Prioritizing the battle in our own yard

Forget 120-day noise violations. The World Police is knocking on Syria’s door, and it’s for reasons far from a party.

Syrians have been immersed in a civil war since 2011. Among other reasons, protest movements were sparked by demands for Bashar al-Assad to resign from the Syrian presidency due to widespread discontent with his approaches regarding socioeconomics and human rights. 

Over two years later, now that Assad has reportedly crossed President Barack Obama’s “red line” of chemical warfare usage, Americans are faced with the prospect of the fifth U.S. military intervention in a foreign country since the start of the 21st century. 

But in light of the endless debates over our military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, combined with our slow recovery from the economic crisis of 2008, is the investment of more money and lives into another overseas conflict really what America needs?

We don’t think so, and according to a poll conducted on Monday by the Pew Research Center and USA Today, neither does the majority of the country. Sixty-three percent of Americans oppose U.S. airstrikes against Syria, with only 28 percent in favor. Additionally, 70 percent of polled Republicans oppose airstrikes – not that it should surprise anyone that Republicans stand against Obama, but it raises the question of how necessary this intervention would be. 

Obama feels as though he needs to stick to his promise of zero tolerance for chemical warfare. He claims that our intervention will be limited in scope, but the fact remains that the intervention still exists.

Since when is military warfare a solid resolution for Obama to solve foreign conflicts? Yes, the president has made efforts to take congressional discretion into account, but we have a pretty strong feeling of which direction he’s leaning toward. Wasn’t his promise to end involvement in the Middle East a dominant factor in his campaign for presidency?

The use of violence to solve violence never works, and it means that even more lives are lost in the process. And if Obama is purely standing by his word for the sake of not appearing weak, as many supportive conservatives have applauded him for, he isn’t learning from the valuable lessons history has taught us. Even Daily Show host Jon Stewart joked, “Oh, right. We have to bomb Syria because we’re in the seventh grade.”

On the other hand, we understand that our country’s apparent desire for worldwide freedom justifies the tradition of foreign intervention. People are dying, and it’s hard for us to knowingly allow these civilian attacks to happen while we turn a blind eye. 

But at some point we need to restrain ourselves; let’s take care of the weeds in our own backyard before we begin peering into our neighbors’.

The HUB will host a discussion about the possibility of airstrikes today at 5 p.m., followed by President Barack Obama’s national address regarding his proposal for Syrian intervention at 6 p.m.