhere.

  • drae

    This is the closest article I’ve seen to where I stand on the whole thing. I am very concerned about our history regarding the “limited action” and what it could really mean, intentional or not, to our soldiers. More than any other administration I trust that President Obama means what he says on this (not blindly, but respecting that he has already gone to congress on principle), but our history as regards getting involved is not good to say the least.

    However, if we could, just this once, take out a measure of military targets making it crystal clear that the use of CWs will be exponentially more expensive than calculated which is President Obama’s stated plan, well, I support this. Someone must do this and if because we are the only country that can do it on that scale with our massive amount of weapons behind us – making it clear that we do this thing though we could do so much more – AND that we debated it as a country before we acted ….. it makes the action stronger and the message clearer. The question is, can we stick to doing just that? I could wish that we weren’t the only country at this time who could do it in just that way, but we are. Wishing that away does not change the need for the action.

    It is easier to say it isn’t our problem, that we don’t need to stick our oar in. It is harder to be the person who stands. CWs are a redline for us all. Yes, there are many horrors in war, and life, many ways to die, but the use of CWs matters.

  • Jm

    Eating for other nations to step up and do something will be a wait until infinity…it will not happen. It is our responsibility and role in the world to step forward. The use of chemical weapons were banned in a 1925 treaty…we must uphold that. If not, we are not who we say we are or what we believe in…home of the brave land of the free?? That does not end at our borders. We cannot say “what if”. Do you think our founding fathers said what if…even if they did, they moved forward anyway. We cannot be oblivious to this and live in denial.

    • duif73

      Wake up. The US leaders are not the good guys here.

  • Pipercat

    Yes, yes young padawan. The light side you now see!