The Assad government is ruthless and has killed thousands of civilians, but the Obama administration said poison gas used by government forces would be the “red line” for action. A United Nations finding published by Reuters showed that poison gas was used by rebel forces, not government forces, so that line has yet to be crossed.
Syria’s civil war is complex. It’s a sectarian war in a volatile region of the world. The conflict could spread beyond Syria’s borders to become a regional war. U.S. involvement pulls us into a proxy war with Russia and Iran, who are supporting the Assad government.
President Obama has thus far avoided getting the U.S. into the Syrian mess, but he is under pressure from hawks who push for military action and label presidents who avoid it as weak.
Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has come out stating that intervention will make the Syrian conflict worse. Joshua Landis, an acknowledged expert on Syria and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, has published articles stating that intervention by the U.S. risks war on a par with Iraq and Afghanistan.
Domestic needs here in the U.S. cry for financial support, but our treasury is depleted by war. It is time to invest our efforts at home, in an economy that supports justice and lifts all boats.
Let us support President Obama in refraining from military intervention, but instead using diplomatic influence to bring about negotiations, with all parties at the table, to end the violence in Syria.
Legislation before Congress would prohibit U.S. military intervention in Syria without a vote of Congress.
Syria must not become our next war.
—State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft and Nathaniel Batchelder
Wesselhoft, a Republican from Moore, represents House District 54. Batchelder is director of the Peace House in Oklahoma City.