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Opinion & Editorial

Letter to the Editor: The Case Against American Involvement in Syria

The Syrian conflict has been in the news non-stop for the past few weeks. As a steady stream of atrocities and heinous chemical attacks flows through the media, President Obama pushes for action against Syrian dictator Assad. Yes, Assad is a brutal dictator. Yes, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in this horrible conflict. Yes, I do feel bad for the refugees fleeing destroyed homes. But is this America’s fight?

The answer is “no.” First, America risks a further destabilization of an already volatile region. If America attempts to launch missile strikes, it will only serve to antagonize and inflame Syrian people, the people we would supposedly help by this strike. Numerous interviews have been conducted with ordinary civilians, and the consensus is “no America involvement,” and that a missile strike would serve to increase an already prevalent anti-Americanism. In addition, an attack would give nations such as Iran an excuse to actively aid the regime, adding more troops and killings to the bloodbath. Perhaps an attack would also provoke a Russian defense of its ally, the consequences of which could result in wide-reaching destruction and an escalation of a local conflict, into a regional one.

Second, what sense would an attack make? Sending missiles to protest chemical weapons would have no effect on a ruthless regime determined to crush the opposition. We have given plenty of warnings for Assad to move his assets out of harm’s way. In addition, what if radical rebel factions perpetrated the chemical attack? We have already seen some rebel factions align with al-Qaeda, and we all know about the moral consciences and brutality of those groups. A missile strike would not radically change either factions’ practices, as both Assad and radical rebels display no intention of playing fair.

Last, what good will these strikes do to bring an end to this conflict? Assad will have suffered minimal damage, and its allies Russia and Iran could undertake drastic measures. Even targeting Assad himself would not end the war. Instead, a new civil war between pro-democracy rebels and radical Islamist rebels would ensue, continuing to an already increasing body count.

These points clearly state the insanity of attacking Syria. This is a local conflict, between factions that do not support, and are even hostile towards our interests. Let’s keep it that way by staying out of the Syrian conflict.

Alex Ho’14


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