Should American Muslims Support The Coming War in Syria?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) shakes hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) after a joint press conference in TehranBashar Al-Assad no matter how evil and despicable he may be, has not attacked America or endangered American lives, but like Saddam Hussein it appears that detail is becoming more and more irrelevant each day. However, unlike the lead up to the Iraq invasion, this time, the warmongers in Congress, our Nobel Peace Prize recipient President, and their supporters have some American Muslim Organizations backing their folly. Anyone know a good remedy for the nausea this development has caused?

One would have to be living in a world full of dragons, wizards, fairies, and unicorns to believe that the steady drumbeat toward war in Syria is based on some moral pretext. One would be equally foolish if they really believed that intervention would consist of nothing more than a tactical bombing run and not a sustained conflict. The Syria Strategy as outlined in the Senate-passed authorization to use force, doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that this operation isn’t about morality, red-lines, or other talking points, yet many backers who repeat these fanciful talking points believe it nonetheless. The Authorization to attack Syria is about regime change and blocking Iranian influence per the Senate’s very own documentation.

SECTION 5. SYRIA STRATEGY.

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this resolution, the President shall consult with Congress and submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives an integrated United States Government strategy for achieving a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Syria, including a comprehensive review of current and planned U.S. diplomatic, political, economic, and military policy towards Syria, including: (1) the provision of all forms of assistance to the Syrian Supreme Military Council and other Syrian entities opposed to the government of Bashar Al-Assad that have been properly and fully vetted and share common values and interests with the United States; (2) the provision of all forms of assistance to the Syrian political opposition, including the Syrian Opposition Coalition; (3) efforts to isolate extremist and terrorist groups in Syria to prevent their influence on the future transitional and permanent Syrian governments; (4) coordination with allies and partners; and (5) efforts to limit support from the Government of Iran and others for the Syrian regime.

-  SYRIA JOINT RESOLUTION

Now in all fairness, this document will go through revisions, debate, etc. until a final authorization is passed by Congress, but it is important to note the INTENT behind the measure prior to final authorization. As we are being inundated with media coverage and pleas trying to convince American citizens to get behind this conflict, what’s equally appalling and disturbing to me as an American Muslim are the Muslim groups, organizations, and leaders who are backing action against Syria as well.

We may never know the motives and intentions of these groups, but I really wonder how eager one must be to get a seat at the table that they would so easily give their support to yet another American misadventure in the Muslim world. Should something be done about the Assad regime and it’s alleged use of chemical weapons? Absolutely. However, when did it become fashionable to suggest that its America’s duty to rid the world of every horrid leader and tyrant in the Middle East? If it’s now being suggested that this is the role of the American tax dollar and Armed Forces, then someone should let our government know that we are doing an abysmal job at it so far and American citizens should have reservations about another attempt given the current track record.

That said, as a Muslim, sometimes I feel like I may be one of the few people reading the Qur’an when it comes to issues like supporting an American intervention in Syria. I mean when are these Muslims backing this foolishness going to remember that it’s not America that should be held accountable for Syria and the Middle East, but the very Muslim countries all 60+ of them who are? How about telling these predominantly Arab countries that are petitioning the US to use our resources to help the Syrian people that Allah (swt) helps those who help themselves? How about telling these Muslim countries that it is our duty as Muslims to actively repel evil with good especially if we are a wealthy, neighboring country, with vast financial resources? Why should I as an American Muslim living on the other side of the planet get behind this American misadventure when there a dozens of Muslim countries in the Middle East some sharing borders with Syria who don’t feel the need to get their hands even a little dirty?

Now we have American Muslim groups telling their various audiences and constituencies that we should be doing all we can to support another Iraq or Afghanistan. Wallahi! Have we bumped our heads brothers and sisters? We live in dark times when so-called Muslim nations sit idly by and let innocent Muslims get slaughtered in the streets, doing nothing while waiting on the West to once again put boots on the ground, and even worse when American Muslims instead of petitioning said countries to do their duty, look to the US for the same.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that President Obama and his backers have a bridge to sell me on the cheap. We’ve seen this story before and the last time we allowed it to air, it not only helped destroy the American economy, but it also wreaked havoc on my brothers in sisters in uniform and their families. The President whom I’ve supported through two elections and on many other matters of policy is dead wrong on this and it angers me that a man awarded the Nobel Peace Prize who not even two weeks ago honored Dr. Martin Luther King, would even be advocating such a horrendous idea. I support my President on many things and am still proud of voting for him, but on this he asks way too much!

American Muslims need to stop trying to prove our American-ness by backing harmful policies in order to fit in or gain some measure of prominence, especially when said measures only promise more of the same in the Middle East. This isn’t simply conjecture or opinion by one American Muslim, this is the very words and ideas of those in power seeking to convince American citizens that a war in Syria is beneficial to everyone involved. It’s like we’re relieving 2002-2003 all over again when we were told that we absolutely had to topple Saddam for the betterment of the Iraqi people and the world. How’s Iraq doing these days and what have we gotten for our billion dollar a day investment?

Feel Free to read the Syria Joint Resolution for yourselves, courtesy of The Huffington Post:

Syria Joint Resolution

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