“How, if it all, should the United States respond to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons?”

“How, if it all, should the United States respond to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons?”

The following responses were obtained by political science majors:

Shannyn Ball, Senior
The United States should not get involved in the Syrian crisis because our government has enough problems of its own to deal with. The U.S. government shut down this past week and there are also many other economic and social problems that need to be addressed. I do feel very bad that the Syrian people are being chemically assaulted but unfortunately the U.S. needs to resolve its own problems before helping others.

Kristen Chiarello, Senior
There are numerous humanitarian reasons to respond to the Syrian crisis. Rather than seeing the conflict as a “what’s in it for us” situation and arguing that there is no American interest for using military intervention in Syria, we need to realize that evil triumphs when nothing is done. It is a matter of human affairs. Our military is double the size of every other country put together. More people died in their attack than on died on September 11th. It’s a tragedy that should not be categorized by borders. It’s a world tragedy.

Jennifer Lin, Junior
When the world stands by idly and makes concessions to villains willing to brutally kill innocent civilians in order to retain power or spread an ideology, we violate the right of every human being to live. When a country that has a military which is disproportionately larger than all of the other militaries in the world does not act to help a people continuously assaulted, we allow genocide to happen. The United States, as a global hegemon, has great power. As the cliché goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and the United States has a moral imperative to intervene on the behalf of the Syrian people for humanitarian reasons at a bare minimum and to defend and preserve all the ideals of a Western liberal democracy for future generations to come.

Michael Khayan , Junior
The United States should respond to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons by pressuring the United Nations to take action. Either the U.N. or some coalition of countries including the U.S. should act because the Obama administration has stated that there is a red line and it has since been crossed.

Mahnoor Misbah, Senior
As the United States and its allies prepare for the possibility of limited military strikes against Syria, one has to wonder whether this will do any good. That being said, the military strikes seem to be the least worst option among several very bad ones. Military strikes will not lead to any negotiations between the regime and the rebels—which is the only way this conflict will end—but it is a strong message to the Assad regime. The U.S. can’t do much in this situation without creating more problems, but it can send out the message that the principles created under the Geneva Convention must be applied. The use of chemical weapons is cruel, inhumane, and prohibited under international norms. Leading military strikes against Syria might just be the only way to send this message to the Syrian regime.

Melissa Salama, Junior
The United States and the international community have a moral obligation to help the Syrian people. The Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own citizens is unacceptable. Because of its hegemonic status and superior military capability, it is especially important that the U.S. get involved to stop the Syrian government.

Sebastian Souchet, Sophomore
Military action should not be taken when the proper intelligence is not available or vindicated. The U.S. should not use military intervention in the Syrian crisis because of the lack of fact based and concrete evidence. Even if a verifiable U.S. intelligence report were to be released that coincided with upcoming U.N. report on the attack in Syria, it would be important to reassess the way the United States chooses to put a premium on human dignity. The Obama administration commissions drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen while arguing for military intervention in Syria because of circulating images of children’s lifeless bodies.

This piece appeared in the Political Science Newsletter Fall 2013 edition.

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e – twilson@adelphi.edu

Phone Number
More Info
Levermore Hall, 205
Search Menu