Weeks after the fact, I remain outraged that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry so strongly advocated a US-led attack against targets in Syria.
Someone in Syria, in all likelihood Assad, killed and maimed thousands of people with horrific chemical weapons. The is unforgivable. And yet—I am not willing to support an action that could ignite a global war.
The Middle East is a powder keg already beginning to smolder. Look to history: in August, 1914, the First World War – bloodiest conflict in history in terms of battlefield deaths – started because two people were assassinated. Millions of innocent people died.
Similarly, I would never minimize the horror of Syria’s actions. But will the consequences of our response result in a horror of far greater magnitude? Regardless of its current position, Iran has recently said our bombs would provide a reason to attack Israel. Conceivably, Russia and China could support Syria. The US would have to bring all of its military forces to bear in that region under such a scenario. This could prompt North Korea to attack the South.
Now Iran has turned around again. I am skeptical.In the Syrian civil war, both sides are guilty of egregious atrocities. If the Obama administration and its few reluctant allies succeed in toppling the Assad regime, it may find that the replacement government is just as bad, and more dangerous to the West because of Islamic fundamentalist ties. Or an attack could precipitate a new global war.
Bombs should not be dropped into such a volatile, uncertain cauldron.