Skepticism and the conflict in Syria Reply

Emily M. Kochanek – News Editor

My mother always told me, “If the U.S. goes in to help, the world hates us. If the U.S. decides to mind its own business, the world hates us.” Although I grew up in a household that revered the American dream of freedom, I also learned skepticism. Just because the U.S. goes to war claiming humanitarian aid does not mean the government doesn’t have internal interests. Each side of the political spectrum has an agenda. In an arena of back-room deals, skepticism is all the American public has left. 

As Congress has granted President Obama permission for a 60 day attack on Syria to send a message against the chemical attacks Bashar al-Assad committed against his people, many wonder, why? Does our government really care about the 1,500 people killed by the nerve gas attack on August 21? According to The Washington Post, more than 100,000 people were killed in the civil war prior to the gas attack. Why are we talking about war now?

Is it a political move of strength? Will politics yet again dissuade action? Is action even necessary? What will Iran and Russia think of our decision?

In an interview with David Gregory on Meet The Press, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough opened his interview, saying, “Look, I hope that every member of Congress, before he or she decides how they’ll cast their vote, will look at those pictures,” referencing the recent video of the chemical attack victims. Quickly, Gregory questioned, “Is this more about Iran than it is Syria?”

That is what Syria has to do with a 20-year-old white girl from Newton. And what does it have to do with you? Finding the truth, raising questions, becoming a skeptic.

Learning how to stand in the face of an international crisis will teach you to question who is right and who is wrong. Ultimately, it gives you the right decision when it comes time to vote for your government leaders.

No matter your affiliation or whether you “don’t care” about politics and world events, you must teach yourself skepticism. Question your party, question your peers. Question Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly. Educate yourself. World events and politics affect you. But whatever you hear, see, or read, conclude on your own.

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