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Back in Iraq: How the Syria strikes are the start of the next War on Terror

Valerie Morrice

Valerie Morrice

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The United States, United Kingdom, and France conducted airstrikes on suspected chemical weapons plants and storage facilities in Syria last Friday. This attack follows the use of chemical weapons in the small town of Douma conducted supposedly by the Syrian government.

The entire civil war in Syria has been one prolonged tragedy. The violence and deaths have become so prevalent that the UN has completely stopped counting the death toll in the country. It’s that bad. But do you know what does not help that? Bombing a country that is already in ruins without a legal mandate. Not only was the attack in Syria completely unnecessary, but the reasoning behind the attack itself is unfounded, and brings back haunting memories of our War on Terror.

First off, let us backtrack to the reasoning for the strikes. Bashar al-Assad, the dictator of Syria, launched an attack on Douma using chemical weapons. There was even footage of the people in Douma being assaulted by the gas that France used as evidence of the attack. So that is settled. Assad deserved to be bombed for gassing his own people, right?

The video does not reveal the whole story. According to a report by The Independent, a doctor in Douma who was treating the victims claims that those attacked by the “gas” were actually victims of dust inhalation. You see, the footage France showed was not doctored, and Assad did bomb the area. But the bombs were not filled with gas. Instead, since like most of Syria the town was crumbling to pieces, and the area was held by the Syrian rebels. So when Assad bombed the rebels to reclaim the territory, the bombs kicked up a bunch of dust into the air, creating a miniature dust storm. And when the people so this cloud of colored air descend upon them, there was only one thing they could think of: gas. Yes, civilians were accidentally killed by the Assad regime, but it was not a direct chemical attack upon the people.

But even though this attack may not have been gas, there still have been many chemical attacks in Syria. Now there is a contentious debate about whether those attacks were conducted by the Syrian government or one of the many rebel groups, but for our sake let’s say it was actually Assad and the government. Still, even in this scenario where Assad is gassing his own civilians with reckless abandon, we should not have intervened, especially by way of missiles and bombs. Because when we do so, we create more problems and destruction in a nation that’s already fallen to pieces.

According to a New York Times article, one of the facilities bombed in the strikes was a Syrian research compound, which, amongst other things, was developing anti-venom and cancer treatments. Think about that. In our attempt to “save the lives” of many Syrians by destroying supposed chemical weapons, we ended up destroying vital medical resources that the country is already heavily lacking. In one quick move, we have already done more harm than good.

It is completely insane. And yet, we still treat this like some glorious victory over a regime we don’t happen to like.
You know what the best part is? This is not the end of it. We may claim like this is the end, and that our goals have been reached, but it that isn’t the case.

In a report from the Associated Press, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. Mackenzie, the joint staff leader for the Pentagon, claimed that the strikes were a success and we did our job so well that the chemical bombs didn’t even spray gas everywhere when we blew them up. Yet, when pressed further, admitted that there may have been residue weapons left that we didn’t blow up, but we did such a good that it shouldn’t matter anyway. What does that remind you of?

We have a mix of horrific weapons that you suddenly disappear without a trace, overzealous military action in a Middle Eastern country, causing more harm than good to said country, and a dictator that is super evil and must go or the world will face dire consequences. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

It’s the long-awaited sequel to Iraq. Everyone from warmongering politicians to the sensationalist news stations that love to keep us glued to their reports has been shaking in anticipation. And do you know what the means? That this definitely isn’t over. When Saddam Hussein was toppled in Iraq, we were still eight years away from getting out of there. And within that time, thousands of Americans died, innocent Iraqis were raped, tortured, and sodomized in Abu Ghraib prison, and our privacy was lost to the Patriot Act. And for what? Oil and influence, of course. A classic case of the imperialist drive for gold, glory, and god. Except oil is the gold, crushing slight opposition is the glory, and the US empire is the god. Now Syria may have to face this same exact thing.

In the end, I’d like to bring it all back to something that is often related to political news and opinion these days: a Trump tweet. On the day of the strikes, President Donald Trump tweeted that the strike was a success and ended the tweet with two words, “Mission Accomplished!” Now those who know the Iraq War know George W. Bush’s infamous speech in front of a banner with those exact words. After the “mission was accomplished” in Iraq, we faced another eight years of brutal fighting. Now with both the tweet and the banner, things are and were very much not accomplished.

Except they were. Bush and Trump used the terms correctly. The missions of beginning destabilizing conquest were accomplished. And on the night of April 13, the conquest of Syria had begun.

About the Writer
Liam Sweeney, Perspectives Editor
Liam Sweeney is a senior at Metea Valley and the Perspectives Editor for the school magazine. He is a political independent, as he refuses to align with any of the mainstream political parties. Music dominates Liam’s life as he is a lover of all rock music, with his favorite genres being garage rock and punk rock. Liam also plays guitar and wishes to be in his own band in the near future.
11 Comments

11 Responses to “Back in Iraq: How the Syria strikes are the start of the next War on Terror”

  1. no u on April 19th, 2018 8:32 am

    It be like that sometimes

  2. Gherbo on April 19th, 2018 6:37 pm

    Jeremiah Leonard it dont be like that.

  3. The Lockerbanks on April 19th, 2018 10:27 am

    Thanks Liam

  4. Balkin Tuffle on April 19th, 2018 1:26 pm

    The Syrians usage of Sarin Gas, according to the CDC is a “colorless, and odorless gas” so the footage wouldn’t be able to show that “it was only dust.” And your source of “The Independent” is VERY biased, considering one of the owners of The Independent, Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel, “works for National Commercial Bank, which is controlled by the government of Saudi Arabia.” Even to which, ignoring the owner of The Independent the “War on Terror” didn’t just start during the reign of Bush or after the atrocity of 9/11; it has existed throughout human history. Why do you lock your homes? Why do you protect what’s yours from other people? Those are questions that have been answered, and that have been properly asked. What’s asked but shouldn’t be is “Why do some people steal?” this so called “War on Terror” has been fought by even Romans against barbarians pillaging lands that aren’t theirs or causing unnecessary suffering throughout history. Overall, the whole premise of this article “on the night of April 13, the conquest of Syria had begun.” is purely based on a single minded vision by a person who clearly doesn’t take the time to tie up all ends possible in a story or the loopholes that occur from human error.

  5. no thanks on April 20th, 2018 8:33 am

    Even to compound this biased and narrow worldview, one can definitely argue that the War on Terror never ended; it just took a transition to different styles of battle. Our battles haven’t been fought on the battlefield through urban combat – these new wars will happen literally out of sight – on the digital battlefield and between combatants miles away from each other with the technology to attack from afar.
    These Syria strikes were inevitable, even more so with mediators with ulterior motives in mind.

  6. Thomas Sankara on April 19th, 2018 1:35 pm

    This is so misguidedly, polemically, comically wrong that I couldn’t help but burst out laughing while reading this piece of journalism. The War in Iraq was caused by a hawkish Congress that wanted reprisals for 9/11, and were willing to sacrifice due process and basic ethics in pursuit of that goal. Today’s Congress is controlled by some paranoid Republicans who are desperate to hold on to their seat in November and terrified of an unstable and unreliable President. George W. Bush had warmongers like Condolezza Rice and Colin Powell (shudder) in his Cabinet. Trump has some incompetent friends who make his decisions for him. He’s more concerned with not getting impeached than coordinating a complex military invasion. Sorry, Liam, but you’re just plain wrong here.

  7. Grammar on April 23rd, 2018 1:18 pm

    Sometimes I like to use big words to sound more photosynthesis

  8. Corey Foster on April 20th, 2018 8:52 am

    Unfounded or not, the attack isn’t sparking another war. Our strike killed no one, to my knowledge, and only destroyed facilities based around the use of chemical weapons. There is absolutely no reason for a country’s government to have chemical weapons except for either using it on their own people or others. It is perfectly justified to go about destroying a threat to not just other countries in the Middle East, but Syria itself. If there were no chemical weapons, then the US and its allies killed no one and committed no atrocities. If there were chemical weapons, we solved an international problem without harming a soul.

    Sounds like a win-win situation to me, Liam.

  9. mm on April 20th, 2018 1:41 pm

    yo I love Trump soooooo

  10. Nuha Mohiuddin on April 22nd, 2018 9:27 pm

    Extremely biased, poorly written and organized, and just plain wrong in so many aspects. You come off as if you’re defending Assad, and this “Opinion Piece” is so full of disorganized ranting thay its a trainwreck to read. Check your sources, stop jumping to conclusions to fit your liberal hatred of Trump, and face the facts. Opinion piece does not mean “Twitter rant to my 30 followers”. The only countries that did not support this strike were China, Russia, Iran, and Syria. Amazing countries we should root for, right? People die in conflict. Its inevitable. Using that as an argument was inane and childish. Try again.

  11. Killian Kenny on April 24th, 2018 8:38 am

    At this point I’m wondering what it will take for the next world war to begin. We’ve had rising tensions in North Korea, Russia, China, and the middle east for decades now, and the fact that our president uses Twitter to taunt our enemies from the White House hasn’t helped things in the slightest. What will be the deciding factor? What will bring us to war again? But perhaps conflict on this scale shouldn’t happen again. I mean, with nuclear weapons in the hands of our enemies and in our own hands. I guess I’ll just have to sit back and wait for the call to arms, for now.

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