Opinion: Caring about Syria is no reason to bomb it

Jody Michael

In last week’s “Our View” regarding the possibility of U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war, the editorial board wrote, “The question of another war could actually be restated: Should we care about what’s happening in Syria?”

It should not actually be restated that way, as it oversimplifies the issue.

I care about what’s happening in Syria, yet I do not want us to send our troops to die for reasons that in no way concern U.S. security.

I care about what’s happening in Syria, yet I realize it is by no means certain that our involvement would actually help matters. Sure, the failure of our war in Iraq is not reason enough to stay away from Syria. But it’s also far from the only recent time we’ve sent our military somewhere only to watch everything not go as well as we had hoped: Vietnam, Cambodia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.

I care about what’s happening in Syria, yet I also care about lots of other problems in the world that the U.S. is not using many (if any) resources to fix. Many writers and experts have rightfully addressed this in their arguments against war in Syria.

Matthew Yglesias of Slate: “What about the Against Malaria Foundation? What they do is provide long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets in order to protect defenseless civilians from a form of biological warfare known as the Plasmodium parasite which spreads via bites from insects of the Anopheles genus. According to The Life You Can Save, handing out these bed nets saves about one life for every $1,865 spent. That’s to say that if the United States was able to spend the $1.1 billion we spent on the Libya operation on long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets we could have saved almost 590,000 lives from almost certain destruction.”

Let’s avoid the mindset that we must do something and that, since war is something, we must go to war.

— Jody Michael, Kent State Class of 2013, of Rootstown, Ohio