Syrian intervention will reassert American failure abroad
Yesterday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by New Jersey’s own Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, passed a resolution for military action in Syria by a 10-7 vote. The success of this call for action comes in light of news from the Obama administration that the Assad Regime in Syria killed at least 1,400 of their own people as the country continues to struggle through its two-year long civil war. In June, President Barack Obama pledged support for the rebels who have been known to have Al Qaeda influence. Next week the Senate will vote on the resolution, which is a “compromise” after the president could not accumulate enough support for his more open-ended military proposal. Today, America is looking at jumping into another bloodbath in the Middle East.
In 2013, the United States Federal Government is in a historic position: The National Security Administration continues to spy on Americans and the world. Russia is pressuring the U.S. not to intervene in Syria while they get ready to host the Olympics and simultaneously enact a ridiculous program to crackdown on gays. On top of that, the country granted asylum to the one person the Federal Government wants to kill most: National Security Administration whistleblower, Edward Snowden. Meanwhile back at home the American people face a government overhaul of the healthcare industry, the college tuition bubble and of course our $17 trillion debt. So before one even discusses the issue of U.S. intervention in Syria, one must ask the government — where are your priorities?
Obama knows his credibility is on the line with U.S. intervention in Syria. Since he previously set a “Red Line” for intervention in the Middle Eastern country, he probably feels that since said line was crossed he must now act. Though, the president struggles with this political maneuvering since a recent Washington Post/ABC poll released shows that 6 out of 10 Americans do not want the U.S. to strike Syria. This past week Obama’s job approval rating hit its lowest point in history. Many non-establishment Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans are making an unusual partner fighting against intervention. In 2013, most of Obama’s base are looking back at their 2008 presidential pick and asking, “where did that anti-war candidate go?”
The resolution for action in Syria passed yesterday by the Foreign Relations Committee calls for a 60-day limit on military action with a potential 30-day expansion. This resolution, as a narrower approach than the president’s, also excludes the possibility of troops on the ground. Though we all know, once the United States launches cruise missiles into another country, it means war.
To most Americans, especially the youth and those who served themselves, this war is obviously more of the same. For those not caught up in the status quo that is American politics, it is sickening to see how Democrats and Republicans can always seems to agree on war but nothing else. A recent Politico article outlined much of reasoning cruise missiles are America’s weapon of choice. The Tomahawk cruise missiles are made by one of the leaders of the defense industry — Raytheon. The White House budget requested $320 million worth of these weapons for the 2013 fiscal year. When facts like this are actually published in our nation’s media, it is obvious who truly benefits from war itself.
With little international support the Obama administration is attempting to craft their case for intervention in Syria, though they will have a hard time doing so as an administration loaded with political figures who once led the anti-war sphere of Congress. Secretary of State John Kerry — one of the most anti-war candidates for president in recent American politics — is now ironically leading the way toward strikes in Syria. This week at a Senate Hearing on Capitol Hill, anti-war protesters even confronted Kerry among other politicos about their support for intervention.
It should be obvious that the United States has no business intervening in the Syrian civil war, especially when neither side is of particular benefit to our country. On top of all that, we do not have the money, just got out of a previous war and have a couple things here at home that could use the attention. As libertarian-esque legislators such as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky team up with liberals to help halt an overbearing “national defense,” the country will see clear divides in both parties, especially among Republicans. Unfortunately, I do not see that odd coalition among non-establishment legislators strong enough to stop the U.S. from entering another catastrophic war. If U.S. military involvement materializes, this war will undoubtedly have international repercussions that no one can afford. Call your legislators and demand their opposition to intervention in Syria Our future relies on it.
Matthew Boyer is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.