Syria: Is U.S. Obligated?

(Posted September 23, 2013)

Syria: Is U.S. Obligated?

Though it appeared at first to be just another protest-ridden episode in the Arab Spring, the conflict in Syria has escalated into a violent revolution at the forefront of international concerns for stability and human rights. After recently confirmed reports of several attacks involving chemical weapons, President Barack Obama and the U.S. government first proposed conducting airstrikes. Later, as debate regarding U.S. actions heightened, the Russian government put forth the suggestion that Bashar Al-Assad's regime should hand over his alleged chemical weapons, an unexpected twist in the international dialogue. What do Juniata College students have to say about the United States' possible intervention in Syria?

Nathan Deitcher, '17, Elkins Park, Pa.

I would probably favor getting rid of Assad, but what's going to come out of the vacuum? I think that the opposition Syrian leadership that has been in Istanbul for a few years now, they're very disconnected from the actual fighting. I think the troops on the ground are hardened militants. So even if the opposition did win, I don't think they would be able to establish stable government.

Robert Delamotta, '14, West Chester, Pa.

I am concerned for Barack Obama's image internationally. I think if the issue is just discarded without a thorough investigation, then that is a big reason for Obama to be doing what he is doing. So I'm concerned, but I really don't think we should get involved in another country. It would be optimal, I think, if we could reach an agreement.

Jamie Guanciale '15, Baldwinsville, N.Y.

I support a more isolationist role than President Obama's proposal, and I don't see the advantage of getting involved in Syria at this point, mostly because both sides are a bit more morally dubious in terms of which party we should give support to.

Samantha Mershon '17, Wexford, Pa.

They've been killing people all along, so now that they're using chemical weapons, why do we have to get involved when there were other things going on before? I think that chemical weapons are bad, but I'm wondering: if we let it escalate to this point, why didn't we do something sooner?

Siham Zniber '15, international student from Morocco

I think honestly the U.S in particular should just stay out of it. Russia should stay out of it. On the other hand, Syria is part of the Arab League. Now they can get involved because they're together. It's like saying that if ever England was in trouble, Scotland would help them.

--Zach Lemon '14 Juniata Online Journalist

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