Sunday, April 9, 2017

Should We go to War in Syria?

   Do we let ourselves get drawn into this war? Or do we remain out? I'm told President Trump's attack on the Syrian air base was the first direct U.S. attack on Syria in the six-year history of the conflict.
   Do we delve in, more?
   I open today's newspaper to read how Syria has struck, again, at Khan Sheikhoun, the town devastated by the chemical bombings. I assume the news story is correct in saying it was the Syrians who conducted Saturday's attack on Khan Sheikhoun.
   And, I read the criticism of how Trump's missile attack was but symbolic, of how it will do nothing to deter the Syrians, nor save the civilians. That the Syrians returned to Khan Sheikhoun is evidence of that. They thumbed their nose at the U.S. and, in essence, suggested our attack will only make it worse for the civilians.
    From the Washington Post story, I read: "'The American strikes did nothing for us. They can still commit massacres at any time,' said Majed Khattab, speaking by phone from Khan Sheikhoun. 'No one here can sleep properly; people are really afraid.'"
   So, what do we do? 
   Are we the world's policeman? Do we want to be? Does international law allow us to be? Will this be but one of many conflicts we get drawn into?
   I read from the Washington Post story of Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr criticizing both Russian and U.S. intervention. "I call for a military retreat from Syria by everyone," he says. "The Syrians are the only ones who have the right to decide their fate."
   I consider that this is not exactly a matter in which you could ask for a national referendum of the Syrian people, asking them what they want. The Syrians the only ones who should decide their fate? The people are not even in position to pick their own fate. Or is Moqtada al-Sadr saying the fate should to be left to Syrian President Bashar Assad, ISIS and the rebels? 
   I do believe this: Congress should convene -- should already have convened, for that matter -- to discuss whether we should go to war. We keep saying it is for Congress to declare war. Often, then, when the question of whether we should go to war does come up, why is it that Congress does not even convene to discuss the matter? 
   As for me, do I believe we should go to war? I must think on it some more.

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