Article by Norm Gottlieb
SeniorsCan applauds the apparently successful diplomatic action by President Obama, supporting the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. But we are deeply concerned about the President’s current actions in that nation.
There is a major on-going civil war, and we should not be supporting so-called “moderates” who are fighting the regime. Nor should we be providing any military armaments to any of the various factions. The Kurds control a sizable portion of northern Syria, and there are many other groups fighting for control of the country. We should not be in the middle of this conflict – much of which is sectarian.
Our involvement in Syria is not in our national security interest, and, ultimately, this is a matter for the Syrians to work out for themselves one way or another. Our intervention only exacerbates the situation, and our intrusion cannot be sustained in the long run. Containing the war and its attendant humanitarian problems is best addressed by the neighboring nations and others in the Middle East. A negotiated settlement is the only road to peace.
Nevertheless, we hope that the Montreax conference in January 2014, with the U.S., Russia, and 30 other countries participating will at least make some progress toward a cease-fire and humanitarian relief. We should not delude oourselves by unilateral efforts attempting regime change or attempting democracy in Syria. We have no right to intrude in that country with no clear mission. Any further actions pose unforeseeable unintended consequences and risk costly escalation.