By Ronny O’Leary Columnist
The Syrian conflict has been escalating for over a year and ahalf: thousands of people have died, and Turkey has now gotten involved after it was attacked. In response, members of both major parties in America have supported more aggressive measures against Syria, either because they think we need to deal with this humanitarian crisis, or because we need to promote Democracy in the Middle East. However, we should consider the morality and consequences of military intervention.
Firstly, such an intervention would be unconstitutional unless it was declared by Congress. The Constitution specifically says that Congress has the power to declare war; however, presidents within the last several decades have evaded this requirement by calling their military adventures “police actions”. It depends on how one defines war: I define it as when one nation’s military invades another nation.
Therefore, I consider any military intervention not approved by Congress as unconstitutional. However, even if the president asked Congress for a declaration of war, there would still be disastrous consequences of invading Syria. It would likely cost many more lives, both American and foreign. I know that this is a horrible conflict and that our military does not try to make things worse, but our interventions unfortunately have unforeseen and unintended consequences. Vietnam and Iraq should provide vivid examples of this fact: over 60 thousand American soldiers and millions of civilians died in these two conflicts.
Also, neither of these conflicts achieved our goals: we invaded Vietnam to prevent the spread of Communism, but the country is still Communist. We invaded Iraq to establish a stable and democratic government, but the different factions are still fighting. There is no reason to believe that invading Syria would be more successful. In addition, just like in the aforementioned conflicts, Syria does not present the slightest threat to our liberty.
War is only justified when our freedom is threatened. When we get involved in unnecessary wars, our civil and economic liberties are eroded, and the Federal Reserve prints more money to finance these wars. Lastly, we cannot afford another conflict: our current wars have already added trillions of dollars to our national debt, and they have diverted resources from more productive uses. To conclude, we should only fight wars when our freedom is threatened; however, most of our wars have not fulfilled this criterion, and Syria is no different. Thus, invading Syria will endanger the principle of individual liberty on which America was founded.