On August 21, 2013, an alleged chemical weapons attack left scores of innocent Syrian civilians dead with no visible wounds.
The video footage of the aftermath of this attack swept the media, leading many in the west to suggest they should intervene militarily.
But, let’s wait a second.
Have we learned nothing from the Iraq War? Where, ten years ago the U.S. public was fed misleading tales of WMD’s and terror links by its own government to bulk up support to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq. All of those reasons given now proven false, the American public should be wary of expanding our military might into a conflict that is far from simply being black and white.
The government of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad has outlasted protests that have turned violent and devolved into a civil war. While the Free Syrian Army, and other associated rebel groups, have received tacit support from U.S. war-lovers Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, the rebels have also been linked to groups affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Just which side does the U.S. and the west throw their support behind, if anyone? Supporting Assad would mean flushing democratic ideals and human rights down the toilet – not to mention President Obama going back on his “red line” of chemical weapons use being a reason to intervene – and aligning with the rebels could make for strange bedfellows as the U.S. is waging a “war on terror” on associated Islamic fighting groups.
Who launched these Aug. 21 chemical attacks? Newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani comtemplated it was actually committed by the rebels, which runs counter to Obama’s “proof” that these attacks were perpetrated by the Syrian government.
While Iran and the U.S. continue to bang the war drum, Britain seems to have learned their lesson from Iraq, as the U.K. Parliament is demanding Prime Minister David Cameron await the results of a United Nations inspection into the Syrian attack, refusing to write Cameron his “blank check” he desired to interfere in this civil war.
Far from black and white, these shades of grey flickering with memories of lives lost and broken in Iraq remain fresh in too many people’s minds and hearts than to jump into another choppy pool of Middle East conflict, guns blazing with our eyes closed.