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  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

Op Ed

 

Chemical Weapons in Syria and Why the US Should Not Intervene

Colin Feeney '15
Managing Editor

A few weeks ago, on August 21st, the Assad dictatorial regime allegedly fired chemical weapons utilizing the nerve agent Sarin into the suburbs of Damascus. Reports spread quickly and Assad eventually admitted to Fox News that his regime possessed chemical weapons but denied using them. Multiple countries around the world including the United States believe Assad did fire chemical weapons on his own people.

Initially, President Obama threatened a missile strike on the Syrian capital. A missile strike would only cause more conflict in the region, despite the strong need for repercussions for using chemical weapons. The United States does not have to be the world’s “policeman.” Some SI students concur with President

Obama’s reasoning as Nate Nickolai’15 says, “Without military intervention, there will be no deterrent from the use of chemical weapons, which poses a direct threat to America as well as its allies and the world.” Sarah Mulchand’14 argues, “If this absolute law against these weapons is not followed, why should anyone follow any international law?”

 Continued U.S. military involvement in the Middle East will only bring more hardship and problems to Americans. In the past decade, the U.S. military has struggled to make significant change in Afghanistan and Iraq at enormous military and economic costs, further deepening the massive American debt. Strikes in Syria would worsen the debt with only a possibility of change by Assad.

Under direct guidance from the Russian government through a plan conceived by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Assad’s government has officially adopted a United Nations resolution banning chemical weapons and has agreed to cede control of the weapons over to the international community for inventory and destruction. Should the diplomatic solution fail, a missile strike in Syria would not bring significant change—nor is it worth the risk of extended involvement developing into costly and ineffective war. Instead, the U.S. must once again publicly reaffirm its condemnation of all forms of chemical weapons. At this point, many may say public statements are not great enough consequences for chemical weapons not to be used again. U.S. military action against Syria would prove ineffective, since the military action in Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade has failed to stop deadly acts. Missile strikes would not deter dictators who have the audacity to launch nerve gas against their own people.

 Chemical weapons are terrible, horrible weapons of war that must remain outlawed and strictly controlled, but the reality is that they only account for a small portion of lives lost during the entirety of the civil war in Syria. Over 110,000 people have died. According to a report by the United States, a little over 1,400 people died during the chemical strikes, a significant amount but much less than the total. Consequently, the further loss of innocent life is unavoidable in these missile strikes, as they cause collateral damage.

In the current state of affairs in Syria and East-West relations, the U.S. should pursue diplomatic, peaceful means of eliminating the chemical weapons in Assad’s control to avoid further American involvement and loss of life.

 

A few weeks ago, on August 21st, the Assad dictatorial regime allegedly fired chemical weapons utilizing the nerve agent Sarin into the suburbs of Damascus. Reports spread quickly and Assad eventually admitted to Fox News that his regime possessed chemical weapons but denied using them. Multiple countries around the world including the United States believe Assad did fire chemical weapons on his own people.

Initially, President Obama threatened a missile strike on the Syrian capital. A missile strike would only cause more conflict in the region, despite the strong need for repercussions for using chemical weapons. The United States does not have to be the world’s “policeman.” Some SI students concur with President

Obama’s reasoning as Nate Nickolai’15 says, “Without military intervention, there will be no deterrent from the use of chemical weapons, which poses a direct threat to America as well as its allies and the world.” Sarah Mulchand’14 argues, “If this absolute law against these weapons is not followed, why should anyone follow any international law?”

 Continued U.S. military involvement in the Middle East will only bring more hardship and problems to Americans. In the past decade, the U.S. military has struggled to make significant change in Afghanistan and Iraq at enormous military and economic costs, further deepening the massive American debt. Strikes in Syria would worsen the debt with only a possibility of change by Assad.

Under direct guidance from the Russian government through a plan conceived by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Assad’s government has officially adopted a United Nations resolution banning chemical weapons and has agreed to cede control of the weapons over to the international community for inventory and destruction. Should the diplomatic solution fail, a missile strike in Syria would not bring significant change—nor is it worth the risk of extended involvement developing into costly and ineffective war. Instead, the U.S. must once again publicly reaffirm its condemnation of all forms of chemical weapons. At this point, many may say public statements are not great enough consequences for chemical weapons not to be used again. U.S. military action against Syria would prove ineffective, since the military action in Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade has failed to stop deadly acts. Missile strikes would not deter dictators who have the audacity to launch nerve gas against their own people.

 Chemical weapons are terrible, horrible weapons of war that must remain outlawed and strictly controlled, but the reality is that they only account for a small portion of lives lost during the entirety of the civil war in Syria. Over 110,000 people have died. According to a report by the United States, a little over 1,400 people died during the chemical strikes, a significant amount but much less than the total. Consequently, the further loss of innocent life is unavoidable in these missile strikes, as they cause collateral damage.

In the current state of affairs in Syria and East-West relations, the U.S. should pursue diplomatic, peaceful means of eliminating the chemical weapons in Assad’s control to avoid further American involvement and loss of life.

President Obama addresses the nation

 

Posted by on Friday November, 22, 2013

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