By DAVID JOSEPH DEL GRANDE
The Syrian civil war has been dragging on for more than two years, with no end in sight.
As the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups fight against the government forces of Bashar Al-Assad, Syrian casualties have reached more than 100,000. U.N. weapons inspectors are investigating another alleged chemical attack on Syrian rebels and civilians outside of Damascus.
U.S. naval destroyers gathered in the Mediterranean Sea on Aug. 25, escalating fierce debate on whether military action is appropriate. Will a military strike prevent further violence in Syria?
Many wonder why more has not been done previously to stop the bloodshed. The international community has done little in two years because Syria is not an oil-rich country.
On March 20, 2003, the United States began an invasion into Iraq after giving Saddam Hussein’s family and administration three days to leave the country or face a military conflict.
Iraq rests on 143 billion barrels of crude oil and pumps at least 2 million barrels a day. Their proven reserves may someday rival those held by Saudi Arabia, which has benefited from a long-standing alliance with the United States.
Syria, by contrast, is only thought to hold about 2.5 billion barrels in its oil reserves, and will most likely be importing petroleum by the end of the decade.
Multiple vetoes by Russia and China have prevented the U.N. Security Council from placing sanctions on the Syrian regime.
U.S. President Barack Obama is under pressure at home and abroad to make a difficult choice.
Obama will either be labeled a hypocrite for attacking Syria without approval from the Security Council, or portrayed as weak for not protecting the United States properly and leaving Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal at risk of being obtained by a future adversary.
Syria has nothing to offer the rest of the world. An estimated 1.7 million Palestinian and Iraqi refugees currently reside in Syria, with little hope of returning to their homeland due to U.S. foreign policy and military aggression.
If Syria completely implodes, taking with it millions of refugees we have helped create, no U.S. administration will lose a wink of sleep.
Del Grande is double majoring in journalism and Arabic in preparation for war correspondence.
Filed Under: Opinion
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