Thursday was one of those days where I had trouble keeping up with everything that was going on in the news. Some of the many headlines included Mr. Edward Snowden striking again with the Washington Post reporting about a secret $52.6 billion "black budget" for fiscal year 2013 on U.S. intelligence programs, the Justice Department announcing it would allow Colorado and Washington to implement their newly passed laws on marijuana legalization ("allow"?), and the Internal Revenue Service now recognizing all homosexual couples for tax purposes, regardless of whether their state actually recognizes same-sex marriage. Each of these stories are worthy of their own blog post in my opinion, but alas, I do not have time to write that much, for I am a busy college student. Therefore, since there were many updates relating to this topic today, I decided just to focus my ranting solely on the Syrian civil war, which seems to be on everybody's minds at the moment (and for good reason).
In anticipation of U.S. strikes in the battered country, Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations (UN) secretary general, ordered his inspection team to leave Syria and report its findings to him a day earlier than scheduled about whether chemical weapons have been recently used in the civil war. Meanwhile, in our nation's capital, some of the Obama administration's top officials met with selected members of Congress to brief them about possible future missile strikes against the Assad regime. In total only 26 out of 535 members were actually briefed, which is a very low number considering how serious this issue is. At the same time, Iran and Russia are apparently working side-by-side trying to prevent any Western military attack that may happen against their Middle-Eastern ally. To prove they are not joking around, Russia has even sent warships to the Mediterranean where U.S. navy ships are already in position and awaiting for an order to strike. In addition, Iran has said that any attack against Assad equivalently "means the immediate destruction of Israel", which is a close partner of the United States.
Yes, more than likely chemical weapons were used, and more than likely they were deployed by the Assad regime against the rebels in an effort to suppress the revolution. But that is all it is, a chance. We have no idea who deployed them, and whether they were even chemical weapons to begin with. The UK parliament was smart enough today to vote against any possible military action mostly because there simply is currently not enough evidence to prove such a notion, especially since the UN has not revealed its results from its investigation yet. What our administration is doing is jumping the gun, plain and simple. If they launch a strike before they see the UN's findings, they might make the same grave mistake George W. Bush made when invading Iraq.
Furthermore, they are not even bothering to seek approval from either the U.N. security council, which is required by international law, or Congress, where approval is required by the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, since the Syrian conflict is absolutely no threat to the United States or its citizens whatsoever. To me this is very typical of the Obama administration, where arrogance and pretension are rampant. "It doesn't say in the Constitution that leadership and the chair of three committees shall declare war," said Thomas Massie, a representative out of Kentucky. He wants Congress to come back from recess and vote on the military intervention.
But let's say that our president is correct, and that chemical weapons were indeed deployed by Assad. Okay, so what? Yes, it's a terrible crime against humanity, but that does not mean we have to intervene. The world has always been a very complicated and chaotic place; because of this, no government has ever been omniscient about what to do regarding any international issue. It's one thing to give humanitarian aid like food, water, clothing, etc. indiscriminately to those in dire need (which I would support as long as it's emergency aid and not development aid). However, the idea that our administration believes it has the power to completely solve a deeply convoluted crisis half-way across the world with a few bombs here and there at no risk or cost to the United States is a bunch of utter rubbish. This is a classic case where militarily supporting one side in a foreign conflict would end up resulting in disastrous consequences for the intervening country, whether it be support for the rebels or support for the Assad regime.