The end of the Cold War provided an opportunity for a reshuffling of historic alliances and power, and Americans embraced the idea of a New World Order. Syria is the latest example of Obama’s New World Disorder.
With 9/11, we saw the culmination of a new, asymmetric threat from seventh-century primitives who continued to gain strength through the Clinton administration before perpetrating the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor.
In the aftermath, then-Senator Obama voted against our overseas efforts to fight terrorism and vehemently objected to tactics, such as enhanced interrogation methods, some of which played a role in gaining valuable information that enabled us to dispatch Osama Bin Laden on his own personal quest for 72 virgins in the hereafter.
Americans have learned that the world is a more dangerous place under the leadership of our Nobel Peace Prize winner, who never seemed to learn that peace is best achieved though strength.
On August 20, 2012, President Obama drew his “red line,” promising to retaliate against chemical weapon use in Syria. We know that dictator Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria used chemical weapons after Obama drew his red line. We also know that up to 100,000 men, women, and children have died in the struggle.
Another two million Syrians fled to neighboring countries and now live in refugee camps. Rampant religious persecution occurs at the hands of violent factions.
Syria’s citizens face dire threats as part of daily life in this war-torn country. Recent news of a chemical attack that killed 1,400 Syrians, including 400 children, brought public outcry for a response. We must act in response to this heartbreaking situation.
Obama proposes a unilateral military response. The parliament of our closest ally rejected support for a military intervention. No other countries have offered to initiate military action against the Assad government. The rebels fighting the Assad regime include members of both the Muslim Brotherhood and elements of al-Qaeda.
At a press conference in Sweden, Obama disavowed responsibility for drawing a red line, deflecting criticism to Congress, the American people, and the international community. Urging action, he insisted we must “mean what we say” about chemical weapons.
Here are five reasons why the US should not pursue military action:
1. We cannot trust Obama to lead a war effort. His foolhardy unilateral engagement in Libya resulted in arming our enemies, who used our weapons to attack our people and kill four brave Americans. He has failed to bring these perpetrators to justice and has essentially ignored the murder, on his watch, of four Americans. No more Benghazis.
2. We do not know who will control Syria’s chemical weapons if Assad falls. Even without intending to take out Assad directly, our actions could cause his overthrow. We don’t want to provide chemical weapons to Hezbollah, a group that vowed to wipe Israel off the map. Nor do we want Syrian al-Qaeda elements to gain access to weapons of mass destruction to use them against Americans or our allies.
3. An attack on Syria will fail to benefit America, Syrians, or the people of the Middle East, especially the region’s Christians who fare much worse under popular Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. We do not need to exacerbate our already decimated military readiness or our hobbling economy. War is expensive. The last thing we need are open-ended, fool-hardy missions led by an inconsistent and unreliable leader.
4. We have far more pressing issues in the US than a military frolic and detour. We need to focus our energies on defunding Obamacare before it becomes entrenched, reining in out-of-control federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency. The current administration still has yet to answer for their outrageous conduct. We must concentrate our national attention and our political leaders on getting our economy to flourish and allowing entrepreneurs to create jobs.
5. We have less influence in the world than the politicians and pundits would have us believe, and we need to deploy our limited influence judiciously. Prior uses of chemical weapons in Syria, and for that matter in Iraq, did not cross Obama’s red line for U.S. action. The president and other administration officials suggest that our reputation is on the line, as if we must win a playground standoff. People will die, and to what end? Obama has given no satisfactory answer.
What should we do about Syria? We need to take care of the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, using private organizations that are most effective and already invested and on the ground. We need to make serious and committed preparations to defend our allies and ourselves. We must make an all-out effort to locate all chemical weapons in Syria and be prepared to take them out if regime change or other unpredictable events risk them falling into the wrong hands.
Our elected leaders need to hear, loudly and clearly, that the American people don’t want military action in Syria.
Gayle Trotter is an attorney and writer.