Sticking to our Word

First and foremost, I want to say that I could never have made a decision like the President had to do. I feel strongly that I cannot make a decision on whether or not military action is or is not the thing to do because I am not the most educated over the topic at hand. However, what I do know is that the American government had stated that there was a “red line” that was not to be crossed. And what has recently happened in Syria is definitely what I would call crossing the “red line.” The loss of innocent lives in Syria has truly been heartbreaking to watch. Hearing about millions of people and children being gassed is unfathomable to me. Everyone would agree that what has been done there is morally wrong. Now I ask myself what is the next step? Before taking the next step, there are many thoughts to consider such as our credibility, our soldiers, and lastly the money that would fuel this probable oncoming war.Mideast Syria

When this all first came about, I believe President Obama was too hesitant at the start. Although I would have been hesitant at first also, I believe the result of his stalling made the United States appear weak and less credible when that barrier was crossed by using chemical weapons. Which brings me to my next point, if President Obama were to not induce military action onto the Syrian government, would the United States appear to be less credible? In terms of a card game, President Obama’s bluff was being called; would he continue to go forward or would he fold?

I believe not only would we appear less credible to Syria, but also to other major powers in the World.  Furthermore, I believe less Americans would trust their own President, which to me would be a huge downfall. If the United States fails to act, the Syrian government will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. Once the Syrians break international law other tyrants will not stop to think about gassing their own citizens. Over time, we could possibly begin to face this issue again until it finally meets us on the battlefield.

However, continuing forward would mean intervening in another nation’s civil war. By intervening with a military strike I believe we could significantly harm not only American interests at home, but also abroad. Our country has already had to endure years over sea in the Middle East. Although there are many disagreements in this war, I think we can all agree that these conflicts have cost our soldiers many lives. syria 2In combination with this we have spent many billions of dollars that the American government does not have to spend. As an example, reference to the two graphs; one of which shows the amount of debt throughout the years during each President’s term and the next shows the cost of the war in Afghanistan. debtwar debtFor these reasons, I have become more hesitant to say we should help the Syrians. Even though this is very selfish, I think I would first rather see more efforts put into our government to fix our debt instead of using our resources in another nation’s civil war.

On September 10th the President gave his nationwide speech (click here to view video of the speech). I believe this was one of his better speeches and personally I enjoyed listening to it. Throughout his speech (click here to view transcript of speech) you could clearly understand President Obama’s proposal. In the beginning of his speech, President Obama used intense imagery of the effects of the public gassings; to me this was a very smart approach for him knowing what his end goal was. In this speech, I began to understand President Obama’s reasoning for sending it to Congress. I believe he may have done this so that the disagreements in his decision making did not solely rest on him like it did on the previous President Bush. His speech also resolved my concerns for the American soldiers. It worries me, however, that President Obama makes it seem as though this targeted missile strike will be something that is quick and easy. After all, wasn’t our war in the Middle East said in the beginning to be more quick and easy than it has been?

The debate over using military force in Syria is important. I believe everyone should involve themselves in learning on the issues at hand and have an input. The use of our armed forces should never be a decision that’s taken lightly; therefore, I have deep respect for the President’s role as Commander-in-Chief.

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