President Obama is ready to drag our servicemen and servicewomen into yet another conflict, this time in Syria, that seemingly has nothing to do with America. Many politicians and pundits on both sides of the spectrum support a military strike on Syria for reasons we the people could never understand. In Vietnam, the objective was to contain the spread of Communism, a serious threat to American life during the Cold War years. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan followed a policy of intensive military spending. He knew that a capitalist society like America would outlast the communist economy of a country like the Soviet Union. He was right, and by 1991 the U.S.S.R. had collapsed. After the horrific attacks on September 11th, 2001, we invaded Afghanistan to hunt down those responsible, and rightfully so. The move that many Americans, Republican and Democrat, questioned was the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Liberals demonized President George W. Bush as a warmonger and a man of corporate greed looking to make a quick buck by exchanging “blood for oil”. Even though Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction (acknowledged by the international community well before 9/11), liberals were quick to point out Operation Iraqi Freedom as a vulgar display of government power.
Fast-forward a decade later and we see that in 2013, it is now a liberal president following all the misdeeds of the Bush Administration, but to an even more obtuse degree. Whether it be violating civil liberties and constitutional rights in the name of national security (i.e. the NSA scandal) or opting to attack Syria to expand government power to every corner of the planet, Obama the president has proven to be a man of different principles than Obama the candidate.
Let’s look at the facts here. The Syrian government, headed by Hezbollah ally Bashar al-Assad, has been at war with a vast number of rebel groups within Syria, the majority of which are linked to terrorist networks like al-Qaeda. Why would America side with EITHER of them? The logical thing to do is let both sides demolish each other. The American PEOPLE (as opposed to the oversized government) have nothing to gain from an attack on Syria. The Obama Administration’s reasoning for attacking Syria is because allegedly, Assad used chemical weapons to kill “innocent” children in Syria. Firstly, there is no proof that it was Assad who did it. Secondly, the children were not American. As callous as it may sound, it is NOT our problem.
Those in favor of attacking Syria claim that if the U.S. does nothing, we will lose our standing as a superpower as well as risking a potential Syrian threat against the U.S. in the future. One, the Syrian civil war has raged on for 2 years and we did nothing. One hundred thousand people died in 2 years and we did nothing. Our lack of action in Syria is the last thing that affects America’s reputation as a superpower. Secondly, who cares what the world thinks? If they have such a problem with chemical weapons in Syria, let them do something about it! We have far bigger problems on the home-front than in Syria. We aren’t the “world’s babysitter”. Every time we’ve tried to play the role of human rights champion, it has cost us billions of dollars and irreplaceable American life. To quote the Wu Tang Clan, you have to “protect your neck”.
What comes to mind when thinking of how the Obama Administration tries to win the public’s opinion on Syria, one might think of the scene in the movie Jarhead when the commanding officer tries to rally the troops by showing pictures of chemical gas victims and declaring that he wants to “end this sorry s*** today”. But why? Why should such young American men and women sacrifice their time, their youth, and possibly their lives to save non-Americans? This is our rationale to risk American life? Waving newspaper covers featuring photos of gassed Syrians in our faces will make us say “okay, go raise my taxes and take my son or daughter 3000 miles away to risk his/her life for no purpose other than to expand your power as a bureaucracy.”?
And as far as “protecting our necks” in the future in regards to Syrian chemical weapon use, a quote from another classic movie rings true. Remember the scene in the movie My Cousin Vinny when Billy (played by Ralph Macchio) is trying to calm his friend Stan down and he says the great line “there’s nothing to worry about until there’s something to worry about.” Well that’s just it. There’s nothing to worry about until there’s something to worry about. If the bully in school is beating up a kid that doesn’t like you, do you fight the bully? No. Do you worry that he might do it to you? Worry, no. Being aware of the possibility, yes. Obama and America shouldn’t worry, much less act on chemical weapons use in Syria. However, we should keep a wary eye on the situation before it escalates and directly involves us.
That being said, it is very unlikely Obama will have a change of heart and back off of Syria. Time and time again we’ve seen presidents, both Democrat and Republican, disregard the Constitution to expand the government’s power overseas. We’ve seen billions and billions of dollars wasted on federal aid to countries that end up resenting us later on anyway. We are in essence providing welfare to the rest of the world. What about the true Americans who wake up early every day and slave away to put food on the table? That work their fingers to the bone to make America run? They’re just going to get the shaft because our government thinks helping the rest of the world will give our elected officials more power? Surely, the time will come when the Constitution will be revered in the same way our Founding Fathers revered it. We the people will stand up to a big government that neglects the rights and privileges of its citizens in order to gain more power. Either that, or we’re doomed.