BLOOMINGTON — The likely negative effects of U.S. military intervention in Syria outweigh the possible benefit of standing against chemical weapons use, a panel of Illinois Wesleyan University professors agreed Tuesday.

Hours before President Barack Obama addressed the nation, history professor Mike Weis and political science professors William Munro, Ky Ajayi and James Simeone addressed the question “Should the United States intervene in Syria?” during a program at IWU’s Hansen Student Center.

“I can’t see too many good things coming out of an intervention,” said Weis, citing further destabilization of the region and the spread of civil war as possible consequences.

Other possibilities cited by the professors were retaliation by Syria or Iran against others in the region, such as Israel or anyone perceived to have helped the United States.

Yet, at the same time Israel is concerned about being targeted, Ajayi said, Israelis also will ask, “If the president draws a red line (in Syria) and there are no repercussions, what does that mean to the red line in Iran” on nuclear weapons?

Russia’s unexpected proposal to have Syria surrender control of its chemical weapons to avoid an attack was seen as a positive development, but not necessarily a solution.

“I look at this as a great thing that the Russians have done because I think it buys us time,” Weiss said. “Obama had painted himself into a corner that he couldn’t get out of.”

Ajayi said, “I think getting them (chemical weapons) out of their hands is a good first step rather than blowing them up.”

However, Ajayi said even if that plan moves forward, the United States should “keep the big stick” on Syria and make it clear to Syria that “we’re still going ahead with our planning to bomb the living bejeezus out of you” if it doesn’t comply.

Simeone said the president “has an ethical obligation” to stand up for the international norm against the use of chemical weapons but he fears people in Syria won’t understand what the United States is trying to accomplish, especially if it acts alone.

And getting the United Nations to approve military action is next to impossible because of the veto power of China and longtime Syrian ally Russia, Simeone and Munro said.

“The U.N. Security Council is a joke, as far as I’m concerned,” Simeone said. “It’s all about security, not about justice.”

Munro said the structure of the Security Council “paralyzes the United Nations from acting in this situation.”

But despite its weaknesses, Munro said, “the United Nations is what we have.”

Simeone hopes this situation highlights those weaknesses and becomes “a chance to fix this system.”

Ajayi said people in region are questioning the motives of the United States and others who have waited until now to act, wondering why “if you kill 10,000 with bullets, that’s OK, but if you kill 1,000 with chemical weapons, it’s not OK.”

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(2) comments

Crybaby
Crybaby

‘The U.N. Security Council is a joke, as far as I’m concerned,” Simeone said. “It’s all about security, not about justice.’


And:


‘Simeone hopes this situation highlights those weaknesses and becomes “a chance to fix this system.” ‘

I just wish he had offered some suggestions as to just who in the hell is going to ‘fix this system.’ For 67 years, successive US governments have fought calls to reform the UN security council. Five nations hold veto power over world affairs. All other nations adding up to being no more than impotent spectators. Forty two of the Eighty-three times the US has exercised its veto it has done so to prevent calls for censure of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. (Nary a whimper regarding the Israeli use of white phosphorus on Palestinians in a 2009 Gaza attack ) And the latest attempt at Israeli censure, supported by 130 nations, spiked by the Obama Administration. Here we have the risible spectacle of the five largest gun running nations in the world, tasked with implementing global disarmament. But now, all of sudden, when two members threaten to exercise their veto power to prevent our robo-bombing of yet another sovereign nation, the U.S. objects. Calling the system ‘illegitimate’. Or, in the words of our Commander in Chief: ‘If we end up using the UN security council not as a means of enforcing international norms and international law, but rather as a barrier … then I think people rightly are going to be pretty skeptical about the system.’ Yet more of President Fable, morphing into President ‘Duh’.

On the bright side, even Professor Simeone didn’t suggest that our President robo-bomber gets it. Or, in the immortal words of our very own Professor Ajayi: ‘ even if that plan moves forward, the United States should “keep the big stick” on Syria and make it clear to Syria that “we’re still going ahead with our planning to bomb the living bejeezus out of you” if it doesn’t comply'. Great advice, for our very own Nobel Peace Prize winner, albeit Commander in Chief of what has become nothing more than what is itself a rogue State. At the end of the day, it doesn’t take the learned droppings of IWU Professors' minds to come to the conclusion that this President has no intention of helping to fix much of anything. Much less, ‘fix this system’.

booby_mcfartface
booby_mcfartface

The first time Republican congress members are actually against a war in the middle east is also the first time a black man is commander and chief. Weird coincidence? I think not...

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