Syria: An opinion from Nebraska

syriaBy John Andrews-UNL Lecturer

Whether or not the U.S. should attack Syria is now going before Congress. A common statement during the last several days is Iraq looms heavy in the minds of people.

I was against the U.S. invading Iraq for two reasons. First, there was no evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11. Second, the Bush Administration presented no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The current issue of Syria is a totally different situation than Iraq.

The reason for military intervention is based on the substantiated fact that Syria has broken international law by using chemical weapons. As a world leader, the U.S. has a responsibility to respond to this violation in order to keep it from happening again. The U.S. is already being supported by the President of France and other Arab nations, with Saudi Arabia being the most notable supporter of U.S. intervention.

I believe we also have a moral obligation to act. I have been in support of U.S. intervention for more than a year. I am in support of intervention beyond the presently stated goal of sending a message that chemical weapons should not be used by the use of surgical strikes without committing ground troops. At least, we can stop the use of chemical weapons that result in horrible deaths, that are much worse than being killed by bullets or bombs.

I have wondered if much of the resistance to U.S. involvement is because of Islamaphobia. Then a week or so ago I heard Senator Rand Paul frame the issue in Syria as Muslims against Christians, which showed me that my question has validity. Framing this issue as being sectarian ignores the teaching of Christianity, which tells Christians that all people are our neighbors. Therefore, it is unchristian to frame this issue as us versus them. As a world leader, we have a moral obligation to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

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