JEFFERSON CITY - The global debate over U.S. intervention in Syria sparked a debate in Missouri.
Conflicting views were voiced by a St. Louis-based Syrian advocacy group and a Columbia-based international relations associate professor.
President of the St. Louis chapter of the Syrian-American Alliance Sarah Kuziez said the United States should get involved.
“If we do absolutely nothing, then that gives Bashar al-Assad the green light to go ahead and annihilate anyone that stands in his way,” Kuziez said. “But it’s not necessarily about a military strike or a non-military strike. It’s more of, what can we do to stop Assad, to stop the bloodshed, to create a stable government that will respect the human rights of its citizens?”The Syrian-American Alliance's stated mission is to help Syrian people live in dignity.
While Kuziez is worried about human rights, Brian Kessel, an associate professor of international relations at Columbia College, said US intervention will not stop the civil war. He says strikes will signal disapproval of chemical weapons, but that the US cannot take action alone.
“The problem with the United States acting on its own is that it lacks legitimacy,” Kessel said. “So if we are to engage in some kind of strike against Syria, I think the administration needs to work harder to get international support for that action.”
Congress will meet and discuss Syrian intervention when they return to Washington next week.