The Problems in Syria Have Left Republicans and Democrats Scrambling for Answers

syria1A topic that should have been more mainstream before just the last couple of weeks — the continuing and escalating civil war in Syria — is finally getting some of the national attention it deserves.  And by doing so it has caused quite the controversy.

On one side you have Democrats, the liberals who are often much more resistant to going to war.  Though they’re not entirely opposed, often Democrats see initiating military action as a means of last resort.

Yes Libertarians I know, everyone but you people are war hungry animals out to slaughter as many innocents as possible.  Republicans and Democrats are the same.  Blood spattered on their face, concocting new plans to kill anyone and everyone.  I get it — now move along so the adults can speak.

But the situation in Syria has been interesting on a few levels.

It has pushed President Obama the closest he’s been so far to initiating direct military involvement in another nation.  And while many anti-war people will have you believe this is just the United States, many European nations are making the same moves to intervene in Syria.  This isn’t another Iraq.  If we are to get involved it will be with the support of most of our key allies.

So do Democrats support the President, or stand against him?  Does the party which has rallied against two wars for over a decade now support getting involved in a third?

After all, we’re not the world’s police.

How can Democrats say we’re the party for human rights, yet ignore the use of chemical weapons on women and children?

But then, do Democrats want to get involved in a civil war where there’s no real “clear ending?”

Then there are Republicans.  Their reaction is the one I actually find humorous because they don’t know what to say—because they really don’t know what President Obama plans to do.

Do they oppose involvement in Syria?  Do they support it?  Who knows!  While some Republicans like Senator John McCain have come out and said we need to take action, many Republicans have danced around the issue.

But let’s face it, if a Republican were in the White House right now we’d already be in Syria.  Republicans love going to war.  It’s good for the big defense companies which support the GOP.

So if Republicans benefit from war, why the hesitation on supporting intervention in Syria?  My theory—because in no way do they want to look like they’re supporting President Obama.

Remember Libya, when we sent aid to rebels?  First Republicans slammed President Obama for sitting there doing nothing, then they attacked him for getting involved.  Because that makes perfect sense, right?

So it seems with Syria they’re taking a “wait and see” approach.  Because the last thing many of these Republican politicians want to do is publicly say we need to get involved in Syria, have President Obama agree, then face off in their primaries against a challenger that uses the line, “See, my opponent supports the radical Obama agenda by voting in support of…”

Personally, I think some intervention is called for, but I would only support that if a large group of other nations were involved as well.

The United States doesn’t need to be the lone shoulder to carry the burden of trying to end the almost 3 year civil war.

But honestly, there are no easy answers.  It’s hard for me to turn on the news and see stories about women and children being murdered with chemical weapons, but at the same time we have our own problems that we’re not even dealing with at home.  The United States can’t be the world’s police, and at some point we need to draw a line.

But can we really call ourselves “a great nation” and turn a blind eye to these kinds of atrocities?  Now I know some will say, “But what about the horrors in east and central Africa we don’t do anything about?”  Well, that’s actually a little different.

Syria, while not an advanced nation, isn’t comparable to some east and central African countries.  Many of those countries lack any true sign of structural government and it’s closer to tribal warfare than a breakdown of an established government in a nation such as Syria.

I’m not saying we should downplay the horrors that go on in some of these African nations.  I’m just saying many of them really aren’t comparable to the situation that’s going on in Syria.

So while there are many questions, the answers remain elusive.  I’m not even sure if there’s a right or wrong answer when it comes to Syria.

We can ignore it, and let the bloodshed possibly continue indefinitely.  Or we can get involved and hope that our involvement — as well as the involvement of our allies — can expedite the end to this horrific civil war.

But unfortunately, while hindsight is 20/20, presently the choices are much more foggy.

Sure it’s easy to be anti-war and simply oppose any kind of intervention—and I don’t think those people are wrong.  And it’s just as easy to see the atrocities and say we need to do something—and I don’t think those people are wrong, either.

The truth is, there’s really no right or wrong.  Either choice we make is going to bring about death and bloodshed which is just a terrible consequence of war.

So while Syria has prompted a lot of questions, the answers just simply aren’t as easy to come by.

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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  • Pipercat

    There are no real answers. Just a potential cluster-fuck in the making. As a policy, the United States should not intervene in centuries old, blood feud based, proxy wars…