Liberal Conspiracy: The simple reason why international intervention in Syria is necessary

There are a lot of good arguments against military intervention in Syria – ranging from the view that any intervention would only inflame the bloodshed to criticising specific proposals and scenarios for intervention.

I’m not denying that many of them have merit, even if a direct comparison to Afghanistan and or Iraq is ridiculous (to wit: the terrain and size is vastly different; there is strong support from other Arab countries; there’s no oil there). Furthermore, Syrians have been trying to bring attention to their plight for years. Besides, there is almost zero chance of UN or Nato soldiers landing in Syria for a similar ground war.

So the key argument for limited intervention now is about the specific usage of chemical weapons, not the long-running civil war itself. President Obama’s limited options means he can’t decisively finish off Assad, but he can at least punish him strongly for the recent escalation.

As the Washington Post points out:

Any U.S. military action, Carney said, would be a response to “the prohibited use of chemical weapons against civilians.” Kerry emphasized repeatedly that “there must be accountability for those who use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.” What he did not say at any point was that the United States would be entering the war to decisively end it or that the time had come for the world to remove Assad from power.

There is little reason to think that American cruise missiles or airstrikes will dramatically change the course of the war, much less topple Assad. The Assad regime has a huge military advantage over the rebels, and the fighting is city-to-city, neighborhood-to-neighborhood.

So let’s stop with the straw man that we are going for a full intervention in Syria.

The question for those against any intervention is: is it right to sit by and watch states use chemical or biological weapons against their people, setting a precedent for others to do the same?

Of course, the United States isn’t consistent on the matter since it kept silent when Israel has used them. But arguably, such united international condemnation makes it harder for the United States and Israel to use them in any form in the future too.

Either way, the case for united international action when a state use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons on people is powerful. For this simple reason alone there has to be strong action against Assad now or it sets a terrifying precedent for the future.

via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy

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