Answering The Syria Question
To start, I trust Barack Obama more than I trusted George W. Bush, particularly on the issue of foreign policy and national security.
I make note of that up front because it is the root of my decision making process on what should be done in Syria. A large part of the reason I supported Obama in the first place, back in 2007, was that I felt he had a sense of the smart thing to do to keep America safe while also respected and feared where necessary.
While I did not support Bush, I gave him and his team the benefit of the doubt after 9/11. I supported the invasion of Afghanistan, and was open to action against Iraq, pending some kind of proof that an invasion fit in to the wider war against Al Qaeda. It never did, the evidence was bad before we knew it was false, and the execution of the war itself bordered on treasonous incompetence.
Syria appears to have used chemical weapons, and we have a moral obligation to do something about it. No matter the evidence presented by the administration, much of this will boil down to trust. Bush’s lies and half-truths about Iraq and the progress of the war there rightly made us skeptical of America’s moral authority.
If President Obama is similarly being deceptive, he should receive as much condemnation as Bush did, if not more.
There is no evidence of that in any way. Because he’s done what he said he would – kill Bin Laden, end the Iraq War, responsibly wrap up Afghanistan while beating back Al Qaeda — I trust Obama to do the right thing here, and a military response in some fashion to the Assad regime seems warranted.
In the past I’ve supported military action under Presidents of both parties because I believe America has a unique role in enforcing international justice as a result of our role as the sole global superpower. Using military force is the toughest option for American presidents, and should never be entered into lightly.