10 Arguments For And Against Immediate Military Action In Syria

Headshot of John Kerry with the U.S. flag in t...

According to Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement, “the President is not asking us to go to war, he’s simply saying we need to take an action against Assad, which could involve some bombing, launching a couple of missiles, or maybe landing a tiny ground force of a few hundred thousand soldier. But we won’t be, I repeat, we won’t be going to war!”

A few months earlier, Barack Obama promised that a use of chemical weapons by Syria’s regime would cross a red line and would justify action against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. So when a recent poison gas attack killed hundreds of Syrian civilians, Barack Obama called on Congress to authorize a military strike to send a message to Assad that he must stick to killing rebels and civilians using conventional weapons only.  However, the idea of a military action against Syria isn’t too popular, and opponents and supporters keep debating whether the US should get involved.  Here are 10 arguments for and against the US military action against the Assad regime.

1)  Pro:  If the US fails to take decisive action against Assad, we risk undermining our reputation as a country that is ready to attack anyone, anywhere, and for any reason whatsoever.

2)  Against:  Barack Obama had called on Congress to return from their August vacation early so that Congress may take an emergency vote on the military action, but Congressional leaders decided to stay on vacation.  Clearly, if the matter of civil war in Syria is not important enough for Congressmen to return from their month-long vacation a couple of days early, it’s definitely not important enough to warrant a military action.

3)  Pro:  Russian veto prevents any action by the United Nations, so the United States must take matters into its own hands.  And Russians are not likely to change their position: Russia just passed a law banning any gay propaganda just as the US allowed gays to serve in the military, and therefore Russians now deem any US military action to be illegal gay propaganda.

4)  Against:  Budget cuts may cause an international embarrassment for the US, if an attack order is sent down the chain of command, but the missile isn’t launched because the guy who was supposed to press the big red button had been sent on an extended furlough.

5)  Pro:  The French support the military action, which means they foresee zero risk of their defeat or surrender.

6)  Against:  Although the Republican majority in Congress is eager to remove a ruthless dictator, they plan to achieve that goal by impeaching Obama.

7)  Pro:  This will not be a full-scale war, but a limited military involvement; however “limited” might just mean “anything short of total annihilation of the planet”.

8)  Against:  Attacking Syria for poisoning civilians with gases sets a dangerous precedent, and may lead to future military actions against the private companies engaged in fracking and air pollution.

9)  Pro:  Pentagon’s 10 year contract with defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon guarantees them at least one new war every year.

10)  Against:  We should not rush to attack until we exhaust all possible diplomatic options, weigh all potential consequences, organize a coalition, plan an exit strategy, by which time Bashar al-Assad should die of old age and the problem will solve itself.

About List of X

An Ostensibly Funny Commentary* of the Recent News and Events. (* warning! may not actually be funny or a commentary. Also, since I am not quite sure what "ostensibly" means, it might not be "ostensibly" either.) Also blogging at listofx.wordpress.com
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37 Responses to 10 Arguments For And Against Immediate Military Action In Syria

  1. Ankur Mithal says:

    The pro-war comments, pithy, logical and easily understood by everyone.

  2. lexborgia says:

    #1 is definitely the #1 reason. #5 is spot on. 6 is a scream, 9 is truth to power. Love this list. Pop over for a read of my last post when you get time: ‘The Making Of!’ You’d like it. Cheers.

  3. I’m just glad I don’t have to pick a favorite. You kicked ass, as usual.

  4. john zande says:

    Brilliant. Like a continuous punch in the face. Can’t pick a favourite this time… each is golden. A Bazzilion Points!

    • List of X says:

      You’re right. But if the Russians realize what their missiles look like, they’ll be forced to remove all their missiles from their arsenals and replace them with something that isn’t such an obvious weapon of propaganda.

  5. Bill Hayes says:

    I was dead against an attack on Syria, but now you’ve got me all undecided. :-)

  6. Katie says:

    Well now we can’t violate the terms of the Lockheed Martin and Raytheon contracts…

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    Given the pace at which Congress proceeds with all things, I suspect your #10 may be spot on.

  8. 6 was awesome. I think we should just randomly throw a dart at a globe once a week and bomb whatever country the dart sticks closest to.

  9. Pyx says:

    Ah oui notre reputation!

  10. bernasvibe says:

    Oooo I agree with one of the earlier comments@this is a tough one to pick a fave..But since it is my usual to choose a fave; then choose a fave I must. Though I’m really, really riding the fence with a tie between # 1 & # 9 & #10…And while I’m firmly on the side of ‘against'; I’m going to have to pick #1 as my fave. Btw X I had a feeling you’d post on this topic..Well done!

    • List of X says:

      I actually didn’t think I could write about Syria until yesterday – and yet this was the biggest story of the week. It’s really difficult to write jokes about a civil war and chemical weapons without crossing certain red lines of taste and propriety. I’m not even sure I succeeded here.

      • bernasvibe says:

        What I’ve learned in this life? Even when one say or writes the most simplest of things? Someone can or will get offended..With pure intentions things can be misinterpreted..Really depends on the reader or listener’s scope of understanding , etc..BUT humor can soothe and soften many things..I call it the Dave Chapelle effect! For instance..When Dave Chapelle first hit the scene I hated his stuff! I didn’t find it funny at all..At the time I was working in a very affluent corporation and I was the ONLY Black in the office..ONLY..I had friends there & I was quite comfy..Most of the time..Until a couple friends came to me & showed me a clip of Dave Chappelle & said “Black people are so funny!” ..It was a video clip of the Chapelle show of the Black guy who “thinks” he is white..Well, long story short, after I realized the true beauty of what Dave Chapelle was trying to do I could appreciate his tactic…That show was a major success & it also showed all people just how senseless racism IS..I say allllll of that to say this X humor or jokes sometimes force us to truly look at things sometimes & it sticks in our minds long after…As humans we shy away from things that make us sad or cry…But with humor it softens the blow a little bit…And you succeed very well in doing that & getting the information out there.

  11. As always, you slay me. I must say $9 is my first love but $4 came running closely behind.

    The use $ was not a mistake.

  12. pegoleg says:

    Spot on, especially #6.

  13. Ape No. 1 says:

    I know I and the NSA engines scanning your blog based off keyword hits would have picked #9 as disclosing this information probably violates the NDA terms of that more than likely real contract.

  14. EagleAye says:

    Hilarious! I love 2,3,8, and 10. # 10 is quite possibly perfect. This is one of your best ones. There some more reasons: 1) The Republicans are happy to start a war with anybody, but they have to wait until there’s a Republican president to think it’s a good idea (could be 6a). 2) Assad claims that Obama saying he would only intervene if chemical weps were used, gives the Rebels reason to fabricate an attack just to pull the US in. A predictable rebuttal, yet highly plausible.

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