California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

United States not ready for involvement in Syria

In the past few weeks, President Barack Obama called on the nation to support a potential unmanned military strike against Syria’s president, Bashar Al-Assad. The strike would be used to deter Syria’s use of chemical weapons, after a nerve gas attack on Aug. 21 caused an overwhelming amount of fatalities. However, on Sept. 10, Obama agreed  to work with a more diplomatic plan proposed by Russia.

According to Jay Solomon, writer for the Wall Street Journal, Obama has agreed to this plan, but made it a point that the U.S. could still  respond with force.

Obama indicated that if the Assad regime doesn’t live up to the agreement, the U.S. could respond militarily, according to Solomon.

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, released a speech toward the American people regarding Syria.

He stated that an American opposition towards the Security Council could lead to a more sinister downfall for multicultural influence in Syria and potentially expanding the issue to outside Syrian borders.

The Security Council wishes to remove the weapons from Assad’s military. Obama has now agreed to work toward an effort to do so.

“Assad must provide a complete list of the types, quantity and locations of his country’s chemical-weapons stockpiles to the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by next Friday,” according to Solomon.

Because the threat of military force is not completely extinguished, many are concerned about what a strike could mean for the U.S.

“I just don’t feel like it’s in the best interest of the United States to presume itself as a global police,” said Junior Alexander Rinkus.

Even though the U.S. has the military capability of policing, its influential power behind the U.N. has been weakened.

“We have an interconnected globe in many respects, not least of which are American interests in all parts of the world,” said Dr. Paul Hanson, a professor of history at California Lutheran University, in regard to American foreign affairs.

“Part of the rationale that we’ve had for having the world’s largest military is to look after and protect those interests as well as what we would say are human values or American values,” said Hanson.

The fear of the collapse of the U.N. looms from the disregard of the international laws established. Putin fears that the U.N. could potentially follow the fate of its predecessor, The League of Nations, which would be extremely tragic on the global community.

If the U.S. were to exercise its ability to disregard international law, then isn’t it more likely to undo all that the U.N. stands for?

“The world is too complex. It needs us [U.S.], and we need it too much just to sit on the sidelines. But between sitting on the sidelines and playing we got to be a part of a team instead of being the only guy out there,” said Dr. Herbert gooch, a political science professor at CLU.

Russia’s plan will help the U.S. to focus on solving the issue within Syria as democratically as possible. Only through a collaborative effort can Assad be stopped without using military force.

As Putin addressed, the Syrian crisis is not an issue of a certain country struggling with democracy, but rather a civil war based upon an array of religious parties.

The Russian proposal for action through the U.N. is “the idea of taking the chemical weapons and essentially putting them under a kind of U.N. lockbox,” said Gooch. This allows for the chemical weapons to never be used again by Assad, the Syrian military and the potential usurpers of the Syrian government.

In the long run, maybe it was good for Obama to flex his military muscles. However, stepping outside of U.N. jurisdiction looms as the catalyst for a potential international relations meltdown, making diplomacy a better option for the time being.

Editors Note: Due to the Echo’s printing schedule, some information in this article was changed according to new developments.


Jordan Oram
Staff Writer
Published Sept. 18, 2013

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