It is not clear re the economic effects. But of course, the single biggest drain on the economy in teh 2000s was the Iraq war. At its peak it cost the US $2.5Billon a week. The US is a long way from that type of involvement in Syria but military action is a slippery slope.
This is classified as a civil war. The US gets involved in civil wars if it coincides with our national interests. The US national security interests dominate thinking about the Middle East. Syria has been a playground for lots of regional and international powers - US is playing vis-a-vis those players much more than an outright concern over the lives of ordinary Syrians.
The US has not done much of any lasting value in the ME short of supporting autocratic governments and selling lots and lots of military hardware (generating billions in profits for the US arms industry). Religion has little to do with this. Conflicts are politically constructed. The overall rule in the Middle East is that coexistence among different religious groups is the norm rather than conflict. Yet, when the state weakens and conflict ensures, entrepreneurs
play on religion to generate more and more conflict.
Well. Those types of bombers have not been that prevalent in the Syrian civil war. This is not to say it cannot happen. But if you are worried about jihadis then you more or less end up supporting the regime of al-Asad. The problem is there are no good options in Syria.
This is also why I am advocating we see a full report with a completed investigation and UN inspections. If the US gov wants to use the military, it needs to be 100% proved who is doing what with what weapons.
I am not sure we need to view Syria like a football match. Perhaps, there is no side to support. The fact that there are over 1000 militias should alert us to complexity of the situation. I would actually argue for a resolution to the conflict diplomatically and intervening to ease the plight of the internal and externally displaced population (3million people). Military force is the last resort we should be considering.
The Middle East is not a primitive place. It is a place that has been produced by the forces of globalization since the days of colonialism. We cannot separate the world into boxes. The world is interconnected and so there is no WE and THEY. The solution is figuring out how to end the conflict before more people die. As a example, Saddam Hussein killed around 250K people in 25 years in power. After the US-led invasion, over a million people died because of the violence introduced by military intervention. While 100K have died in Syria, this number could escalate dramatically if new actors are introduced.
I am not familiar with biblical passages nor do I look to such text to explain political problems or contemporary
conflicts which humans started. This applies to the case of Syria now.
That is a thoughtful comment Peace. I appreciate it. I lived in Syria and have many friends trapped in that country. They have labored under autocracy for decades and many people in free countries could have cared less. What happene
d to those victims is unspeakable. But we have to think carefully about how to respond. It is always moments like this when people say that "something needs done". A military strike is dramatic and will look like something. However it will only be a brief break in that conflict. It will not end it and it will not change it. Military interventions aren't humanitarian. They only change the dynamic of the conflict. The war will continue. If we care about the population, press your politicians to ease the humanitarian crises of refugees that has been going on since march 2011
Thanks to all for participating in our web chat tonight. - Janet