Caveat: There are many arguments and points raised about the whole situation in Syria. One such point is the argument that the U.S were supplying chemical weapons to Iraq back in the day, and now are parading around as the global justice police force. To that I say: different President, therefore different leadership. The U.S. political system allows for each government to be radically different from any previous government, granted that they possess the majority of the House of Representatives and Congress. Obama was not the one supplying the weapons, so he must be judged according to his own leadership and decisions and not having to apologize or make amends for the H.W. Bush and Reagan presidency, or any other presidency for that matter.
The news these days are all about Syria, especially since the U.S, through the statements of both the President and the Secretary of State, have been very vocal urging through rhetoric and diplomacy that “something needs to be done”. Several allies of the U.S and members of NATO have begun discussing possible courses of action about Syria and whether or not, in essence, they will go to war. One such nation is the U.K., which announced, after a vote in the House of Commons, that the U.K. would not be involved in the conflict in Syria. Most have applauded this decision, and, not surprisingly, some have labelled them cowards. It is a standard reaction to such situations, where immediate response is mandated by most. But, we must examine the issue more if we are to judge the UK’s decision and consider the issue of foreign involvement in a more general manner.
Obviously the use of chemical weapons on civilians is a crime of the highest degree and not something that should be taken lightly. But even so, it hardly provides us with an obvious decision about what is the most appropriate political and humanistic course of action. If any major superpower, guided by “justice”, attacked war-torn nations on the principle that attacking civilians mandates their interjection, then Syria does not necessarily qualify as top priority, as it is not that different from most African war-torn nations in terms of violation of human rights.
Now, lately I’ve been watching an old cartoon from Japan, which is too ridiculous to explain here, but it offers a great analogy I wish to offer here for the consideration of the reader. The cartoon takes place in a world similar to our own but it lacks a mainland and, apparently, the world is composed of many islands scattered across a vast ocean. Most of the inhabitants of this world are either seamen or villagers living really close to the sea. In the story, two characters, one a pirate captain, the other a young cabin boy, get stranded on a small rocky island with no food and spend forty days starving, waiting for a ship to appear on the horizon. On the day of their rescue, after having suffered immensely, they resolve to open a “floating restaurant”, a ship that is neither pirate, nor trade ship. They promise themselves that they will roam the seas and serve food to anyone who is hungry, regardless of the customer’s affiliation, be he a pirate, a soldier or a civilian. And so they do. They become famous for the food and for remaining neutral their only rule being “no fighting on the premises or you will be kicked out”.
This translates into the situation in Syria as follows. What we are to take from the example of the two pirates being stranded is their decision to do two things: remain absolutely neutral and provide for all those in need. In their case is to cook and provide food to the other hungry seamen, in the case of the major global forces it is by providing humanitarian help. The main difference is that you do not engage in the conflict, rather you are open to provide a safe haven. The cooks didn’t roam the sea looking for hungry sailors, they were open for whoever wanted to come to them and get fed.
Now, Syria is chocked under the tragedy that is civil war. Thousands upon thousands have lost their homes, their lives, have suffered injuries, and etc. Instead of trying to break apart the conflict by interjecting, a possible solution would be for the major forces to provide escape plans for the Syrians and other people living in the area, to be transported elsewhere, away from the conflict. After all, there is a big portion of the people in the area who wish for an end to all this and just go about their lives without causing any trouble to anyone. By simply extending a helping hand to those who need it, the major forces will be capable of completing their mission of humanitarian aid and security, because after all, they are concerned about the people, right?
Perhaps the fact that such a move by any major power has not been seen in the past is testament to the idea that it is all about geopolitics and not ethics. Of course, saying is like me saying that my idea is awesome and people are dumb not to have found it revolutionary. I know it sounds like that but I really don’t mean it that way. I merely wish to say that I don’t think its such a complicated idea and so one that could actually have been implemented in the history of warfare till today. I see it as another expression of globalization at its full extent, that is, the “global village” as Marshal McLuhan described it.
It is by no means perfect, as people might have to evacuate and this is not as easy or simple as it sounds, even in cases such as this one. Regardless if something needs to be done, and something does due to gravity of the situation, the best approach for my money, is neutrality and aid. It is easy for a government of a major superpower reach out to the citizens of a country that wish to leave. The only country that actively blocks its citizens from leaving (as far as I know) is North Korea. Syria is not like that. If Assad was to go that far, then any doubt about his malicious means of maintaining power is extinguished, and he will be forever guilty in the eyes of the world.
The problems of course are numerous, just the mere fact that the population size of Syria is around 25.5 million should be enough of a number to size up the problem, so a more direct approach seems to be mandated. But it does not mean that the urgency shown by several governments and the arguments used by them are appropriate. Again, saying that it is the “mechanistically appropriate thing to do” can only backfire when other humanitarian crises are presented. Most of which we already know.
Again, there is no right answer. Only wrong answers, and I believe we are going for the wrong one if any sort of invasion in Syria takes place.
 I insist on a general manner since the specifics of this conflict, like most conflicts in history, remain largely unknown to the civilian populace. Only the ones in key positions are capable of actually finding out all the necessary factors that will lead to sound and valid decision. The case of whether or not these key people actually try to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle before acting is a completely different issue.
 Some of course say that the help that should be provided should be nothing less than military help. However, if we are to remain neutral as I will explain, we are to steer clear of military intervention. Siding with anybody defeats neutrality.
 Most probably “wrong”