Crying Wolf: The Dangers of Military Intervention in Syria [OPINION]
We are on the brink of a military intervention in Syria, but recent polling shows that the vast majority of Americans do not want that to happen.
From September 2002 until the start of the Iraq War in March of 2003, the sales pitch for bloodletting was centered on the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power because he wouldn’t allow UN weapons inspectors to probe his WMDs. As it turns out, he didn’t have any, but that didn’t prevent a majority of Americans from supporting the Bush Administration’s impatient march into a quagmire.
A similar situation presents itself today, except that the Assad regime actually does have chemical weapons and just used some of them on the Syrian people.
So why would so few people, 9% in one poll, support military intervention in Syria, when the mere suggestion that there might have been such weapons in Iraq had so many willing to cry havoc?
Maybe, and this is optimism, the American people might have just learned something from the President who cried wolf and the subsequent Iraq debacle about wars in the Middle East; they are all too simple to get into and awful hard to get out of.
It is pretty easy to be against Assad right now, but not so easy to see what would happen if he were removed from power. There is no single rebel movement that wants him gone; it includes pro-democracy types as well as Islamist theocrats.
The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend and there is no sure way to arm and support the rebels without running the risk that something worse comes out of it. Remember, Al-Qaida was birthed out of the Afghani resistance to the Soviet occupation in the 80s.
Not to mention, now that Assad has shown a willingness to use chemical weapons, what is to stop him from really cutting loose with all that he has got, if it looks like his days are numbered? The whole scenario is a mess, and the potential for making it worse is certainly there.
Are you aware that last month was the bloodiest month of sectarian violence in Iraq since 2008? More than a 1000 people were killed in terrorist attacks, and car bombings are pretty much a daily occurrence. Open civil war is a distinct possibility. That is the Iraq that 4500 American lives and more than $760 billion taxpayer dollars bought.
John McCain spends every weekend trying to grab as much airtime as possible for his Syrian war sales job. He has done everything short of call the President a pansy for not already having US guns a blazing.
We should all be thanking our lucky stars that the 2008 election turned out the way it did. Military intervention of some sort looks inevitable at this point, but at least this time we will have someone at the wheel who is concerned about the far reaching consequences of our actions.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Gossom and do not reflect Results Radio, Townsquare Media, its sponsors or subsidiaries.