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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    American ethics in global conflict: Questions about our own morality

    Just a few days ago, the UN Security council’s resolution to back the condemnation of Syria by the Arab League was vetoed by Russia and China. The other nations in the Security Council released statements saying they are extremely disappointed in the measure.
    In immediate view it looks clear, Russia and China are willing to let the bloodshed continue while Western countries want it to stop. Upon closer inspection however the situation is more complicated. There has been a tremendous amount of pressure in the recent weeks on Iran, a country which seems to be heading on a collision course with the west.
    Syria is a very close ally of Iran, and taking Syria out of the picture greatly strengthens the position of the UN and its members on the issue of Iran. Removing one of Iran’s only allies is a good way to put a great deal of pressure on the country. When it came to the Libyan conflict it was again advantageous for the west to get involved because they were ridding themselves of a potential loose cannon in the area who has been and could be in the future a  huge sponsor of international terrorism. Was helping the Libyan people just a bonus that we got while destroying an enemy, or was getting rid of a rival the bonus we got for helping people in need?
    Now the more complicated question that begins to arise, one that even affects us here at Stony Brook and how we think, is whether we should feel obligated to help any people that are being violently oppressed, or should we only intervene when it benefits us? We really need to ask ourselves whether we want to be the police force of the world.
    There are numerous wars around the world where we have not intervened, and some glaring examples are two allies of our country, Bahrain and Yemen, which are also falling under the fever of revolution. There have been wars in Liberia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and many other places that have left millions upon millions dead. Are we obligated to go these nations and save these people who are getting killed sometimes in open conflict and sometimes in straight out genocide?
    I am not going to try and answer the question because it is extremely complicated, and I think every person should wonder, if we help one nation of people shouldn’t we help them all?
    If we aren’t going to help all people in need, wouldn’t it just be better to not help anyone and save ourselves the resources and potential lives of our soldiers?
    It is a very tough moral question that so far has not been addressed on a national level, but I think that it is a conversation that we as a country should have, and this next presidential election is a good time to bring the issue to the minds of Americans.

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