BackTalk: Airstrike in Syria fires up debate

United States bombing pales in comparison to Syrian civil war

by TYLER YORK//Online Editor

The atrocities committed in Syria should come to an end. But random bombings ordered by the United States will only make the situation worse.

Chemical warfare has become an unfortunate staple of war. But its roots run deeper than the last few decades. Its prohibition on the battlefield actually dates back to the 17th century.

The Strasbourg Agreement, signed by France and the Holy Roman Empire, was a treaty to prevent the use of poisoned bullets in battle.

In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles made poison gas illegal in Germany. In 1925, the Geneva Protocol set up a ban on chemicals in warfare, including gases, liquids, devices, and biological agents.

Even as recently as 1993, Syria had participated in the Chemical Weapons Prevention treaty. This agreement created a timeline for the end of use and destruction of chemical stockpiles in 192 states.

In 2013, the United Nations discovered Syria had been producing and stockpiling chemicals for warfare. Syrian president Bashar Assad had allegedly ordered the Syrian military to use Sarin gas on civilian targets.

Most recently, in April 2017, the attack on Khan Shaykhun is the deadliest chemical attack in the Syrian civil war since the attack four years prior.

In 2011, the United States first became involved in the Syrian civil war by providing aid to rebels in the form of food, water, and trucks. This evolved into cash, intelligence, and later, full-on training of Syrian rebels. But this is not uncommon.

The Syrian civil war has become a proxy war. It has created an opportunity for many states and countries to use tactical resources to oppose external enemies. A prime example is Russia, which has been using its own planes and helicopters to attack Assad’s enemies in the war for several years.

In April, President Donald Trump called for 59 missiles to hit a single airbase in Syria as a punishment for the recent chemical weapons attack.

The question of President Trump’s recent bombing order isn’t about whether the United States should intervene in Syria. The problem is the act comes off as uninformed righteousness.

That justification completely ignores the years of violence and terror wielded by a leader on his own people. It is, at once, too strong for an outsider’s butting in, and too weak for a global superpower’s righteous justice.

The United States has already involved itself in the war, with no positive results whatsoever.

Without formal action, running around the outside of a war that doesn’t involve the United States can only ramp up the already dangerous situation. Not to mention the possibility that seeing the United States getting involved in such a flippant way might only encourage other nations to do the same. There is a real danger here of escalating the Syrian civil war to a war of a much larger scale.

President Trump’s erratic bombing order is heavily out of proportion with the brutality of the Syrian civil war. The United States should do something to stand up for the victims in Syria, but not based on immature and misguided whims.


War declaration necessary to prevent further Syrian attacks

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

President Donald Trump just ordered an airstrike on the Syrian base that launched the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, and liberals are standing behind him.

Americans are coming together for the first time in support of President Trump’s decision to retaliate against Al Assad’s use of chemical warfare, but it was not enough. If President Trump wants America to be involved, we need to get wholeheartedly involved.

Assad has been assaulting civilian cities since the conflict started in 2012, and he’s showing no signs of stopping. Although President Trump said that we couldn’t let children being attacked with chemicals go unnoticed, they are the same children that he refused to let into this country. He even attempted to leave visa holders in the Middle East to deal with the conflict, instead of coming back to America.

But America retaliating only because of the chemical warfare says that we are OK with everything else he is doing, and I am not.

I am not disregarding the American lives, or other innocent lives that might be lost, if we went to war. But I believe with the few hundred lives that we might lose, we would stop Assad from taking thousands more. And, no one life is worth more than another.

I understand that it is our duty as Americans to protect Americans. But, furthermore, we are all humans, and I believe that it is also our duty to protect humanity and keep an entire culture from being wiped off the map.

America already had the highest military budget of all the world leaders. Then President Trump increased it when he got into office. Russia may be intimidating because they’re known to be tough, but their military doesn’t stack up to ours.

North Korea also continues to demonstrate that they are not a threat to us, because they haven’t been able to successfully launch anything.

But if America wants to go to war, we won’t be alone. Major powers such as France and Germany that were on opposite sides of the first two world wars are on the same side, and they’re all against Assad and terrorism.

It seems, at first glance, like it might be a cut and dry conflict, but it’s not.

In January 2012, protesters were marching in Aleppo when security officers fired the first shot, killing one man. The total death toll of the incident reached eight people. The rebels began to organize and their society collapsed. To muddy things up, Assad began releasing terrorists into the rebel groups to make it harder for other countries to back them.

The insurgents and terrorists broke off from the rebels and formed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. Then, secretly, Under President Barak Obama, the United States and the CIA began training the Syrian rebels, and Russia started giving aid to Assad’s forces that were fighting the rebels.

I think it’s time for the United States to declare war on Assad, and the rest of the major world powers will join in against the terror of Russia, North Korea, and Assad.

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