The United States must avoid a war in Syria

Nick Valenzuela, Staff Writer

The terrifying possibility of another war has felt all too real recently as United States President Barack Obama has considered a military intervention in the Syrian conflict.

Obama’s sudden consideration on entering the conflict arrived after an attack aimed at Syrian rebels on Aug. 21.

The attack took the lives of over 1,400 people, including many innocent children. It was first speculated and later confirmed that chemical weapons were used in the assault.

Images and video of the aftermath have gone viral on the internet. Children covered in white burial sheets line the street and the U.S. public cries for a military mobilization. Our heartstrings have been sufficiently pulled.

Obama initially chose to seek Congressional approval for what he called a “limited military strike” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military regime. The strike would only include a minimal aerial assault.

However, Obama revealed a new plan with an entirely different direction in a speech to the U.S. on Sept. 10. His new plan, created in a collaboration with the Russian government, called for diplomacy over war.

On Sept. 15, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the plan’s guidelines. Syria must provide a list of their chemical weapons and, ultimately, turn them over to an international body to be destroyed.

Should Syria fail to comply, the U.S. would return to talks of a planned military strike.

Let’s take a moment to think about what another war would mean for us.

America feels a need to pretend it is the policing country of the world, and with this mindset, we have gotten ourselves involved in conflicts we had no business in.

If there’s even a chance of some sort of chemical weapons or weapons of mass destruction, the entire nation practically soils themselves with excitement to rush in and get the bad guys.

At some point or another, the U.S. as a whole needs to realize that we can’t solve every problem in the world. Sometimes we need to abstain from war.

Maybe our desire to act on so many conflicts stems from guilt or fear that the past could be repeated?

In 1994, a genocide took place in Rwanda that left over 500,000 people dead. The Clinton Administration, as well as the U.S. public and much of the entire world, turned a blind eye.

It wasn’t until after the genocide was curbed and videos came in showing bodies from infants to elderly scattered about that we really realized the toll it took. The following response was a simple “never again.”

Still, this doesn’t mean we should be calling for a fight every chance we get. We can aid those who need it by sending supplies and offering diplomatic solutions rather than waging war.

Let’s hope our newly-found diplomatic mindset succeeds and we can avoid pointlessly sending in more of our men and women in uniform. The last thing America needs is another “war on terrorism.”