As the world continues to discuss their military options with regards to the recent Syrian chemical attack on innocent civilians, it seems that there will finally be daylight between the Syrian rebels, who have been desperately urging for international involvement, and the Western powers. It was inevitable that this international intervention would be imminent, not to mention, long overdue. The world could not and cannot stand idly by while hundredths of thousands of innocent civilians are slaughter with impunity. The world is a hypocritical place and there have been times when the call for “Never Again” went unanswered. In Rwanda, Iraq, and Darfur. So the world is faced again with the horrors of the use of chemical weapons on vulnerable civilians. The ramifications of an international intervention could be catastrophic as the Russians have said or it could deterred Assad and increase the morale on the Syrian rebels. The world has a moral obligation to stop the mayhem on the Syrian people.
Taking out Assad and establishing a no-fly zone does not seem to be a viable option. In addition, a tomahawk strike on Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile would surely exacerbate the situation, not to mention the exposure of gas on civilians, and be counterproductive. Nevertheless, a strike on Syria’s missile launching pads and air force bases could curtail Assad’s capabilities in the air. It would also diminish Assad’s military and tilt the strategic balance on the rebels favor. Aside from striking these systems, the Obama administration has a moral obligation and responsibility to punish Assad. Obama boxed himself in when he established his red line a year ago, which Assad crossed it more than once, and while the United States continues to lose influence in Egypt and credibility, it needs to re-establish that credibility in the wider region, so rogue state like Iran and North Korea know that there will be consequences to their actions. Lastly, striking command and control centers would destabilize communication capabilities. This is a dire time where the United States needs to uphold its own words.
The possible ramifications of a strike could be so effective that contested areas may fall under rebel hands or it could be dire. Hezbollah, who has stated that they will fight till the death in Syria, may unleash strikes on Israel. In any case, a strike is in the best interest of the rebels and Western powers. An Iranian response is unpredictable. It may send in more Quds forces to propped up the regime. In the long run, if Assad falls, which will not be the outcome of this imminent strike, Iran would lose a vital proxy player in the region. Losing Syria would cut off the bridge to supply Hezbollah and diminish Iran’s revolutionary Shiite ideology. Ultimately, isolating Iran in the region and containing it.
The world has been faced with a dilemma for more than two years, the time has come to hold the Assad regime accountable for his brutality. There are those individuals like, Newt Gingrich, who say the real threat to national and global security is Iran, Syria is no greater threat than Iran. This premise may be true but should the world ignore the carnage of civilians and let terrorist groups like the Al-Nusra front come in contact with chemical weapons? Let Syria become a safe heaven for terrorist to operate in? This “moral obscenity” has been widely commended as an act of barbarism and the regime cannot go with impunity. An international intervention in Syria based on well-grounded and well-founded facts, is a moral obligation to humanity.