The Case For And Against Intervening In Syria

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The Case For And Against Intervening In Syria

While the Obama administration has been considering an armed intervention in Syria following the gassing deaths of hundreds of Syrian civilians, a vocal movement in Congress and among the general public has emerged in opposition of any U.S. military role. Here are the arguments for and against American involvement in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation:


  • It’s the right thing to do, maybe
  • Let American people finally sleep at night after years of being tormented by thoughts of innocent Syrians dying
  • Will put thousands of honest, diligent American Tomahawk cruise missiles back to work
  • We’re the good guys
  • Syrian people deserve to be free of a psychotic, oppressive dictator for a few weeks
  • Moral obligation to our defense industry
  • Footage of missiles being launched off decks of ships, green night-vision images, aerial shots of explosions—all that good stuff
  • Have plenty of money, a fresh, rested military—why not?
  • Be nice to throw Kathryn Bigelow a bone
  • Chance for Obama to put an exclamation point on an already great year
  • It’s been a while since we did one of these things


  • Someone might be hurt, or even die
  • Could turn Russia and Iran against U.S.
  • History
  • Fear of setting a precedent of military action without U.N. approval
  • Slight, almost infinitesimal chance intervention might be a completely ineffectual act that even further destabilizes the region, touching off massive anti-American sentiment while allowing jihadist radicals to take power
  • Painful memories of intervening in Rwandan genocide
  • It’s hard
  • Bashar al-Assad just had a baby. A baby!
  • Bush invaded a foreign country. If Obama invades a foreign country, he will be like Bush. It is not good to be like Bush.
  • If we ever want to patch things up with Assad, this won’t exactly make that conversation a cake walk
  • Situation might work itself out


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