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News reports are saying that President Obama has now decided to arm certain rebel groups in Syria in retaliation for the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in its civil war.

I would say first that if either side has used chemical weapons it is morally reprehensible.  There should be some sort of retribution, either in this world or the next.  (I do not believe in UN criminal courts because I do not believe the UN has or should have the power to jail anyone!)  But, it does not authorize without more direct military intervention.  Time to mind our own business.

But how can you be so callous, Sandy!  I care about the US first.  I also do not want perpetual war.  We cannot afford it.  Men and women have died by the thousands in Iraqi and Afghanistan in what are largely unnecessary wars.  Iraq may be broken beyond repair.  Christians are now being persecuted.  Afghanistan is still a leading persecutor of followers of Christ.  Yes, Assad is terrible.  But he protected the believers in Syria.  Perpetual war also erodes liberty.  Just today, indefinite detention of AMERICAN CITIZENS was upheld by OUR House of Representatives just today!  That is especially outrageous in light of the NSA spying.

Besides, arming the rebels is not just a support role.  We are allying ourselves in a military conflict – taking sides.  Assad is now our enemy.  Have we again helped an attack on another nation that did not attack or threaten us first?  Certainly Congress ought to have input on this question.  If we have a no fly zone, as the WSJ article suggests, that requires our planes to fly over Syria and run the risk of being shot down and the pilot captured or the US air forces involved in battles to enforce the no-fly zone or incidental to another battle between Syrian and rebel forces.  And how will we be sure that weapons given/sold to the Syrian rebels will not be used against us in the future?

Now, look I am not afraid of a fight.  We must sometimes fight.  If there was a quick way to secure the chemical weapons in Syria, I would advocate military action.  But, we must ask the question:  Where is the interest of the United States?  The weapons have not been used or threatened against our forces or our people.  Better to stay out and mind our own business.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)



  1. […] Virgina Right: ARE CHEMICAL WEAPONS being USED in SYRIA REASON enough to INTERVENE? […]

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Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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