1. Description of the article
Since the Syria violence begun, many lives have been lost. Thousands more have been displaced from their homes and country. Fighting between the government army and rebels has led to allegations that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons to attack in Damascus. These tensions have fuelled gossip of US-led military intervention.
However, whether the US should intervene militarily or not has drawn several opinions. Opinion based on humanitarian grounds that urge the president to intervene using military action, is one of them.
The proponents argue from the point of view that suffering demands action (Moyn 3). This group believes that the United States is in the best position than any other country to stop the suffering of the Syrian people and the bloodshed going on, and therefore no action from the US means more innocent lives will continue to be lost (Moyn 3). The humanitarian argument, however, has not stimulated the US and its partners to intervene.
The proponents of military action to alleviate human suffering have often cited the Kosovo attacks in 1999 as the moral precedent. However, between then and 2014, when we are experiencing the violence in Syria, “the world has learnt much about the blind spots of humanitarianism” (Moyn 4). What stimulated Washington to act in those days was the argument of “never again” that led to the bombing decision to be taken (Moyn 4). However, there is skepticism that the US never acts wholly on moral intentions.
The other reaction to military action is based on anti-imperialism argument. This group argues that in the history of great powers, slaughter of civilians has occurred, especially in Middle East (Moyn 4). The US led, war on terror, supports this group’s argument. Going back to the Kosovo action again, the bombing lacked legal justification (Moyn 4). If the US intervenes militarily in Syria, would this violate international law? The question posed by anti-imperialists is that “does the US constitution allow the president to use force when no real national security concerns are implicated?”(Moyn 4).
The other stand is based on pragmatism, which separates itself from the “ideological rigidity” of the above two arguments (Moyn 5).The proponents argue that effective policy and not law or power associations should stir decisions. Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley-Zilkic of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, put it well when they said, “The basic issue is efficacy, not legality” (Moyn 5). " The goal of military action is not only to discourage Assad from using weapons of mass destruction but also to prepare the conditions for Russia — Syria’s key ally — to force diplomatic negotiations and a peace settlement” according to Jon Jidis ( Moyn 5). How isolated bombing is to achieve this end remains a problem though.
According to Moyn, military action should not be pursued because it could worsen the humanitarian crisis. However, not...