We should help Syria, but we can’t

Syria - Chemical Attack - 2013What is happening is Syria is humanity at its worse.   Though its been unverified at time of this writing, the pictures and videos coming out of the country point to the use of chemical warfare on citizens of Syria.

As Christians, we should care about the use of chemical warfare and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.  The re-emergence of chemical warfare in Syria is disturbing at many levels.

I believe that morally, it would be appropriate to intervene with the military.  We should intervene, but we can’t.

We can’t because . . .

– There is no known “good guys” to support

We don’t know who the enemy fighting the wicked Bashar al-Assad regime is,  but factions of al Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups are among the opposition to Assad.

Even though it’s possible to intervene right now, there is no exit strategy. The risk is very high that – once the regime has been toppled – power will fall to Islamists, namely al Qaeda fighters. After the Syrian army, they are by far the greatest military power in the country. – Syria expert Günter Meyer as quoted in this article.

– There is no team

WIth China and Russia supporting the Assad government, there is not a true international coalition to partner together for such a delicate task as invading a Middle East country.

– There is no military capacity

With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and soldiers permanently stationed in Germany, Japan and South Korea; there is no financial capacity for a new occupation by the United State’s army.  Our overextension as a military force over the last few decades have prevented intervention in this humanitarian crisis.   We did not intervene in the recent genocides of Rwanda (1994), nor Darfur (2005-2010).

– Civil Wars are costly

Colin PowellAs Colin Powell pointed out early in this crisis, and again on Sunday, this is a civil war in Syria.  He went on to say:

I have no affection for Assad . . . He’s a pathological liar.”  However, Powell said, “I am less sure of the resistance. What do they represent? Is it becoming even more radicalized with more al Qaeda coming in, and what would it look like if they prevailed and Assad went? I don’t know.”

Civil wars are costly.  In the United States, we senselessly lost over 600,000 in our Civil War (1861-1865).  As much as I hate war, America cannot intervene in every other nation’s conflict.

War is a manifestation of evil on earth.   My heart breaks for the innocent victims in Syria, and I pray for wisdom for international leaders as they evaluate potential responses to this catastrophe.

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