It's easy to sit back and decide Syria is not our problem

OPINION: It's so easy to sit back in our armchairs, watching newscasts of a brutal civil war that is happening thousands of miles away and decide it's not our problem.

I was thinking about the issue on the way to work, listening to Alan Jones' opinion that we should let the civil war in Syria work itself out - the world should back off from any intervention and relegate themselves to sheer spectators.

I wonder if Alan Jones would feel the same way if Australia were to be invaded tomorrow.

If chemical weapons were being used to kill thousands of Australian citizens, including children, could he still be as uncaring as he is now on this topic?

The word intervention has been marred by the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, now both more than a decade old.

The United States government needs to accept it's in a lose-lose situation.

If they intervene, they are war mongers, international police that believe they can invade countries on a whim.

If they decided not to intervene they are a heartless, callous country that invades only for oil and not for humanitarian reasons.

The United States needs to accept, as it has in the past, that it is on a hiding to nothing - it's not easy being the country everyone turns to when there is unrest and equally the country everyone condemns no matter what their actions are.

It seems the majority people have given up on the Middle East - the Arab Spring has not brought democracy or freedom to the region, but merely more uncertainty and conflict.

The situation in Egypt is growing direr by the day and extreme Islamic forces are making their presence known across the region.

If you think the Syrian Government using chemical weapons on its own people is bad, wait until an extreme Islamic group has access to those weapons.

That isn't to say the West should back the rebels who form the other side of the civil war and seem equally dangerous.

The only cause the West should be thinking about at this time is the civilian population that is being decimated and the best way to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of extremists.

The horrors of genocide, the potential for attacks on neighbouring countries such as Israel, the possibility that this will enable terrorist attacks on a grand scale - shouldn't all of this be taken into account when deciding on the wisdom of intervention?

Wouldn't it be better to act sooner rather than later?

Intervention is unpopular, there's no arguing with that.

But put yourself in the shoes of those civilians, whose only hope is some kind of intervention.

Think of how the the world might be in 10 years time if we allow extreme Islamics to take over in the Middle East.

And personally, I hope that if Australia ever finds itself in a similar situation, the question of whether or not to intervene won't be quite as heavily examined.

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