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Students speak out on possible strike against Syria

By Jhanae O'Guin
On September 19, 2013

  • Panther Dolls Perform at halftime of the Rockets/Spurs game. Adrienne Wincher

After the recent discovery of chemical weapons being used in Syria, President Barack Obama, Congress and American citizens have debated what role Americans should play in the Syrian crisis: whether to strike or turn a blind eye on the issue.
 In Syria there is currently a civil war in which President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of suppressing any opposing forces by any means necessary, including using chemical weapons. He refuses to give up control of Syria and has says that his vision of Syria's future includes a new constitution and an end to support for the opposition, which he calls terrorists.
 The opposition refuses to work with Assad's government, and the civil war has turned innocent civilians into refugees. Recently, videos have been released of Syrian civilians showing obvious signs of chemical poisoning. President Obama presented this information to Congress in support of his case to authorize a strike in Syria.
 President Obama believes that America must take action against the Assad regime if it is using chemical weapons to poison people because it is a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention that agreed to ban any form of chemical warfare in 1993. However, Congress and many Americans are hesitant to support a strike on Syria due the repercussions that still linger from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ashleigh Burroughs, a junior biology major, recently said, "I have family in the forces, and they are just now recovering from Afghanistan and I cannot justify a strike on Syria when it has nothing to do with the United States of America." While President Obama says that the strike in Syria will be nothing like Afghanistan, Americans are skeptical.
 Some Americans find it troubling that Obama is so adamant on striking Syria. Sophomore English major Kimberly Goshey stated, "When Obama campaigned for the presidency he stood on a platform of peace, there is no need to revert back to the very thing he promised to get away from." Many others tend to agree, including sophomore computer engineering major Chris McLamb who said, "The United States is not the world police, so I think it's about time that we stop the Middle Eastern foreign Policy of the past administration," referring to the Bush administration and the two it started.
 In a CNN/ORC poll, "59 percent of respondents opposed congressional authorization of military action, while 72 percent said American strikes would achieve no significant goals," but in a recent national address, President Obama said, "If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons."
However, many Americans are concerned that the president is concerned with foreign policy when there are many wars on the home front including the economy, creation of jobs, and healthcare that still need to be tackled. Empress James, a sophomore psychology major, said, "I do not agree that strikes on Syria as per President Obama's orders are the answer. The United States has serious domestic problems we need to focus on." Many like James think that war is the last thing Americans need to engage in especially do to the colossal national debt.

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