1. We cannot trust Obama to lead a war effort. His foolhardy unilateral engagement in Libya resulted in arming our enemies, who used our weapons to attack our people and kill four brave Americans. He has failed to bring these perpetrators to justice and has essentially ignored the murder, on his watch, of four Americans. No more Benghazis.
2. We do not know who will control Syria’s chemical weapons if Assad falls. Even without intending to take out Assad directly, our actions could cause his overthrow. We don’t want to provide chemical weapons to Hezbollah, a group that vowed to wipe Israel off the map. Nor do we want Syrian al-Qaeda elements to gain access to weapons of mass destruction to use them against Americans or our allies.
3. An attack on Syria will fail to benefit America, Syrians, or the people of the Middle East, especially the region’s Christians who fare much worse under popular Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. We do not need to exacerbate our already decimated military readiness or our hobbling economy. War is expensive. The last thing we need are open-ended, fool-hardy missions led by an inconsistent and unreliable leader.
4. We have far more pressing issues in the US than a military frolic and detour. We need to focus our energies on defunding Obamacare before it becomes entrenched, reining in out-of-control federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency. The current administration still has yet to answer for their outrageous conduct. We must concentrate our national attention and our political leaders on getting our economy to flourish and allowing entrepreneurs to create jobs.
5. We have less influence in the world than the politicians and pundits would have us believe, and we need to deploy our limited influence judiciously. Prior uses of chemical weapons in Syria, and for that matter in Iraq, did not cross Obama’s red line for U.S. action. The president and other administration officials suggest that our reputation is on the line, as if we must win a playground standoff. People will die, and to what end? Obama has given no satisfactory answer.
What should we do about Syria? We need to take care of the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, using private organizations that are most effective and already invested and on the ground. We need to make serious and committed preparations to defend our allies and ourselves. We must make an all-out effort to locate all chemical weapons in Syria and be prepared to take them out if regime change or other unpredictable events risk them falling into the wrong hands.
Our elected leaders need to hear, loudly and clearly, that the American people don’t want military action in Syria.
Gayle Trotter is an attorney and writer.