The Geneva Convention says that chemical weapons are off-limits, and although this did not stop the United States from using them in Vietnam, they are still a big no-no. If you use them, then you can expect that United States President Barack Obama will arrange for B-52 bombers to pay you a visit. Lucky you.
While I do recognize the need for United States intervention in Syria, I am not convinced that the U.S. has taken an appropriate course of action. If you are not ready to go all the way, you should not be involving yourself in a manner that may require you to do so.
President Obama has taken a strong stance on the events Syria and deployed battleships to the Mediterranean, warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that an air strike will soon follow. This has given Assad and allies time to take precautionary measures, while the U.S. is racking up a cool $25 million (according to fool.com) tab every week for our battleships to remain in striking distance of Syria. That is a small cost to pay in comparison to what the cruise missiles these ships are planned to launch will cost, plus the fee to resupply our stock of these missiles. At this point, it seems that a bullet would be cheaper, especially considering the United States national debt is soon to surpass $17 trillion.
However, the problem with just killing Assad is that it does not send the message the U.S. is looking to get across. By catering Syrian airfields, command centers and nuclear facilities with Tomahawk and XR cruise missiles, backed with the support of Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Pakistan the U.S. hopes that Iran will not proceed in weapons development.
Though, this may do just the opposite. As Sun Tzu, author of “The Art of War” said, “When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory,” and currently there is enough danger to go around for everybody.
I think most Americans find it comforting when President Obama assures the country that U.S. soldiers will not be on the ground in Syria, although I would like to know how many soldiers he is willing to deploy around the world in order to protect our assets from retaliation. Benghazi would not look too good for Hillary, when she is running for Presidential Election in 2016, so I am guessing the number is high.
The fact is that bombing Syria greatly increases the risk for Americans to be attacked by terrorists. Syria is a visible supporter of terrorist groups and even Iran warned the U.S. that they would be punished if they militarily intervene in Syria.
Russian warships have already entered the Mediterranean in support of Syria, and it is also important not to forget about other Syrian allies such as China, North Korea and Lebanon.
Going all the way means if the U.S. were to bomb Syria, Lebanon is next and we are not stopping there. While I would first advocate for a diplomatic solution to any political problem, at this point there is no turning around.
President Obama said that he would do something, and if he were to back down that would make the U.S. look as if it is weak. This perception of the U.S. being weak will be motivation for enemies of the US to produce chemical weapons and use them against our allies.
While I do not support President Obama’s quick decision to deploy battleships without congressional approval, the fact that he already made that action means we need effective resolution in the area.