Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Opinion: Syria

In recent weeks, Syria has been a big topic in the United States.  Syria has agreed to a Russian proposal to give up their chemical weapons. President Barack Obama tells people to remain cautious; however it is unclear how the deal will pan out. The al-Assad regime has agreed to give up the chemical weapons but it does not mean that America should not step in.
Following reports that the al-Assad government used chemical weapons to kill 1,300 people, including many women and children, President Barack Obama called for military action. President Obama called chemical weapons a "red line" that cannot be crossed. In a recent address to the nation, President Obama credited the use of chemical weapons as the reason for a potential strike.
Many people in the United States, however, are opposed to idea of engaging in another Middle Eastern war. People are opposed because the U.S. is just winding down from their own involvement with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though the Obama administration has said that the maximum time frame for a campaign would be 90 days, people are wary because President Bush deployed troops to Iraq to find chemical weapons. And still almost 12 years later, the United States is still engaged in war in the Middle East.
A potential problem with U.S. involvement, however, is that Syria has a very good relationship with Russia. This could complicate things because if the United States were to respond to the al-Assad regime with military action, then there is a possibility that Russia could retaliate. If that happens then the whole conflict could be significantly worsened.
Many citizens are also wondering why the U.S. is trying to get involved now. The Syrian civil war has been going on for two years and the conflict has claimed more than 100,000 lives, many of those women and children. Why doesn't the use of conventional weapons warrant military action?
Whatever the answer to that question is, the fact remains that innocent people are still dying and no one is stepping in to help them.
Although there is a strong anti-war argument, there are also many reasons why we should get involved. For one, the use of chemical weapons warrants a military strike. Considering that the British Parliament recently voted against possible military action in Syria, Obama believes that it is the U.S.’s responsibility to intervene. The United States has always been the country that stands up for the littler countries. Since the Syrian people cannot defend themselves against their government, some else has to step in to help.
The United States needs to step up and be a country that others can model themselves after. If America deploys troops to Syria then other countries might follow.
But although arguments on both sides are strong, it looks as though a military strike as been averted, at least for the near future.

By: Alden Bedsole 

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