I recall reading in many of the books I have that cover the American Revolution about the blockade of the British by French Naval units having a major impact on the outcome of the battle at Saratoga. Thus I am not opposed to assisting revolutionary forces in the overthrow of a dictator. I am aware, however, that the French did not aid the American Revolution because they agreed with the American revolutionary ideals. They provided aid to the cause in order to put a bug in King George’s bonnet and reduce the scope of British influence, in addition to a desire of gaining influence over the former British colonies for themselves, and the revolutionaries happened to be the beneficiaries of that desire.
The situation in Syria doesn’t seem to fit any of the more obvious reasons for intervention. I don’t know everything there is to know about the area, but I don’t see any commercial or political benefit to employing our armed forces to Syria in any capacity. The religious differences don’t necessarily bother me, although I have no interest in helping a group or groups come to power there who would simply turn the weapons and/or training we provide them on us later.
Regarding allegations of the use of chemical weapons on the civilian population, it is very sad if true. But I don’t recall anyone appointing the United States as the world’s policeman; and I don’t wish to pay for the policing in any form, either monetarily or with the lives of my fellow countrymen. We need to rethink the position in which we have found ourselves in the aftermath of WWII and the Cold War as having the only capable and equipped military machine to deal with outbreaks of violence and senseless bloodshed all over the globe. We have done enough and paid enough throughout the last several decades; and if the rest of the world wants enforcement action regarding chemical and other such weapons, it should sacrifice its own sons and money for the task as it is so willing to look toward us to do. Everyone wants clean streets, but no one wants to either pick up the broom or pay for the sweeping.
I would wholeheartedly support the French and the Turks in bringing Assad to justice, and perhaps we can help them logistically. But I truly believe that should be the limit of our involvement rather than leading the operation, dropping the bombs, and paying for everything. I also have no problem providing direct humanitarian assistance to the refugees. It’s time to let someone else do the policing while we help those displaced by war get back on their feet.