{{show_title_date || "Matthews: When it comes to Syria, the world is watching, 5/28/13, 6:14 PM ET"}}

Why the U.S. should be wary of war in Syria


Let me finish tonight with this.

If we get into this war in Syria, what are we fighting for? Who do we want to win? Oh yeah, what right to do we have to be there?

You know, it used to be we Americans called the bad guys the aggressors - you know, the country that attacks the other country is the aggressor.

So John McCain has joined the rebels in Syria. You’d think that from the buzz he’s trip over there has caused. The truth is, he wants The United States to get into that war. Doesn’t he always?

The American people have a different idea on the matter. Less than a quarter of us think we even have a responsibility in Syria.

Well, let me suggest a way to go about this debate. Before we start arming the rebels in Syria - who we don’t know - in a war in which we don’t have any way to predict an outcome - a war fought between Shia and Sunni - like most wars in that region are - shouldn’t we first state a position about what should happen at the end?

Is it the position of the United States that the rebels should win the war, kill the Assad family, then wage an era of revenge against the Allowites that have been ruling the country? You know, like the Shia did after we “liberated” - that was the word - Iraq? Is that what the United States wants? Is it?

I got a better idea. Why don’t we push for some sort of transition in the country of Syria, some sort of ceasefire. We take the side of the side that agrees to let revenge go, let peace emerge, between the warring groups. Or we don’t; we stay out.

Sound naïve to you? Well, the only way I could justify getting into a war is if I thought one side offered a threat to the United States. Any other policy option should be that we are not, once again, as we’ve been for more than a decade, killing Islamic people. That’s all we seem to do these days. And guess what? The Islamic people of the world - including those here - are watching.

Why the U.S. should be wary of war in Syria