Regardless of political affiliations, or reservations stemming from the fact that this conflict may not be “our problem”, Americans have a duty to act against the horrific mistreatment done to Syrians by the Assad regime.
On August 21st, in the midst of a bloody civil war, Syria’s government targeted and attacked 11 neighborhoods with chemical warfare. These neighborhoods were allegedly home to opposition forces; still, the casualties crossed rebel lines and proved detrimental for innocent civilians.
In President Obama’s address on Syria, he vividly recounted the images released from the attack; children growing cold on linoleum hospital floors, fathers imploring their children to stand and find shelter.
This use of chemical warfare, against citizens unable to defend themselves, was not only an outright violation of accepted, international law- it was a blatant corruption of ethical and moral values. If we as a nation have the opportunity to prevent the further slaughter of innocent families, we must act on it immediately; preferably through diplomacy with Russia’s help, or if necessary, a direct military strike.
If we fail to act, the use of chemical weapons will indefinitely spread. Other countries, maybe even our allies, could be attacked with chemical warfare and this now-centralized issue will potentially mushroom out of proportion.
Our failure to enforce this international law protecting humanity would result in innumerable consequences. Other nations would deem our words admissible, as a drunkard would drive under the influence given the opportunity to not have any consequences. We must act immediately to prevent further spread, and degrade Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons as soon as possible.
As President Obama recognized, we are not the world’s policemen, but as exceptional Americans, we must pursue this chance to right a wrong.