As America prepares for yet another conflict in the Middle East, U.S. Representative Eric Cantor (VA-7th) has cast a crucial “aye” nod of support for the use of our military’s mighty war machine in Syria. After President Obama announced on Saturday that he would be putting the power of war squarely back into the court of the U.S. Congress, it was widely seen as a huge gamble that has turned out to be a huge victory so far for the president.
As the Richmond Times pointed out, however, not all of Virginia’s congressional representatives are pro-military conflict in Syria. Rep. J. Randy Forbes, (VA-4th), a member of the Armed Services Committee, stated he has “no intention of voting to authorize American intervention in Syria.”
Rep. Cantor’s “nay” show of support for military action in Syria could have spelled the death-knell for President Obama’s aspirations to severely weaken or topple President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. Instead, Rep. Cantor acquiesced, and I can only imagine that this means there is compelling evidence for Syria’s use of chemical weapons.
The primary argument for intervention has been, and continues to be, Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons on its own citizens. The argument strikes me as odd because it implies that governments who kill their own people without chemical weapons are somehow off the hook in terms of U.S. military intervention.
So if Regime A in East Asia decides to massacre a portion of its own population, does the U.S. military only intervene if and when chemical weapons are used?
The point is that the people of Syria’s suffering is a tragedy by anyone’s account. But what makes Syria any different than North Korea, the Chinese repression of Tibetan’s, or the Sudan, just to name a few repressive governments. At what point do we say enough people have been killed and/or repressed, and who is going to make that decision? Should the U.S. military intervene in all of these countries?
Lastly, who’s to say that U.S. military intervention won’t cause even more bloodshed in the short or long run? We have too often been led into military excursions by our political ‘leaders’ without a comprehensive game plan or understanding of the hornet’s nest we’re crawling into.
I am not for military intervention overseas in this context because ultimately, I don’t see many positive outcomes and the more we ‘go after bad guys’ in distant countries, the more we avert our gaze from domestic issues that we should be resolving.