In a televised address to the American public Wednesday, President Obama laid out plans for using military force to destroy the ISIS terrorist network. Here are the arguments for and against U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria:

The Case For Intervention

  • Keeps the rust off the ol’ war machine
  • Helps bring stability to Assad regime
  • Obama says ISIS is like a cancer, and we all know cancer is bad
  • Great chance to win those last few Iraqi hearts and minds we didn’t quite get to during last campaign
  • Beacon of freedom, moral high ground, all that shit
  • It’s already happening, so just go with it

The Case Against Intervention

  • Could set negative precedent of engaging in armed conflict without official congressional approval
  • Recklessly marches nation into war before trade and tourism sanctions can have any effect
  • Just going to have to do it all over again in six years, 13 years, 17 years, and 21 years anyway
  • Means U.S. government is publicly flip-flopping on whether Syrian civilians’ lives have any value
  • Pretty much guaranteed to cut off diplomatic relations with eventual Islamic State of Iraq
  • Not going to work

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