The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
The Syrian civil war has been carrying on for almost two and a half years now, and still, the United States has taken limited to no action. On Aug. 20 of last year, President Obama drew a “red line” that would spark U.S. action in Syria if Assad used chemical weapons against his people, which we now know he has. Days ago, Obama said that he would support taking action against Syria in small-scale strikes that would not involve any U.S. soldiers on the ground, but he said that he would leave it up to Congress to ultimately decide when they resume sessions on September 9. Obama said that the U.S. strike would be just as effective tomorrow, next week or next month, with little urgency.
Unlike Prime Minister Cameron in the U.K., Obama has not called on Congress to reconvene early to deal with the situation, which is a grave mistake. The situation in Syria is one that cannot be put on hold while we settle our political differences. Whether or not you agree with Obama’s decision, waiting over a week for Congress to come back cannot be seen as the best course of action.
No matter what, Obama has shown the world that he blinked. He was unable to make a firm decision on his own, and the rest of the world now sees hesitation. After this statement, the Syrian government declared victory, while the rebels have never had less faith in Obama.
Regardless, I believe the choice is clear. We have no other options but to help the innocent victims of the bloody battle in Syria. I cannot understand how anyone could watch the videos and see the pictures of children suffering after being gassed with sarin. Since Russia is blocking the U.N. from fixing the situation, the U.S. is left with no other moral choice. We must not allow a dictator to show the world that we will do nothing while he slaughters his own people using any means he so desires.
Action against Syria must be done in a cautious fashion. We do not want to be drawn into the war as a whole, but we need to at least do enough to greatly weaken the Assad regime and to give Assad a clear message that the civilized world will not tolerate his egregious war crimes.
The U.S. must be strong; we need to show the world that this is not acceptable, and that our threats are not empty. We must take action.
Hamilton-Wenhan Regional High School