We have no authority or responsibility to act militarily in Syria. While no reasonable person condones the use of chemical weapons against civilians, the actions of the Syrian government against its own people are inherently an internal matter. If we as a nation believe that we have the authority to take sides, militarily, in an internal conflict in another nation, then we must be prepared for other nations to take sides, militarily, in our internal matters.
Do we have a moral responsibility to participate in an international effort to provide humanitarian or medical aid to civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict? Yes, but only as a part of a multinational effort, not as the sole provider.
Do we have an obligation to eradicate chemical weapons in any nation that has not threatened the United States, militarily? No, we are not the world’s police force. At some point if Syria threatens the world or our allies, then such an obligation may emerge. However, this does not mean if an ally wants us to take action, pre-emptively, without such a threat, we do their bidding. That includes Israel.
President Barack Obama appears to be asking for congressional approval, under the War Powers Act, to take military action in Syria. I urge Congress to deny such approval, and I further urge President Obama to comply with that decision. We the people need to advise our elected members of Congress whether we want to inject our nation, militarily, into the Syrian civil war.
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