No reason for U.S. to intervene in Syria

The civil war in Syria raises more questions than answers.

While warning Syria's President Assad that the use of chemical weapons could prompt U.S. intervention in that country's civil war, President Obama is taking a wait-and-see attitude about the continuing conflict in that country.

Frankly, it's hard to see what else the U.S. should do, given how overextended our military is and the lack of clarity that surrounds the violence in Syria.

There is no doubt that President Bashar Assad is a ruthless cutthroat who has been brutally repressing his people, just as his father did for decades before him. But who are those currently trying to dislodge Assad from power, and what do they offer the people of Syria?

That may well be another example of trading one ruthless dictator for another, and, if that is the case, why should the U.S. intervene?

The U.S. already has gone through a similar experience in Egypt. Our country played a decisive role in persuading President Hosni Mubarak to step down rather than violently resist the efforts of rebels to force him from power.

But the promised democracy that was to result from what naive people labeled the Arab Spring has yet to show itself, and chances are good that it never will.

Egypt held an election, but it takes more than an election to have a democracy where there is the rule of law and respect for minority rights.

The Muslim Brotherhood was elected in Egypt, and it's hard to believe given their historic intolerance of those who do not share their views that Egypt won't evolve into a theocracy similar to that in Iran. Conversely, the Egyptian army has historically played a huge role in governing the country, posing a counterweight to the Muslim Brotherhood's control of the country. Either way, this is not shaping up as a new birth of freedom for the long-suffering people of Egypt.

It's impossible to predict if Syria faces a similarly bleak future. But Assad has demonstrated that he won't leave unless he's forced out, and his military supporters have launched a killing spree intended to quell dissent. Meanwhile, Assad's foes have indicated nothing other than that they are opposed to Assad, no doubt holding a variety of different views about what Syria's future should be.

In that context, what is the U.S. interest in Syria other than seeing the killing end but having no means to produce that result without putting U.S. personnel and material at risk? There is none.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion
Categories (2):Editorials, Opinions

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Sid Saltfork wrote on August 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm

The News Gazette is right on this.  The last thing this country needs is another military intervention.  The President kept the country out of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt while some like Senator John McCain were criticizing him for not intervening.  The past two wars have bankrupted this country.  How many people who clamored for war in Iraq, and Afghanistan still feel that it was necessary?  The U.S. spent itself dry just as the old U.S.S.R did in Afghanistan.  How much money was spent on bringing "democracy" to that medieval patchwork country?  Who made money off of the wars?  Halliburton with no bid contracts made a fortune along with other contractors.   Who is benefiting now from the mineral rights, and other resources?  China has already signed deals with the Afghanis.  The U.S. is no longer the Arsenal of Democracy.  Those days are over.  Only cooperative efforts with other nations; and the use of diplomacy will work in the future.  Although, look for this country being swept into a war with Iran due to Israel next.   Hopefully, whoever is the next President will not allow that to happen.

read the DI wrote on August 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Ugly racial and religious overtones (or is that undertones?) are pretty strong in this editorial. Would the N-G take the same position if this war was taking place in Canada?

It's one thing to correctly note that trading one dictator for another probably does not merit US intervention. But the introduction of the Mulsim Brotherhood stuff in Egypt was off-point, and the very degrogatory view it suggests of one group's wish for a religious state is inconsistent with the N-G's complete embrace of the religious right's attempt to take over the US government.