To the editor,
By the time this is published, the United States may have taken military action against the Assad regime in Syria. After one hundred thousand people have been killed there in the last two years via conventional munitions, the West has suddenly deemed the use of Sarin gas a casus beli for air strikes against the Syrian government. Really?
Assad has shown himself to be a ruthless dictator and oppressor of his people, of that we can be certain. He may have ordered that his military use nerve gas against rebel forces, the evidence is unclear.
Let's assume that he did issue such an order. Before we fire a shot some questions need to be answered. First, we need to know why the use of American military assets against Syria is in the strategic interest of the United States. Syria has done nothing to our country. It is not a threat to the United States, nor has it threatened us prior to our threat against it. I can see no strategic reason for our initiation of bombing.
Additionally, when nation-states use military force against other nations there should be an achievable outcome in mind before hostilities are commenced. There has been no achievable goal articulated by the Obama administration for bombing the Syrian regime. If we think that a limited campaign will deter Assad we are likely to discover military force simply makes him more determined. It also gives his allies new reasons to target us and our allies. That is not an outcome we need to risk, especially when there is no nationalistic reason for acting.
Secretary of State Kerry seemed to imply in a statement issued on August 26th that we had a moral obligation to act because weapons of mass destruction may have been used by Assad. Senator McCain has echoed Kerry. Malarkey! It is not our job to punish Syria for using chemical weapons on its people. The world is filled with nasty actors who commit unspeakable crimes against their citizens. Mao killed millions of his people in China during the 1950's and 60's and Pol Pot did likewise in Cambodia in the 1970's. We didn't go on a moral crusade when those genocides took place. There is no reason to do so now.
U.S. presidents have lately been guilty of misusing our military in adventures overseas. Our forces were badly mismanaged in Vietnam and our nation building campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven disastrous at great cost. Our military needs to be used more traditionally for defending our sovereignty, our citizenry, and our national interests when they are threatened. If an enemy wishes to make war on us we need to be fully capable of a lethal response.
The situation in Syria doesn't affect our sovereignty, citizens, or our national interests. We need to stand down and let the Syrian civil war play out without our intervention. As odious and evil as Assad is, it's none of our business.