Is attacking Syria a smart move?

Contributor Opinion.

Syria’s latest chemical use of weapons against its own population has divided the U.S. and Russia into a larger dilemma. From a neutral perspective it seems like the F.S.A. (the rebels) are defeating Assad’s army the S.A.A., And its unlikely, that Assad is going to win the civil war just looking by at Damascus, and Aleppo.

The chemical weapons used to kill 1.300, innocent people seem to have sparked a violation of human rights, U.N. and international laws. A team of investigators representing the U.N., is now coming back from analyzing the causes of the explosion. 

Secretary of State John Kerry made a forceful case for U.S. military action against Syria on Monday, after a weekend in which the administration signaled that it was preparing for exactly that, as a response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.

So its more than likely that Obama is going to take action backed by France, and England which are contemplating the possibility of engagement against the S.A.A., sometime this week.

But Putin and Iran have been clear in stating that support could bring a lot more problems for the Middle East (they could be right). Interestingly, Erdogan’s Turkey does not seem happy with China, Iran and Russia, and he is trying to come up with a new U.N. structure that won’t allow their congruent participation.   

But the question is simple. Is the premature invasion and support to attack Assad’s Army, a good idea or a bad idea? By U.S. helping the F.S.A., is it going to lead to other concerns as seen in countries under the Arab Spring, which are still decentralized like Libya and Jordan to give a few examples? Is it better in this case to back up Russia and Iran that support the Assad’s regime, or is it better to support the UN the U.S. allies that want to help the rebels? Is Russia capable and not afraid of declaring war to the U.S. to protect their strategic interest in Syria?



Romy Kerwin.

“The west has been very patient with the Assad government.  However, he has gone where no-one can tolerate. He has killed 1300 innocent people, including young children by weapons of mass extinction.

He must go and be judged as a war criminal.Forget alliances. The nerve gas is absolutely the end of Syria.  On a humanitarian viewpoint, it is morally repellent and must be stopped at all costs.

What I fear is that once this threshold of abomination is crossed, it could become a precedent for other countries in other wars.There must be zero tolerance for something so repugnant and cowardly.”



Mr. Jaime Lopez.

“The idea that the US enter into any conflict is premature, mature, or on time can never be determined from opinions.  Timing is strictly an opinion of individuals whom may have some or deep knowledge of the internal issues, be closer to the situation, have strong academic understanding of what caused the situation, are politically motivated, or have financial interests.

A better question is why does the US have to be directly involved at all?  Because it is the middle east?  Is that truly a good answer? We as a leader must always make the hard decisions, but the decision to violently strike at a country that has stepped over the line when dealing with its own citizens is not a decision.

One question that this issue raises is why are the French interested in participating?  One thing we have learned over the past 20 years is that the French do not get involved to address human rights issues.  There can be a simple answer, but that is not the correct answer.  The French military is underfunded, and so their participation for whatever reason that maybe, will mean that the US taxpayer will be shouldered with funding the French.

The question goes back to why would the US get involved?  This conflict is one that is being continued by the support of ‘outside’ parties.  The rebels would have collapsed a long time ago had it not been for the supporters.  Is there a good reason why the international community has decided that Syria must have a regime change?  There is no outcry over the ongoing violence in Mexico even as it spills over into the USA, and that country’s inability to address that issue.  So we have one country that exerts control over its citizens and another that has no control.  No control appears to be the winning answer.

Use of chemical weapons is not to be tolerated, but why would the use of 1,000 lbs high explosive bombs be any more tolerated?  Or even the use of a machine gun?

No doubt there are bad people in the world.  And there is less doubt that these bad people should be removed in whatever way is necessary.  But is wagging war on a country the proper way to make these changes?

Whether Russia, China, or anyone else wants to join into the mess is not relevant in making the decision to enter into any conflict such as this.  It is whether it is the right thing to do.  Premature, or just in time, that is for history books, and academics to debate as there is no way to calculate the correct time enter into a conflict that there will be  no clear winners.”



Themistocles Konstantinou.

“My opinion is that the attack on Assad’s forces will bring more problems than the one which they will solve. I think that it must be a cooperation between Russia and US to convince Assad for quick negotiations under the aegis of the UN. History has taught us how faulted invasions of any kind can lead or result into.

The situation there, It is like a delayed triggered bomb. The Shiites is the minority in the area but it is the minority who has the power to attract allies like Hezbollah, Iran and other who are against any western engagement in the area. If the so called “Arab spring” is a story like Libya or Egypt the situation after Assad will be more messy than now. I am not supporting Assad’s regime of course, but I saw the consequences after invasions around the MENA region. I saw Iraq, Libya, Egypt etc etc.

I am afraid about any engagement in Syria. The better is to convince Assad by pressing him to follow UN envoys on negotiations without many terms and delays. The presence of Peacekeeping forces from nations other than Arab or Muslim countries will help the situation to be eased and perhaps the presence of police forces like EULEX like in Kosovo will force the situation to be calmed in the cities.

In any case the UN’s real presence will not solve the complicated situation there. The key nations are Russia and the US to help propose a real solution. All the other solutions will lead into another Libya and Iraq disaster, where the situation after years worsened way before the Arab Spring started!”


Catherine Haig.

Catherine Haig.

“First the United States’ relationship with Putin and Russia since the beginning of Putin’s regime has been nothing but terrible. The Snowden matter has not helped our relationship with Russia either and now Russia is proclaiming that if any foreigner that comes to their shores is gay they will be put into prison with the possibility of long detainment which is absurd.

This aside I was at first in favor of having a conflict with Syria because any kind of chemical warfare has to be squashed but what is the cost? This could very well lead to WW3 which is THE WAR TO END THE WORLD and I’m not being religious about this in the least. Arab Spring aside America does not need any more conflicts with these extreme Muslims who will rape, maim or kill anyone in their way. America can not support Assad’s regime because he is committing crimes against humanity. Assad is committing crimes against the Geneva Convention not to mention the human rights problem these deaths are causing around the world.

I am not a Muslim lover and in fact I could give a squat what Turkey thinks of doing or whatever these Muslim countries want to do to each other. I wouldn’t care if they blew each other up however if that chemical warfare went viral; it is very possible we could all die from it. While I do not think Putin is that stupid to declare war on the United States I also don’t see the gain of the USA entering into a fight that is not our own.

Why do we always have to police the world? Can’t they take care of things themselves? I’m sick to death of seeing soldiers go off to war for years. What is going on in the world is scary and scarier still is this talk of chemical weapons and I’m sorry, anything to do with a viral chemical going off in any part of the world is an evil all its own but 1300 Muslims; his own people he killed. It’s terrible but I don’t see why we have to get involved.

Lastly, Obama’s hands have been tied with regards to domestic matters as the GOP and Tea Party Baggers have kidnapped the house and have not budged an inch on anything to do with Obama’s 2nd term in the White House. Instead of helping to create jobs for people who need them they are busy policing millionaire Rap artists (Bey/Jay Z) from visiting Cuba) which is so absurd that they should get involved in something as frivolous as that when so many Americans are in desperate need to find work.

Obama promised us and by “us” I mean all of US AMERICANS a refreshing CHANGE but all I see in the last 5 years of his being POTUS is war, a continuation of the Bush policies, spying on Americans so our government can protect us and more of the same. IE: NO CHANGE unless you count the cents in my pocket.  I understand that Obama’s hands are tied domestically but on foreign policy is he to be remembered as the “war president”? I really don’t think we should get involved in this Syria ordeal BUT if we do we have to take Assad out immediately, all his government has to be killed within the week they assault Syria.

No more pussyfooting around guys – IN and OUT – no hostages – we burn them to the ground and if Russia or Iran has something to say – bomb them too – but make sure they don’t survive. BTW, this is not my best idea but it is practical but in truth the most practical way is NOT TO GO INTO SYRIA AT ALL. I love the character SPOCK on Star Trek because at this point he’d say: It’s totally illogical.”


Claude Nougat.

“My reaction is: Why the rush? There is no doubt that chemical attacks are a crime against humanity, an abomination that should be contained and punished.

But why the rush to launch military strikes against Syria?

It took US President Bush Senior five months after the invasion of Kuwait to start the war on Iraq.

I’m not suggesting we should wait five months but we should at least put our case together in a strong, legal way. With the United Nations and the international community at large.

So far, the countries supporting war besides the US are only two: France and Britain. Turkey is wavering. Germany and Italy lean towards seeking a mandate from the United Nations Security Council first – which is no doubt going to be difficult given Russia’s position of unfailing support to Syria. Not to mention China’s. Still, it should be tried.

I just can’t understand why our politicians act like warmongers. It is fine to be morally indignant about chemical warfare, who isn’t?

But to launch yet another series of air strikes à la Lybia-style when we know that the rebels on the ground are mostly violent Muslim extremists, is that wise?

Or is it a way for Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hollande to draw people’s attention away from the economic problems both countries are facing?

Guns as a solution to bread and butter issues are a classic…”


rsz_geo_om (1)

George Bailey. 

“Here we go again.  War without end. We are told that Assad of Syria used chemical weapons but like the death of Osama bin Laden, there is no evidence presented to prove this.

Not presently, anyway.  At least when the Kennedy administration discovered the missiles in Cuba, pictures of the missile sites were presented for proof.  To have known liars tell the world, “You can trust us,” is absurd. It’s ironic and bewildering to see a Noble Peace Prize winner so lusting for war.

But the governments of the major powers have always been a duplicitous bunch.  Already Britain has backed out.  Hopefully, a better solution will be found for this issue than simply bombing people.”


David Merkel

David J. Merkel.

“I was remiss when I said that the question on whether rebellion is ever justified was a dumb question.  It is a dumb question, because the testimony of history predominantly shows that after rebellions, things are usually worse.  But most people don’t study history, so they think that things will be better after a rebellion.

Thus the Arab Spring.  How much has it done for those that rebelled?  Are things better in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria?  Any fair rendering knows that things are worse.  Toss in US intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan – things are worse in both nations from the interventions.

War rarely solves problems.  War should only be entered into for just reasons that affect your own nation.  There is no calling for nations to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations.  It is a shame if people die, but often the interference will lead to the deaths of far more.

The US Government needs to drop the idea that it is the global cop.  It also has to drop the idea that it uses its military to preserve tranquility in global commerce.  Neither are just reasons to incite conflict.

The US needs to focus on its own problems, and bring its troops home.  We don’t need to dominate the world.  Let nations work out their own problems – they might do far less if they knew there was no possibility that the US would aid them”



Joy Tiz. 

“Today’s editorial in the WSJ is typical of the genre regarding Syria. Now that Obama has stupidly painted himself into a corner, we simply MUST take out Assad.

And replace him with what?

The pro interventionists never address that small point. We would be handing the country over to al Qaeda forces that have taken over the opposition movement.

This administration appears to be incapable of learning from its mistakes. We tried this in Egypt. How’s that working out?

The majority of Americans don’t want to be dragged into another war.

The Commander in Chief’s first priority should be: what is the US national interest at stake?

Do we have a national interest in Syria’s civil war? No.

We do, however, have an interest in the fate of the chemical weapons. Those could fall into al Qaeda hands and be used against our ally, Israel, or against us.

Any military intervention should be directed at locating and taking out Saddam’s old stash of WMDs if such a thing is even possible. If anyone can do it, it’s our military.

That’s our compelling national interest in Syria. Killing Assad just creates yet another power vacuum for radical Islamists to rush in and fill.”


rsz_aba872f7d1202ae6c4b6e812565e3983 (1)

Joel S.W. Davidi. 

“As someone who lives in Israel, I am categorically against any military action on the part of the US and.or Europe.  My reasons are manifold:

1. Western involvement in Arab inter-fighting has never resolved any conflicts, on the contrary, it has only served to exacerbate it. Does anyone even remember Iraq under Saddam Hussein? Hussein was a brutal dictator to be sure, but he kept his diverse population in check. Daily bombings in Baghdad was unheard of. Thank you America for ensuring another century of river of blood in Babylon…

Iraq is only one of many examples of utter failure.

2. Why does the world take for granted America’s self-granted role if being the world’s policeman? When Civil War was raging in America in the 1860s, there were quite a few atrocities committed on both sides, yet the world stayed out (except for England which initially sought to get involved in the war on the side of the South).

The situation in Syria is heinous, no doubt but it will be incalculably worse if the west decides to get involved. We risk a major conflagration in the region which will adversely affect only nations of the Middle East (including mine). Europe is under no threat and had no business getting involved in the affairs of the MIddle East.

3. The timing of the chemical attack is extremely suspicious and raises serious questions as to who really was behind it. Let us bear in mind that Assad, tyrant that he is, is a western-educated secularist Alawite (neo-Christian).

The so-called rebels are a rag-tag group that include the most insane and cruel Islamist fanatics (Al-Qaeda). Assad had the good sense of keeping the relative peace on its shared borders with Israel for decades. The so-called rebels speak openly about their plans to destroy Israel after they are done with Assad. No thank you. I’d rather take Assad any day. ”



Pierre-Antoine Klethi.

“This question groups a variety of separate, yet interdependent questions that diplomats, military leaders and decision-makers must answer before maybe intervening in Syria:

Do we have to intervene because Syria violated Human Rights?

Can we intervene under international law and in the current diplomatic context?

Do we have the power to intervene effectively? Are we well-prepared enough?

Do we want to intervene or are we tired of war in remote regions?

If we intervene, how do we do it?

We have a designated “enemy” (the Assad regime), but do we have friends/allies in Syria?

What are the consequences of the intervention? And does our intervention make things better or worse, both in the short and in the long run? I will try to provide an answer to them at the best of my knowledge.

Do we have to intervene because Syria violated Human Rights?

Yes, I believe we have to. Western leaders, in particular US President Barack Obama, have declared that the use of chemical weapons was a “red line”. So, an intervention is clearly a matter of credibility. Moreover, the international system was built to ensure that crimes – such as the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against its own population – would be prevented and, if prevention did not work, punished. So, if international law is to continue playing any role, it must be forcefully applied to impose sanctions on the users of chemical weapons.

Can we intervene under international law and in the current diplomatic context?

A military intervention requires a mandate from the UN Security Council. Now, it is clear that a country such as Russia has no intention of giving the green light to such operation. Therefore, save an unexpected turn of events, a potential intervention would be outside the international legal framework.

Now, there is a precedent: the NATO intervention in Kosovo, in 1999, which also took place without a mandate of the UN and did not please Russia. I believe that Russia will not react militarily to a “Western” intervention in Syria; it will use other measures of retaliation, but I do not think that Russia has the power to fight a Western coalition. Moreover, a Russian declaration of war would represent a dramatic escalation that no party wants. As for Iran, it is too weak as well. In my eyes, the most likely damage that Russia and Iran can create would be to channel more arms to support the Assad’s army.

Do we have the power to intervene effectively? Are we well-prepared enough?

 I believe it mainly depends on the type of intervention (see question 5). The idea of intervening has truly emerged only in the recent days, so the level of preparation depends upon whether the military command (in particular, the American one) had already secretly prepared plans for an intervention or not.

 Do we want to intervene or are we tired of war in remote regions?

 Considering the public opinion about the war in Iraq, and even about the war in Afghanistan in some European countries, it is legitimate that leaders fear the reaction of their citizens if they get involved in yet another conflict. Moreover, the antecedents of intervention are mixed: Libya does not anymore make the headlines in Western media, but this does not mean that problems there disappeared and that the country is stabilised. So, politicians like Barack Obama and Angela Merkel are quite reluctant to intervene. But, on the other hand, our values, as well as former announcements (in particular, Barack Obama declaring that the use of chemical weapons would change the situation), require us to intervene.

If we intervene, how do we do it?

This is one of the biggest issues. There are several options: ranked from the least to the most increasingly interventionist, we have selective bombing using missiles shot from the sea, selective bombing using aerial intervention, the creation of a no fly-zone, and an intervention on the ground. I think the latter can clearly be excluded, because it would represent too much involvement, while the Western powers want a strong, but limited intervention. Moreover, the experience of Iraq also excludes such developed action. The no-fly zone is something that would help a lot the rebels, but it is unsure that the USA and their allies will go so far, knowing that it would be more difficult in Syria than it has been in Libya. I talked with a friend who is more specialised than me in security and defence matters, and he believes that the first option (missiles shot from the sea) is the most likely, but an effective intervention may require using the second option as well. Of course, the type of intervention will also depend from the goals of such intervention.

We have a designated “enemy” (the Assad regime), but do we have friends/allies in Syria?

This is another big question: who exactly are we siding with? The problem is that the rebels are quite divided and the main (or, even, only) element uniting them is the wish to get rid of the Assad regime. Moreover, there are reports that extremists / radical Islamists begin dominating the rebellion. But establishing an Islamic State is surely not the goal of the Western allies. Therefore, we need to define more clearly who we want to support in the fight; otherwise, toppling the Assad regime will be like overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq: a change in the relative power of the different parties to a civil war that we do not end.

What are the consequences of the intervention? And does our intervention make things better or worse, both in the short and in the long run?

This question must really be answered by military strategists and decision-makers before starting the intervention. Are we intervening to re-balance the conflict? Are we trying to topple the Assad regime directly or indirectly? Can we avoid a bloody civil war? How will we protect the minorities and the losers of the war after its end? How will we bring peace back to Syria? What are the consequences of an intervention for the rest of the region?

In my humble position of blogger, I cannot answer these questions. But I hope that those in charge of answering them will do so. I will simply indicate that claiming that an intervention would threaten the stability of the region is ridiculous, since the region is already unstable, refugees are already massively arriving in neighbor countries, and Syria is already in a situation of civil war.”



Raphael Cohen-Almagor. 

“More than 100,000 people were killed in Syria since the civil war has begun. President Obama’s foreign policy wishes to bring the American troops home, to reduce military intervention in the world, and to secure US borders. This policy is contra Bush who had no qualms sending American troops to wage war in Iraq and a futile war in Afghanistan. Obama is reluctant to interfere in conflict zones. Thus he has observed the lingering killing in Syria and opted for a limited American involvement — supplying the Syrian opposition with weapons. Obama is also unsure who would replace Assad. Hence it was possible for the Syrian civil war to take its toll for so many months.

However, the use of chemical weapons is beyond the scope of tolerance. Now it is time for President Obama to assert leadership as the President of the only superpower, as the leader of the free world.

It would have been sensible to exert pressure via the United Nations. The forerunner of the United Nations, the League of Nations, was established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.” At the conclusion of WWII, in 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 and the United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.

However, the UN is ineffective due to the Russian and Chinese support of the Syrian dictatorship. Surprise surprise, money and economic interests are way more important than human life.

The model to follow is Operation Desert Storm. To recall, the U.S. assembled a coalition of forces to join it in opposing Iraq’s aggression, consisting of forces from 34 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Morocco, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

President Obama should assemble a similar force to oust the Assad brutal regime. The force should include Arab countries. The operation would begin by striking the Syrian army heavily from the sea and from the air. The Syrian opposition coalition is said to supply the Americans with a bank targets. Then follow with a comprehensive ground attack, ensuring that Syria won’t fall in the hands of radical Islamists. The USA should work together with the moderate elements to install a new government in Damascus. Replacing one evil with another won’t be prudent. The USA should work together with the Arab countries and with the Syrian opposition, ascertaining that Syria does not fall in the hands of Jihadi terrorists.

Toppling the Assad dictatorship without assuring the identity of the successor is a recipe for further bloodshed and instability. The USA should take effective means to see that Syria will be governed by people who prefer compromise to violence, who respect human life and who wish Syria to become a respected member of the League of Nations instead of a notorious country on the list of terrorist states.”


Jaime Ortega Simo. (Editor opinion)

“Obama shot himself in the foot by staging a political “action man” power ranger show. He was determined to strike Assad’s regime a few days back without clear evidence, and he now finds himself cruising a one-way battle holding hands with French support, but without British backup.

The UN investigation hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Obama is ready to make a move without actual proof? Well wasn’t Obama, the same candidate who declared he wanted to end the Bush foreign wars?  Who laughed at Bush and the “fabricated hoax of Weapons of Mass Destruction”? Seems quite hypocritical to watch as he is even more indecisive than Bush, in what he is trying to accomplish, with Syria’s mission. So much for “Hope!”

The congress is not willing to go to war without a stabilized reason, as the U.S. shares no strategic concern in Syria other than having a larger Geo-political control in the Middle East.

Russia and Iran have picked up on Obama’s weakness and indecision, and have consequently lost respect for the U.S. Commander- In-Chief, which shows why Russia and China played a chase game with Edward Snowden, knowing that Obama’s administration is not tough enough outside of nice rhetorical speeches and broken promises. And they also watch news, they know Obama breaks basic promises.

But if he does attack Syria, the SAA will retaliate! And that retaliation logically will lead to a larger war. The FSA will become a U.S. temporary ally, but only for a short period of time. Then not long after Assad is out, the Sunni’s will start their own infidel campaign against the U.S. that will lead to chaotic occupation, with IED road bombs organized by AlQaeda militants that will support an Islamic state. Killings of Coptic’s, Shiias, and Alawites…

Obama needs to get out his head, that the U.S. is the ‘head quarters’ of all the power rangers around the world. Also lets not forget this wars, will cost a lot of taxpayer money and after slowly recovering from a financial crisis is the spark of another battleground the best solution? And who will be next? Iran, ,Sudan or Pakistan….?”

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.

What Next?

Recent Articles