This morning, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from east Damascus from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin.”
With each passing day it’s becoming harder to deny that Bashar al-Assad has been using chemical weapons in Syria.
Now why did I put “using” in italics? Because, despite popular belief, the attack on August 21 which killed over 1,400 people (400 of whom were children) wasn’t the first time sarin gas was used.
And I can already hear those that are comparing this to Bush’s claims that Iraq “without a doubt” had WMD’s. This isn’t a claim based off questionable intel.
Over the last few months the U.N. and other nations have pointed to mounting evidence that Syria was using chemical weapons on its own people. And much of that evidence has come from sources independent of the nations involved and the U.N. If anything the fact that more nations haven’t gotten involved shows that this time these nations are making certain they’re right about the use of sarin gas.
Which the evidence supports.
This revelation comes on the heels of Obama’s comments yesterday where he called the Republican bluff that he would “go it alone” on military actin in Syria, and said he supports U.S. military intervention in Syria only with Congressional approval.
And while I’m still not sure about how I feel about our possible military involvement, this situation seems to be one that simply has no “right” answer.
If we sit by and do nothing, tens of thousands more will die. Not only will they die, but history will show that we knew chemical weapons were used and did nothing.
Yet if we get involved, the best case scenario is fewer die, but some die due to our military involvement. And even if we help remove Bashar al-Assad from power, we’re looking at another nation which will still be left in total chaos.
Will we have a plan then? If the war in Iraq showed us anything, it’s that the war is the “easy” part. What comes after is much more complicated and often just as controversial.
So as the evidence mounts that thousands in Syria have been killed due to al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons, it forces the question to be asked, “Are we more anti-war or are we more pro-humanity?”
Because that’s what this is quickly turning into. Not a decision for war, but a decision on what’s humane.
The costs and politics aside—what will history say? That we sat by and allowed thousands to be murdered with sarin gas, many of them children, in a brutal civil war; or we took a stand against a corrupt dictatorship which ordered the grotesque killing of thousands.
Like I said, it’s a situation with many more questions than answers. But at least finally those questions are being asked.