The big news this week was President Obama's decision to seek authorization from Congress to take military action against Syria in response to what the U.S. administration is convinced was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on its own people. In Canada, Stephen Harper walked a delicate line, declaring support for the country's allies that are bullish on a Syria attack, but also hinting at the likely futility of such military action. As reported by CP, "Harper says the conflict in Syria is 'overwhelmingly sectarian in nature' and doesn't appear to have any 'ideal or obvious outcomes' for a solution at present." Harper is right about that. As thoroughly unpalatable as it is to sit back and watch the horrific murder of innocents without doing something to help, it's difficult to see how a military strike on Syria will do anything to stop the violence -- though it will almost certainly add to it, and could realistically help spread it beyond the country's borders. Is making a public moral statement a good enough reason for initiating military action when there's precious little chance of the action contributing to peace? It's a question the United States will have to answer in the coming days.
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