I have been mulling the situation in Syria over for the past week or so, reading as much as I can and watching news reports about it. I have had the words in my head floating around but not forming into anything coherent, until now. I have composed my thoughts under categories to keep it better organized. But I would start it out with a quote, because I think a lot of people are dealing with disillusionment right now and are trying to decide about how to remain loyal to a party they are a part of, even when they are at odds with some of the choices it is trying to make. It's an uncomfortable position to be in, but still, we have to work though it.
"There are all kinds of courage...It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." --Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Hypocrisy and Party Affiliation: If something is wrong, it's wrong no matter who is proposing it. Even if he/she is on "your" side. And consequently, if something is right, it's right no matter who proposes it. Even if he/she is on "their" side. If the previous president had proposed this, we'd be protesting it as loudly as we possibly could. It's ok to stand up to your own party and tell them they're wrong. If people stood up for what they feel is right, regardless of party affiliation, perhaps past recent military actions could have been avoided.
World War Two Connections: I am hearing a lot of comparisons to the Second World War and the current situation in Syria, but this needs to stop. The two are not at all connected. The United States did not enter the war in order to stop the Holocaust and bring justice to those who were killing people in concentration camps. That was just a side effect of fighting against Germany. Germany was invading neighboring countries, and expelling people from those countries. This is why the United States got involved. Syria is in the midst of a civil war. It is not trying to take over other nations. Yes, it's using methods that it shouldn't be, but it is an internal issue, not one leaking into other countries, except in the sense of neighboring countries having to take in floods of refugees. Also, I would like to note that there is a concept known as Godwin's Law. People should familiarize themselves with this concept, because constant comparisons to Hitler/the Nazis, generally cheapens and weakens an argument, instead of strengthening it.
Our Own Problems: When we cannot or refuse to take care of our own people, that says something about us as a whole. And it's not a good something. People going bankrupt to pay medical bills, people out of work for years and we want to drug test them before doling out food stamps, letting children go hungry and suggesting that they work as school janitors for food, not medicating our mentally ill homeless population, etc., these are horrible atrocities right in our own backyard. I would argue that they are unforgivable atrocities as well. We cannot help others, in good conscience, until our own helpless are cared for. To take money that could help these people and use it for military operations we claim are in the name of peace, is madness. We cannot and should not put a third war on our credit card.
Honor/Saving Face: Our president has claimed that this is not about saving face for him, yet I have heard it said that our nation has a reputation to uphold in all of this. What will the world think of us if we back out now? I feel there is a lot of pride involved in the decision-making. I feel that how the world sees us should never factor into using weapons against another nation, unless it is to ask how badly they will see us. Terrible wars have been fought in the past because of national pride and honor. It is something we need to move beyond as a society. Unless you are willing to join the military and fight and possibly give up your own life, you have no right to request somebody else go fight for your honor.
The Slippery Slope: We live in a war-addicted nation that has involved itself in some level of conflict since the end of the Second World War. War is good for the economy, and it keeps our military robust and occupied. We cannot seem to leave well enough alone. Three months of missile strikes will likely escalate the situation in Syria and we'll need more missile strikes, and eventually boots on the ground. I have no doubt that a small involvement will lead to a more, greater involvement in the region.
As abhorrent as the use of chemical weapons is, I would argue that it is equally abhorrent to involve ourselves in another country's civil war.
What a Strike Won't do: *Bring the dead back. This won't resolve anything, especially if it's done so long after the fact. This would only be an act of vengeance.
*End the Syrian civil war. Most likely it will extend any military actions taken by all sides of the conflict, thus making more people suffer longer.
In Conclusion: Horrible things happen every day in this world. We really are terrible to one another. It's just awful. But we must learn sometime that we cannot resolve the world's problems by bombing them. It only makes things worse. Perhaps I come across as uncaring about the people of Syria, but I am very sympathetic to their plight. I wish we would explore non-violent methods of involvement, including humanitarian efforts. That is the best way to help out.