Why intervene in the Syrian civil war?

What valid reason exists to provide military aid to rebels in a foreign land that doesn’t trust us? Photo: AP Photo/Al-Manar Television via AP Video

CALIFORNIA June 21, 2013 — There’s an insightful verse in the Bible that describes our relationship with Syria: “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17).

The United States already provides humanitarian aid to Syrian war victims, consistent with our heritage of compassion (Luke 6:27-31). In addition, economic sanctions are being used to try to force Assad to step down. But with over 90,000 deaths and 1.5 million refugees, the civil war between Assad and rebel groups continues to drag on.


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After half-hearted interest the last two years, it’s odd that President Obama has now decided to provide military aid to rebel groups allegedly supportive of our interests. Not only is this unworkable, but what rationale can actually justify this slippery slope of military intervention?

If it’s to stop civilian casualties, why wait until after almost a hundred thousand deaths? In Libya, the mere threat by Kaddafi to kill his political opponents was Obama’s justification for military intervention. If it’s to fulfill a promise when a chemical weapons “red line” is crossed, why is the death of several hundred innocent people more wicked than the slaughter of thousands of others by bullets and bombs while the Obama administration took time weighing evidence that Britain and France had already found compelling?

If it’s to rid Syria of a tyrant who’s opposed to “democratic” reforms, then why not allow the country to decide its own future? How successful have Iraq and Afghanistan been in implementing our century’s old understanding of Biblical-based governance (see Romans 13:1-6 for the proper role of governments)?

If it’s to ensure a freely elected government is finally brought to power, then where are the prior examples of this happening in Muslim dominated countries? Hamas was elected to govern Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood is now in control of Egypt, Libya is still unstable, and the much touted secular government of Turkey is increasingly becoming radicalized.


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If it’s to prevent stockpiles of chemical weapons from falling into terrorist hands, why would we think they’ll be safer under the control of some yet to be determined rebel group, particularly when so many are affiliated with radical Islamists?

If it’s to convince other Muslim nations we’re their friend, when has any Muslim country ever welcomed an invasion by a Christianized nation and believed their best interests were ultimately our goal?

If it’s to appear strong by countering Russian and Iranian support for Assad, then it shows a lack of courage to only confront real adversaries through proxy wars.

If it’s because our President has finally realized that economic sanctions alone won’t bring an end to the Assad regime, then why hasn’t he come to the same conclusion with Iran or North Korea?


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If it’s to draw attention away from Obama’s domestic scandals, then it’s just a callous diversion that gives false hope to those suffering in Syria while trying to appear like a world leader.

If it’s because we think we’re able to pick the rebel group most likely to succeed, how did that work for us in Egypt or Libya? In fact, if military aid is intended to only help insurgents favorable towards us, how will the administration ever ferret out allies amongst competing, violent groups who’ll do and say anything to gain our help, then tell us to leave (remember how Satan operates: 2 Corinthians 11:14-15)?

Senator McCain is right. There’s little we can do to resolve the Syrian war unless we take a major, pro-active military role to ensure Assad’s ouster. That would mean committing precious blood and treasure in another overseas conflict without the benefit of any proven, beneficial exit strategy (see Luke 14:28-30).

Obviously there’s concern about chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups, and the ongoing slaughter of innocents. Syria being Iran’s surrogate is also problematic for regional stability with Israel.

But like it or not, the best option may still be humanitarian aid; containment and isolation of Syria no matter what new regime emerges; and directly confronting terror enablers like Russia and Iran to keep their hands off.

This is not our fight, and like grabbing the ears of a passing dog we’ll only bring rage and contempt on ourselves by trying to select winners or eventually occupy a country that embraces a worldview both alien and hostile to our own (Colossians 2:8).

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKacer or #BiblicalPolitics


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Frank Kacer

Frank Kacer has been writing and lecturing on the applications of a Biblical worldview to the contemporary issues of the day since the mid 1990s. Besides his regular Biblical Politics column with the Washington Times Communities, Frank has authored over 100 op-ed columns for Good News Etc. and the popular Christian Examiner. Frank can be reached at frankkacer@hotmail.com

 

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