After much thought, and after watching Sec'y of State Kerry testify, I've concluded that I'm fervently opposed to any unilateral U.S. military action of any kind in Syria.
We know Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people, and we know he is responsible for tens of thousands of other Syrian deaths. He's a tyrant and war criminal as far as I'm concerned he should be taken out and have his balss stomped on, and yet I still believe we must remain on the side-line militarily, for too many reasons to list here.
For one thing, we have a terrible record of backing sides in the Middle East. We put the Shah in power in Iran in the 50s, and we backed Saddam Hussein and the Taliban in the decades before 9/11. How did that work out?
Plus, tell me who the good guys are in this conflict? From what I've read, it's very possible there are only bad guys and even badder guys fighting there now.
If Assad used chemical weapons on his own people it is because he is desperate. He knew the world would almost certainly find out, and he knew there was a good chance the U.S. would seek to punish him for it, and yet he did it anyway. Because he's desperate! And why would we think that by firing some missiles and blowing up some of his facilities this desperate man will suddenly act rationally? Does anyone believe Assad will allow himself to be attacked by the United States and then in front of the whole world, give in nicely? No. He'll use gas again and dare us to retaliate again, because he knows we do not have the will to turn this into a full-scale war. He knows Obama and Congress has been given a very short rope by the people, but if Assad can suck us into a war over there, then the U.S., not he, will own the war and everything bad that happens.
The vast majority of Americans are currently against military action. Why? Because we've seen this movie before. The mighty America goes swaggering into a country to "clean it up" and before you know it we're bogged down in a decades-long fight with only American body bags to show for it.
Here's my prediction, however. Despite the public's strong opposition to a military strike, we'll get involved anyway because "the will of the people" is a laughable concept in America today. The oh-so-bright "experts" in the far-right think tanks (yes, the same ones who urged us into Iraq) say we must do this to "maintain our credibility," so the politicians will give Obama the authority and we'll start shooting the missiles. We will. Just watch and see.
So we will fire our missiles into Syria, doing some damage (and killing some civilians in the process). Then Assad will regroup and gas some more of his people. So what does America do when a tyrant thumbs his nose at us? WE FIGHT BACK because we're the MIGHTIEST nation in the world! And we must retaliate to maintain our credibility.
So we fire more missiles, and Assad gasses more of his people, and we fire more missiles, and Assad gasses more people, and pretty soon we get tired of firing missiles and bring in the heavy stuff. Yeah, see how easy it was to get us into another war?
Our best response is to stand tall and call Assad an Evil, Despotic, War Criminal who will face the Full Wrath of the World when we finally get hold of him, and place a bounty on his head. Then we should commit the same amount of money we were going to spend on the missile strikes and use it for humanitarian aid. This is the only humane thing we can do successfully in Syria.
I find it particularly hideous that in a nation where many are suffering great poverty and cities all over the country are going bankrupt, we suddenly find the money to engage in another military adventure! I don't think it is a stretch to assert that the wealthiest in America most likely want another war, because a) they make money from it, b) they don't have to pay for it, and c) they don't fight it. The war will be funded by further cuts in services, especially for the poor - and guess who will end up doing the fighting? The poor who enlist because there are no jobs for them anymore.
Contact your Representative and Senators and tell them to send humanitarian aid instead of shooting missiles.