It’s no secret that President Obama is facing an uphill battle in convincing Congress to approve military strikes in Syria, and for now, that’s for the best.
Syria has been in this civil conflict since 2011, with stubborn opposition from rebels and an even more stubborn regime headed by President Bashar Al-Assad.
At that time the rebel forces, known as the Free Syrian Army, were organized and united in their front.
Unfortunately, the war has dragged on for so long that the opposition has become convoluted, tainted with influences from Al-Qaeda, effectively blurring the distinction between rebel forces and extremists in the region. Whether Obama wants to admit it or not, he can’t be exactly sure who he helps by authorizing military action.
Other Middle Eastern countries that have gone through regime changes during the Arab Spring are far from stable, and that is another sticking point in Obama’s case for military intervention.
However, this is not to say that nothing should be done.
The situation is sticky for the United States, as they face the legitimate moral dilemma that Assad has forced onto the rest of the world with his use of chemical weapons on his own civilians.
Though parallels have been made between this situation and the Iraq War in 2003, they are distinctly different.
In 2003, the US had alleged that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction”, but were not able to find any.
However, in Syria, physical tests show that sarin gas has been used in the region, and intelligence has shown that the rebels do not have the capabilities to use those weapons.
If America shouldn’t go to war with Syria, what should be done to stop these atrocities?
The answer comes from an unlikely source. Russia. A recent story by USA Today found that Russia will attempt to sway Assad by giving up his chemical weapons to be dismantled by the international community.
Obama has already spoken in support of the plan, and even Syria says they welcome this idea.
Assad should still be held responsible for all the lives he’s taken unnecessarily, and though it pains me to say this, that’s a fight for another day. Putting a stop to the chemical warfare is far more pressing not only for Syria’s people, but for the whole world.