When I first read about the Syrian government using chemical weapons on their own people, I too was disgusted. The urge to get involved & do something is completely understandable. Which is why, as a global humanitarian, it’s so hard for me to say this: We really need to stay out of this conflict and not meddle in a region where we’re not wanted.
America already has an extremely bad rap in the middle-east. Despite being tens of thousands of miles removed, we’ve somehow managed to attract the wrath of every terrorist group in the region. One such group went to extreme lengths to attack us on Sept 11… with many in the middle east cheering them on. Two years later, we tried to liberate the Iraqi people & deposed their tyrant. We expected to be greeted as liberators, and instead became universally reviled. The message from the middle east is clear: Stay out. Sunnis and Shiites may hate each other, but they seem to hate us even more.
The tendency to help is admirable, but we can only help those who want to be helped. During world-war-2, Britain and her Allies literally begged us to enter the war & help them. The Jewish people were extremely grateful to have us enter the war against Germany, and end the Holocaust. The South Koreans & Taiwanese will do all they can to remain under our military protection, and maintain our military bases in their homes. This should be the standard for American intervention.
None of this is true in Syria, or anywhere in the Middle East. Us intervening against the Sunni leadership in Iraq, only served as the best recruiting tool Al Qaeda could have hoped for. Us intervening against the Shiite government in Syria is only going to result in all the Shiites we “liberated” in Iraq taking up arms against us. We may think we’re intervening on humanitarian grounds, but the people in the middle-east will only see us taking sides with their mortal enemies. The people we’re trying to help will certainly not appreciate it, and their opponents will use it as a perfect recruiting tool to stage future attacks against us.
I’m all for humanitarian interventions, if the people we’re trying to help actually want it. Let the Sunni leaders in the region publicly beseech Western help against the despot in Syria. Let them publicly request our help, and thank us for the past help we’ve given. Until that day comes, let’s not meddle in their affairs, and let’s not stir up any further animosity than we already have.