Should We Go to War in Syria?

As the Obama Administration lets on that it is planning US military action against Syria and our forces move in to position we do have to ask, is such a war necessary?

First and foremost, is there any vital US interest at state in Syria?  To a certain extent, yes.  Syria’s government has long been allied with Iran and has fostered the terrorist group Hezbollah.  Destroying the Syrian regime, though, would only be useful if the potential successor regime would no longer be allied with Iran or any other US enemy and/or if such a regime would cease supporting terrorism…given the grab-bag collection of Islamists who make up the bulk of the Syrian opposition, it is almost certain that if they gain power they will continue to support terrorism and if not allied with Iran, would ally with some other enemy country, or countries.  Indeed, a successor regime run by the Islamist opposition might even re-ignite Syria’s war with Israel (which has never officially ended).

Secondly, is there a moral demand that we act – some times a nation must go to war even without a vital, national interest at stake simply because there is a vital, moral issue at stake.  Given the very nasty brutality of the Syrian regime, there is a moral case to be made for war.  Though if we were to move on this, it would smack a bit of hypocrisy because the Syrian government isn’t doing anything it hasn’t been doing for decades, accompanied by a resounding silence on our part.  Additionally, the Islamist opposition to the Syrian regime has been engaging in routine brutality of its own – especially, it appears, against Syria’s Christian minority.  Given their nature, we can expect an Islamist regime to crack down even harder on Christians, and on any Muslims who don’t live up to the Islamist ideal.  Morally, there is no problem with targeting the Syrian regime, but the result of knocking off the Syrian regime is almost certain to be a regime even more horrific.

Overall, the result of a successful military operation against the Syrian regime appears to be something worse than we have now.  That Assad is a brute and his regime inhuman is beyond doubt, but given the nature of the opposition, a successor regime would be at least as bad and, perhaps, more destabilizing to the overall region.  A tenet of the Just War Doctrine is that the war must not cause a worse situation than currently exists – given the  strong arguments against a good result (ie, getting something better than we have now), an argument can be made that a war against Syria does not meet the Just War criteria.

I tend to come down on that side – in Syria, we can’t make a result better than the current state of affairs and our efforts will, indeed, very likely make a worse result.  We should, therefor, stay out of Syria.  Our goal in this mess should be, instead, to work against overall enemy forces – which include both the Syrian regime and those fighting it.  Right now, with Syria wracked by civil war, proper American policy should be to leverage Syria completely out of Lebanon and by so doing also get Hezbollah out.  We cannot fix the whole world, but we can take advantage of this situation to help fix a small part of it – Lebanon has been a stomping ground for Syrian imperialists and Islamist terrorists for decades.  It has become a standing threat to Israel and the non-Islamist population of Lebanon suffers grave injustice from the Syrians and the terrorist groups.  Getting Syria and the terrorists out of Lebanon won’t usher in global peace, but it will help out the Lebanese and the Israelis as well as strengthening the overall US position in the area.  We should be doing what we can – directly and indirectly, to clear out Lebanon while sealing off, as far as possible, the Syrian civil war.  Once a winner emerges, then steps can be taken depending upon the circumstances.

25 thoughts on “Should We Go to War in Syria?

  1. Cluster August 25, 2013 / 8:26 am

    Should we go to war with Syria? In a word – NO!

    There is nothing we can do to help those people, and quite frankly they are not worth one drop of American blood. I say we send over more arms and munitions and let them kill each other off.

    • canadianobserver11 August 26, 2013 / 7:06 am

      It appears that you are in the majority, Cluster:-

      “WASHINGTON, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

      About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.”

      • Cluster August 26, 2013 / 8:14 am

        But it doesn’t matter what I would do, it matters what the President will do. Is he a man of his word? Will his actions match his tough rhetoric?

      • M. Noonan August 26, 2013 / 12:57 pm


        Part of that is war weariness, of course – after 12 years of military campaigns, we Americans are just not enthused about more. Of course, a genuine threat would be answered by a united people…and a majority, I believe, would support even action in Syria if Obama could provide a compelling reason to go in, with a clear vision of what comes after a successful military operation. Obama is stumbling towards war – and in the end I think he’ll get the worst of all possible worlds: he’ll continue to stumble towards war and then will pull back either after an ineffective attack, or just before…becoming for all the world to see a completely useless American Commander in Chief.

        I’ve just been re-reading a history of the Yom Kippur War and one thing stands out – Israeli Prime Minister Golda Mier was touring the troops just after the cease-fire went in to effect and was questioned about why the Arabs had been able to catch Israel by surprise…her answer, honest enough, was that she was no military expert and so couldn’t answer the question fully…one battalion commander shouted at her in rage, “because you didn’t understand, men died”, or words to that effect. Mier, of course, was and remains one of the great political leaders of world history…but she didn’t fully understand the military aspect of her job, and it did cost lives. Obama, not nearly of Mier’s moral and intellectual caliber, also doesn’t understand…

      • Amazona August 26, 2013 / 5:38 pm

        But he does love to posture. So he declared a “red line” saying that crossing it would call for action from the U.S. And they called his bluff, crossed that line, and now the world is waiting to see what he will do.

        The Mad Daddy scowl?
        A stern reprimand?
        Maybe some weapons loaded with bean bags?

        If the nation didn’t have so much at stake, it would be funny to watch him sweat it out. One one hand, he has world opinion and the consequences of continuing to look spineless. On the other, he has Valerie Jarrett, and he knows how she reacted when he let himself get pushed into giving approval of the Bin Laden raid (because it was already in progress anyway). Poor Barry………….

      • canadianobserver11 August 26, 2013 / 6:57 pm

        August 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm

        The one thing we can be sure of, Amazona, is that regardless of what decision President Obama makes, it will be the wrong one in your eyes. Isn’t that right?

      • M. Noonan August 27, 2013 / 2:06 am

        That is an easy bet – because given Obama’s ignorance combined with his arrogance, he is certain to get it wrong.

      • Amazona August 27, 2013 / 9:37 am

        Actually, CO, Obama has done at least one thing right so far, and I brought it up on this blog, and I defended his action. Want to guess what it was?

        No, of course not. You’d rather cling to your Lib credentials and just lurk in the corner waiting for a chance to say something snotty.

        And, of course, in the best Lib tradition, you need to pretend that the problem is not what Obama has done, or has not done, but that it’s really my observations of what he has done, or has not done. I see you are studiously avoiding discussion of his dithering, his spinelessness, his domination by Jarrett, etc., in favor of whining that the poor guy just can’t get a break from someone like me. I see you are smart enough to stay far far away from any discourse on his international policy, such as it is, or his bullheaded refusal to take on militant Islam terrorists and dictators.

    • canadianobserver11 August 28, 2013 / 10:23 am

      August 27, 2013 at 9:37 am

      With your savvy knowledge of Politics, Amazona, you’ve no doubt thought long and hard and have worked out the perfect solution for Syria. Since you feel the President will bungle up whatever he attempts to do in this situation, perhaps you could tell us what action/non action you would take if you were POTUS and leader of the free world. I know you will be tempted to provide a snarky response and evade the question but I’m am seriously interested hearing how you would handle the whole affair.

      • Amazona August 28, 2013 / 2:25 pm

        Whatsa matta, CO—nobody will play with you so you have to try to pick a fight with me?

        Too bad, because I won’t play either. I guess you’ll have to settle for what you usually have to do, and just play with yourself.

      • canadianobserver11 August 28, 2013 / 3:54 pm

        August 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm
        I guess I gave you too much credit, Amazona, It appears that You are no better than any other armchair general. You moan and grown about the so-called dismal job the Commander-In-Chief is doing but when you are asked how he could, in your estimation, do it in a more proficient manner you get all defensive and change the subject. In your case you’ve gone all Sarah Palin on us, using sexual imagery to insult instead of addressing the question asked. Ewww! .I

  2. Amazona August 25, 2013 / 9:14 am

    If only people would/could acknowledge that the problem is Islam, it might be a good thing to intervene. But this would mean stepping into the middle of a religious war between (or among) warring sects of the same religion, and no matter who does what it will be a bloody mess and intervention will only blow back on those who try, no matter what their intentions.

    • neocon01 August 25, 2013 / 10:23 am

      lets fight the WAR here in America

    • neocon01 August 25, 2013 / 10:35 am

      If only people would/could acknowledge that the problem is Islam,

      a BIG AMEN to that!!

    • neocon01 August 25, 2013 / 12:02 pm

      that is one flag that I agree with burning.

  3. neocon01 August 25, 2013 / 12:06 pm

    Collin Powell: George Zimmerman Acquittal Will Be Seen as a ‘Questionable Judgement’

  4. seniorwoman August 25, 2013 / 1:44 pm

    No, No, and No. The time to go into Syria was when the rebels actually were fighting genocide. But instead, Obama decided to rain down missiles on Libya. And these “chemical weapons” news articles are lies in my opinion. The pictures of the bodies are well displayed on the internet. I not only saw the bodies, but also those attending the bodies. Not one of those people handling the bodies or articles around the bodies were wearing any type of protection be it mask, gloves, decontamination suits, and no disinfecting agents were seen.

    These rebels are as bad as the Syrian regime. The rebels have been taken over by terrorist groups that had time to come into Syria thanks to Obama and his inaction 3 years ago.

    • seniorwoman August 25, 2013 / 1:47 pm

      By the way, what is with “this comment can not be posted”? Just b/c I used the Dictator’s name it was censored? What is up with that?

      • Amazona August 27, 2013 / 9:41 am

        I have had a couple of comments treated this way and was told it was because they had more than one link. Could this be your issue? I’ve seen lots of names used here so doubt that was the problem. I think there is an automatic sorting function in wordpress or something like that to avoid having lots and lots of links posted.

  5. neocon01 August 25, 2013 / 2:15 pm

    Just b/c I used the Dictator’s name it was censored? What is up with that?

    they censored obama’s name?? maybe you should have used his REAL name barry soetoro.

  6. neocon01 August 26, 2013 / 4:35 pm

    the “smartest woman in the world???????? Baaaaa ha ha ha ha ha…

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on “Face the Nation,” March 27, 2011
    “There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”

  7. neocon01 August 27, 2013 / 3:17 pm

    Russian Deputy Premier Calls West ‘Monkey With Hand Grenade’
    ROTFLMAO………racist?? je$$e and Al will have 3 man megaphone march on Russia.

  8. tiredoflibbs August 30, 2013 / 9:39 pm

    Where are all the proggies mindlessly regurgitating that:
    1) Syria did not attack us.
    2) Syria are not a threat to us.
    3) Syria is a sovereign nation,
    etc. etc. etc.

    Where are all the proggies criticizing obAMATEUR for leading us into war with no cause? Where are the outspoken ones who could not wait to jump on the mindless talking points about Iraq? They are predictably silent and will only give scant mention or say they disagree with the pResident only if they are called out for their silence.

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