At first, President Barack Obama discussed the use of cruise missiles to fire at key targets, yet as time progressed, a stunning turn of events took place during a meeting among Russia, the United States, and Syria. Russia proposed that the chemical weapons that Syria had be placed under international control as to prevent any further Syrian deaths and to remove the threat of U.S. military retaliation. The United States gave an unexpected answer to an unexpected question by stating that the proposal was an acceptable compromise. A series of events in which every party involved ends up satisfied with the agreement is a rare occurrence in today’s politics.
The sudden reaction that the United States took is slightly worrisome. What are the priorities of the U.S. government when it comes to taking action? Before the use of chemical weapons, Syria was in civil unrest due to gun battles in the streets, car bombs injuring and killing innocent civilians, and attacks on embassies. These actions are just as serious as the use of chemical weapons, yet the United States only took interest when illegal weapons were involved. I would prefer that the United States at least recognized these everyday occurrences and acted accordingly, in a non-violent manner. This could be done in the form of constructing a more fortified embassy building or having a larger perimeter between the city streets and the embassy buildings to make room for a screening process so that any bomb that went off would do so at a distance.
I was surprised to hear that President Obama was considering military action instead of seeking out a diplomatic solution as his first option. A peaceful solution could improve Obama’s self image and could be seen as a step in the right direction toward decreasing the worldwide image of the United States as a highly militarized nation.
The United States role as the “world police” has gone on for decades and is one that other world powers exploit when a situation such as the one in Syria develops. I’m not saying that the United States hasn’t helped in the past by providing military support, but it would be a nice change of pace to see the that U.S. government only involves itself in the diplomatic end of the situation rather than in the military. After the meeting among the United States, Syria, and Russia, the tension over military action by the U.S. government has been greatly reduced and Syria has agreed to hand over the chemical weapons so that they may be placed under international control. The final verdict has not been reached yet. I strongly support a non-aggressive conclusion to this potential war starter. And I remain skeptical to how each party will react and respond to each other’s actions.