We’re about to find out how seriously Obama was when he said Syria’s use of chemical or biological weapons would be “crossing a line”, and would trigger action by the United States. Personally, I don’t see much of a difference between the Syrian regime using bullets, bombs, or chemical weapons, the net effect is still the same. Assad’s regime is still murdering its own citizens as it tries to cling to power.
I find it strange how people react differently to HOW an atrocity is committed. Just yesterday, 5 people are killed in a shooting rampage and a young girl is hospitalized in Illinois, and the headlines continue be dominated by the Boston bombing that occurred 10 days ago, where 3 people were killed. In Syria, I guess it’s OK for Syrian troops to bomb its own citizenry. I guess it’s OK for snipers loyal to Assad to make simply appearing in public a life-or-death gamble. How many thousands of Syrians have died or been injured in the last 2 years? THAT evidently isn’t enough to trigger American action, but at the first sniff of “proof” of chemical weapons usage, and the (Hairy Old White Men) hawks are calling for war.
Geography also obviously plays a role in what level of “outrage” Americans express over atrocities committed overseas. There’s a definite hierarchy! Trouble in the Middle East? We’ve got oil interests there! Genocide in Rwanda? Genocide in Sudan? Eh…barely registers on the political radar in America.
So what will Obama do? With Americans weary of war, with the Middle East weary of American boots on the ground in the region, I can’t believe we’d ever become involved in any significant ground-based operations to oust Assad. Supplying weapons and air support for rebels certainly seems like a strong possibility now, something that would have likely never happened without “proof” of chemical weapons usage.
In the meantime, the same ol’ Washington crowd has been beating the war drums. I sympathize with the Syrian rebels. But, like most Americans, I weary of the constant state of war, I weary of the constant military involvement in the Middle East. I weary of an American military that accounted for 40% of ALL global military expenditures last year. I weary of a “culture of war”, where military intervention is seemingly the action of choice for many in Washington. I weary of American’s self-imposed role as the World’s Policeman. I weary of a world where there’s constantly a NEED for a “World’s Policeman”.
You have a tough decision ahead, Mr. Obama.