Question of the day findings: Involvement in Syria

July 13, 2012, 8:08 PM GMT+0

Hillary Clinton was reported recently to have said that Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad's 'days are numbered', as the Syrian opposition forces are becoming more effective in their defense. Senator John McCain also suggested the US hadn't done enough to help solve the crisis in Syria, asserting that the US had played 'no leadership role'. But what did our Question of the Day respondents have to say about the matter?

In stark contrast to the apparently prevailing view among government officials in the US, most of our respondents advocated not getting too involved in the situation in Syria. Those who argued against US involvement cited a number of reasons: that it wasn’t America’s place to get involved, that American involvement might even make the situation worse, and that there were more pressing concerns the US government should address at home, before going overseas. A small proportion of respondents argued in favor of US involvement in Syria, mostly due to humanitarian reasons, but a few referenced the issue of security, and the need to stop Assad and his ties from impacting the wider community.

(Click on each argument, below, to see more quotes.)

Should the US get more involved with the situation in Syria, or not? Why?

“STAY OUT OF IT: It’s not our place to help”

“Syria is a sovereign state and needs to solve its own problems.” Mike S, MO

“We cannot externally give people democracy and expect it to work. Democracy must be internally fought for and earned. Too often, especially in the Middle East, we meddle in hopes of securing a future democratically, only to get the result of a more hostile nation.” Joe, Alexandria, VA

“The US does not need to try and police the world in the hopes of trying to absolve specific countries of their own personal issues. That is the unique and sole responsibility of each sovereign country.” Terence, Santa Monica, CA

“I think we need to back away from trying to involve ourselves in every situation in the region. I am tired of the US being in the business of nation building, this is another Bush-Chaney type situation. We need to focus on our own issues at home.” Anon

“It’s not our business going around the world and nation building Islamic nations and undermining their forms of government, it really is none of our business.” Phil, N.C.

“This is their war. The country hasn't done anything to us. We have no business in Syria. Why should we police the whole world?” L. Bittner, PA

“STAY OUT OF IT: We could make things worse”

“US involvement in Muslim countries has led to more anti-American regimes in places like Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen. There is far too little possibility for a positive outcome even given the nature of the Assad regime to justify US involvement.” Anon

“Given the recent (like Iraq and Libya) and not-so-recent (like meddling in Afghanistan in the 1980s) experiences, the U.S. of A. should stay away from Syria. Diplomatic pressure, yes. Freezing of accounts of the ruling family and other elites, absolutely.” Serge L, Chicago, IL

“I'm sure if Obama gets involved there we will end up with an even worse person in charge than is already there.”Charles, Colorado

“The US needs to stay OUT of foreign civil wars, every attempt to date has just lead to more hatred toward the US.A”David M., Cheney W

“STAY OUT OF IT: We need to take care of our problems first”

“We should look at ourselves first. So many in this country need help and are falling through the cracks.”John, Watertown, SD

“We the people have enough problems in this country.”Anon

“We're broke and need to take care of our own.” Kem, Eugene, OR

“We simply do not have the resources to meddle in other country's internal problems. Let's solve our own problems first.” Les M., Florence, SC

“GET INVOLED: It is a humanitarian issue”

“Just as America should have helped when the young people in Iran were trying to gain their freedom.....we should help the people in Syria depose of their tyrant.” Anon

“We (the US) involve ourselves in many humanitarian issues, because we should. "Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We should do what we reasonably can to decrease or eliminate the crimes in Syria.” Johnnie, Kaiserslautern, Germany

“The US leadership should get involved in helping to dissolve the Syrian problem peacefully. It is important to do this soon. The killings on both sides increase hate by the minute and will divide that country soon.” Anon

“We have to. We have helped in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. Why would we not help people be free in Syria?” Anon

“We are sitting back while a slaughter of innocent civilians continues. We should do more than we are doing. The UN is powerless without the US.” Anon

“The people are being massacred by their own government.” Margie W., Redmond, OR

“GET INVOLED: It has implications on wider security”

“Even though the protestors are mainly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, the current al-Asaad regime has been too friendly with Hamas and Hezbollah, two terror networks that believe in the destruction of Israel. If a rebellion is to succeed, Syria will need help.” Adam, Milford, DE

“The United States pulls the most weight in world affairs. Our interests lie across the globe. Peace in the Middle East is essential to our national security interests. We also have an obligation to promote peace as often as possible.” Cean Worcestor

“We have to stop the Muslim Brotherhood now.” Choppo PA