In April 2011, inspired by protest in other countries, activists began peaceful protest in order to protest the current regime. The government responded with deadly force, killing thousands of civilians. As a result, the civilians began fighting back in what has now become a very deadly civil war.
Earlier this month, it is alleged that the Assad regime used chemical weapons on civilians, killing over 1,000 people. Samples from the victims and from the soil have been collected and taken to Europe for testing. As a result of this alleged chemical attack, President Obama is discussing the possibility of launching missiles at key Syrian military installations. The premise behind this is that the Syrian government should not be allowed to use chemical weapons on its’ citizens without “paying a price.”
President Obama released a statement asking Congress to take a vote on whether or not the United States should intervene in Syria. The United States already does not have the support of the United Nations or of its usual ally Britain; the British parliament voted not to intervene in this international conflict. Russia is an ally of Syria and blocks any United Nations actions that can potentially harm the Assad regime in order to protect their political and economic interest. Congress is currently on recess and will not resume until September 9th, however it has already been made evident that there is a likelihood of President Obama losing the vote. The Republican-controlled house is not inclined to support military action in Syria and the Democrat-controlled Senate has been relatively silent on this matter.
Another potential complication to attacking Syria is that Iran is also their ally and may retaliate against US foreign outpost or the US directly. It is also believed that this attack will not change the course of war and may in fact get the United States into another years-long foreign entanglement, something that the American public does not want to see happen.
President Obama acted unilaterally with regards to the attack on Libya and is prepared to stand alone and do so again; there are troops positioned to strike at any given moment. The question now stands: Is this a wise decision? If President Obama decides to go around the United Nations and Congress, it could be seen as an impeachable offense and further sour the international image of this country.
On September 9th, a decision will be made but until then, tensions will continue to run high while the world waits to see what, if anything, the United States is going to do.