All the evidence has indicated that on August 21, elements of the Syrian army utilized chemical weapons that killed anywhere from 355 to 1,729 rebel fighters and civilians. Recent reports have suggested that sarin gas was the specific agent used in this particular chemical attack. In response to these attacks, some members of the international community have called for military action to punish the Syrian regime for its actions. Other however have called for restraint and want to wait for the UN inspectors to release a report in the coming days.
Since the starting of the civil war in Syria, well over 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Some people wonder why chemical weapons should be the red line between intervention and non-intervention, especially when the death toll is already so high. Ever since WWI, the international community has rejected the use of chemical weapons even during times of war. That’s right, the use of chemical weapons is so terrifying for the world that it is banned even during times of war. The Chemical Weapons Convention was designed to eliminate the production, sale, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons has 165 signatories and Syria happens to be one of the few countries that is not a signatory to the convention. The point is that the use of chemical weapons by any part of society is a strong violation of international norms and clearly goes against international law.
If the international community refuses to take action and punish the Assad regime, what kind of message are we going to send to other state or non-state actors who might utilize chemical weapons? What kind of message does this send to Iran and its nuclear program if they see the use of weapons of mass destruction does absolutely nothing about it? I do not believe that we need to send boots on the ground of in fact make any difference to the end result of the conflict. All the United States needs to do is send a message that we will not let the murder of citizens of the world by use of WMDs go unpunished. The proposed strikes are very limited in nature and will unlikely risk the lives of American soldiers and have a very small monetary cost.
Finally I will like to end by emphasizing that this is not like Iraq. We are not sending troops into action, chemical weapons were actually used in this situation (unlike in Iraq), and will not be very costly at all. The military aims of the United States should be to seek regime change, but to illustrate that any further use of chemical weapons will not be left unanswered. Taking limited military action does not all together rule out a diplomatic solution, it could even speed things up. What I do not want to see in 10 years is a Bill Clinton situation, a regret that because the United States, the United Nations, and other members of international community failed to take action in Rwanda, lives could have been saved. Taking action might not change the situation on the ground, but not taking action will have far more damaging consequences to the credibility of living in a civilized society.
Apparently only popular among the yutes.