No Need to Intervene

The topic of intervention in international warfare always comes up as a decision for the United States government to make due to its powerful reputation. While it is great that the United States is seen as the superhero that must swoop down and save the day, it’s time for it to hang up its cape for now.
For two years, the opposition between Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces has grown extremely violent and over 70,000 people have died, increasing the pressure on other countries to help stop the madness.
But America should not even consider intervening in Syria at the moment. Though President Obama claims that the war in Afghanistan is over, there are still American troops who will not all return to America until the end of 2014. There is no point in considering entering what is now turning into a civil war when we are still fighting another war ourselves.
Does America really want to make the same mistakes all over again? If America intervenes in Syria’s battle, more people will die than ever before, but this time it will be both Syrian citizens and American soldiers. The United States’ intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq proved to do more harm than good with over 100,000 people killed. Plus, while democracy is slowly transitioning into these two governments, America still has not accomplished its goal of defeating al-Qaeda. More than half of American citizens are even confused on the reason behind America’s intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. If America decides to intervene, there needs to be a more legitimate reason behind it and a foolproof plan to avoid making these same mistakes again.
Besides the violence and many Syrian citizens’ death, what would be a legitimate reason for America to intervene?
Yes, chemical weapons have gotten involved. But America does not have a plan that will stop those chemical weapons from being fired. America will only add its military power to increase the violence in Syria.
As much as the deaths of these Syrian civilians are truly saddening, this civil war is something that is not America’s battle to fight. Getting involved in Syria’s civil war would mean that America would have to choose a side. Choosing a side in this fight is not an easy decision.
After all, President Bashar al-Assad did initiate this civil war by opening fire on and killing four protestors who opposed the government’s arrest and torture of 15 children for writing anti-government graffiti on walls. The government also opened fire on those who attended the funeral of those four dead protestors. If America chooses to side with President Bashar al-Assad like Russia and China have, it will be advocating for violence which will defeat the whole purpose of intervention.
If America chooses to side with the rebel forces, it will worsen international ties and make America look like the villain instead of the hero for opposing the Syrian government.
It is better for America to not intervene than to get caught in the spur of the moment and entangle itself in a web of bad consequences. America should not just sit in a cozy chair, put its feet on the table and watch everything as it occurs. But America also should not just swoop down with helicopters and thousands of soldiers, firing its weapons like they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If America wants to get involved, the best bet is to provide aid to civilians and not try to steal the spotlight by being the hero and making the war all about themselves. America is not ready to get into another war. President Obama needs time to consider his options and really think his decision through. The last thing America needs right now is another slap of failure.

Tracey Onyenacho is a second-year film and media studies and literary journalism double major. She can be reached at tonyenac@uci.edu.