Would Abraham Lincoln Support Foreign Intervention in Syria & Egypt?

syria-intervention

Russian Pres. Putin (speaking) has criticized Western nations for their support for the Rebels while he supplies Syrian Pres. Assad (right), his old Cold War ally.

The current Civil Wars in Syria and Egypt has me considering similarities they may share with the American Civil War. One of the most pertinent questions shared by Syria and the American Civil War is whether foreign countries have the right to intervene. Jefferson Davis banked the Confederacy’s success on his expectation England and France would provide recognition and support. Foreign intervention also appears to be critical to the hopes of the Syrian Rebels.

President Lincoln used legalese to argue that the Confederates States of America was NOT an independent nation despite its own government and army. James Stokesbury writes “Lincoln was doing his best to assert that this was not a war between two sovereign states but rather the suppression of an illegitimate rebellion by a legitmate government” (45). England in response declared themselves neutral and recognized the South as a “belligerent power” which placed both the United States and Confederate States on equal international footing. Indeed, some English leaders saw the upstart United States as a potential threat to its super power stature and the island nation had a sizable population who felt a brotherhood with Southern Americans. As a result, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman writes “the Confederacy ultimately imported millions of pounds of saltpeter for making gunpowder and 400,000 rifles.” Despite native bonds and smuggled munitions, this limited acknowledgement was the best Davis would get. The Emancipation Proclamation combined with Confederate losses in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Mississippi made it difficult for England to look beyond Lincoln’s legal maneuvering and offer full recognition and even intervene.

Some observers claim that as today’s super power, the United States should intervene in Syria and throw its support behind the Rebels fighting President Assad’s regime. Certainly, Rebel groups are vying for help from the Americans its Western allies. As England discovered int he 1860s, however, intervention in a Civil War is complicated. The Syrian Rebels are a divided lot between native fighters and foreign jihadists and as a result they are losing on the battlefield to Assad’s loyalist army (which is supported by its own host of foreign governments). Intelligence officials have the nearly impossible task of deciding which rebel groups to supply weapons to without strengthening terrorist groups. At least the English, despite their reticence,  were confident who they were negotiating with in the South during the Civil War.

Like England which used caution to intervene alongside Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria and Napoleon III of France, the United States today must maneuver around shady and dangerous foreign influences like Sudan and al Qaeda in Syria. It remains to be seen whether the United States will directly support the Syrian Rebels as it would be considered an act of war and could inflame an already fragile Middle East.

One significant difference to note between these wars is that the Confederacy attempted to leave the United States. Southern goals did not include toppling the Lincoln administration and forcing Northern citizens to live the Southern way of life. The Syrian Civil War is just the opposite as it is fought for control of the entire nation and who will decide which way of life will thrive. Would support for the Syrian Rebels occur quicker if they were asking for their own section of Syria? Would European nations consider helping the South in the 1860s if the Confederacy had wanted to conquer the North? Would the use of an illegal weapon (hard to imagine in the 1860s) prompt intervention – could the blockade be considered illegal and thus justification?

Would President Lincoln acknowledge a Coup Occurred in Egypt?

Although very willing to call for President Assad’s ouster in Syria, the Obama adminstration has refused to acknowledge that Egypt recently experienced a Coup d’etat. Most Egyptians, no matter their affiliation, understand that a coup occurred. Even American Congressmen who recently visited the country have come to this realization.

This convenience of language (or just refusal to publicly define a word) reminds me how the Lincoln administration defended its blockade of Southern sea ports as a part of the Anaconda Plan. The blockade could not be considered a blockade because that action is typically considered an act of war between foreign adversaries. What nation, after all, blockades itself? Technically, the blockade confirmed the legal existence of the Confederacy and opened the door for foreign intervention. The practicality of the Blockade and if it was enforceable was another debatable proposition where Lincoln’s administration had to become master sophists. Still, while he maneuvered the legality of the blockade internationally, he did not mince his words to Southern states in this official proclamation.

The Obama administration’s equivocation on the Egyptian coup is similar to Lincoln’s definition of blockades by saying the Egyptian coup is not a coup although the rest of the world knows it was a coup. Why? From what I have read, the US government favors President Morsi’s removal from office. Morsi is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood party and a frequent critic of the US. However, the fact remains the Brotherhood won a democratic election and as a defender of enfranchisement, how does the US support the removal by force (a coup) of a democratically elected leader even if that leader is not friendly to western interests? In addition, American laws dictate financial aid (over $1 Billion annually) to Egypt cannot be handed over if the government is overthrown by a coup. Egypt is a critical ally when it comes to North African and Middle Eastern affairs (think Iran and Israel) and it seems that alliance is clouding how we see the tragic events unfolding in Cairo over the past few days. Lincoln was able to weather foreign criticism regarding the blockade and the Confederacy’s international status by altering the war’s focus to the abolition of slavery. The Obama administration risks losing its credibility and have any influence on events in Egypt the longer it goes without making a definitive call whether a coup occurred or not and who it supports.

It is interesting to note that President Assad has confidently declared that when he successfully puts down the rebellion, he will sue Western nations who supported the Rebels for financial reparations to help pay for Syria’s recovery. Indeed, the United States government  set the precedent for such a lawsuit when it successfully sued England over its support of Blockade runners like the Alabama. An arbitration tribunal met in 1872 and awarded $15.5 million for actual destruction of ships and cargo against Great Britain which was paid to the US in full.

richmond after cw

Richmond in ruins. April 8, 1865.

One final observation is that the horrific images seen online from Syria and Egypt are a reminder how wretched civil wars can be. The American Civil War is often depicted through sanitized lenses of soldier reunions, commemorations and battle reenactments. As Stokesbury and other historians explain, the North “learned to hate” their southern countrymen and implemented all out war in 1864 and 1865. That hate brought about unimaginable bloodshed to both armies and horror to many southerners on the home front. The photographs from Syria and Egypt can serve as a tragic reminder that civil wars, despite when their occurrence in history are complicated and tragic events to be avoided at all costs.

alleppo

Aleppo, Syria in ruins. October, 2012.

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39 thoughts on “Would Abraham Lincoln Support Foreign Intervention in Syria & Egypt?

  1. I think the use of illegal weapons would prompt intervention in the Civil War. To understand my reasoning, you need to think in terms of World War II and the atomic bomb. Though nuclear warfare wasnt illegal during WWII, once word came out that such a weapon existed, nations all over the world went on a race to create these weapons. Later nuclear warfare became illegal. If an illegal weapon was used, and the user got away with it, that perhaps could encourage others to using such a weapon. This could be an international problem.

    • I think the use of illegal weapons would not prompt intervention in the Civil War. In 1860, England had already finished multiple wars with the United States. It left England with some difficulties after the wars. After being defeated by the United States and losing enormous amounts of territory to it, England would have loved to see the United States tear itself apart with illegal weapons. If the United States had used illegal weapons, the war would have been more destructive, leaving the United States in a terrible condition. This would allow any foreign country to easily come and take land of the United States once the war was over. Thus, no country would have wanted to intervene because not intervening would lead to an easy opportunity to gain or regain territories.

    • Blake, thank you for the comment. I see your point with weapons but what about something that could be considered illegal or an act of war like a blockade? Could economic actions be reason enough to intervene? And are nuclear weapons illegal?

  2. I believe help would come to the Syrian rebels more quickly if they did just want to have part of Syria as there own, instead of trying to overthrow the entire government. Even though Syria is an oppressive government, some people are still loyal to the government, and the international community would view it as unfair to change the loyalists way of life. If the rebels were just asking for their own part of Syria, the rebels would be allowed to get the change of government that they desire, while the loyalists would be able to stay under the current regime. Since that would not involve changing everybody’s way of life, I believe help would come to the Syrian rebels faster if they just tried to get part of Syria instead of trying to overthrow the entire government.

  3. The South’s motives would not have changed European involvement in the civil war, because the European countries didn’t care. England and France were not concerned with the South’s motives because the only thing England and France wanted was a divided country. If the North and South had stayed together, or one ruled the other, America is still a large solid country with a strong military. You ever try to rip a piece of paper straight down the middle with your hands on opposite sides? Nearly impossible right? But if you have a proliferated line down the middle it’s much easier. Well that’s how England and France saw it, they wanted the country to be divided so it would be easier to take over.

  4. I believe that intervention would come much faster for the Rebels if they were only attempting to obtain their own small section of Syria. Currently, the Syrian Rebels are attempting to take over the country’s entire government as their own, which is an extremely difficult task for a group of militia-esque rebels. I think that by taking on a simpler task, like fighting for their own portion of land, would be much more inviting for foreign interevention, since the amount of firepower and troops needed declines as ambitions are lowered. Taking out an entire government is not something that happens overnight, they will need to continue fighting incredibly hard for them to even have a chance at accomplishing their main objective- a total coup (similar to the South’s underdog status over the course of the Civil War). Especially because, as it was stated in the article, there is a slight conflict of interests within the Syrian Rebel army, which makes it even more difficult to get the job done in a timely manner.

  5. I do believe that the use of an illegal weapon would prompt intervention in the Civil War. Once a country starts using illegal weapons, they could start to expand and attack other countries. The country with the illegal weapons should be stopped before the problems get out of hand. Once the country begins to use the illegal weapons on others, the warfare would not at all be fair or legitimate.
    -Bryce G

  6. I think that European countries would actually not want to help the South if they wanted to conquer the North. England and other major European world powers wanted to help the Confederacy in the hope that the United States of America would dissolve and split into two separate countries. If the split occurred than Europe would no longer have to worry about the United States as an up and coming new world power, but rather as two smaller and weaker countries that could be eventually dominated.

  7. I believe that though the use of illegal weaponary or form of attack is a pretty viable cause for a “world superpower” like America to join in a war, but nevertheless it would be best for the US to stay out of it. Looking back at our own war, it was just that. Our own war. We did not use lots of combat help from other countries. I do realize that by the end of the war the Union had plenty of new immigrants fighting on its side, but it is not like they were fighting for their home country. I also do realize that was 150 years ago and times have changed but I see no reason for us to spend money, time, or effort. I don’t agree with the use of chemical warfae, and I do believe the Syrian government should be punished, but in this case it’d be best for America to sit out of this one and let Syria figure it out on its own.

  8. Abraham Lincoln would probably not support the Rebels because of the idea of nation affairs. He believed nation affairs should be handled within the nation. Outside interference would only stagger the growth of the nation.

  9. Would support for the Syrian Rebels occur quicker if they were asking for their own section of Syria?
    I believe support for the Syrian Rebels would occur quicker if they just wanted their own section of Syria. If they ask for their own section then they can live in their own zone and live they want to. By getting their own section the bloodshed would decrease and the Syrian people can live in their zones respectively. By taking only a section the rebels do not have to takeover all of Syria. The outcome would change significantly, for everyone, if they rebels took only a section.

  10. I believe that the Syrian rebels would be supplied with aid if they came together as one unit. The native fighters and the foreign jihadists may have there own differences and may not have the same beliefs. But one thing they can both agree on is that they would like to overthrow Assad’s government which is currently oppressing them at the moment. Nations looking in on this conflict notice that the Syrian rebels themselves are divided. So there could be a war within a war brewing to happen. These nations also have to observe the fact that Assad is using nerve gas on his own people. A dangerous chemical weapon, nerve gas could not only pose a threat domestically within the nation of Syria, but could be used on other countries that would want to aid the Syrian rebels. A another war could erupt nationally if nations, like the United States, get involved. So is our best bet just to stay out of it and let the the government and rebels negotiate it out? I believe so.

  11. I believe that Abraham Lincoln would take the same approach to the intervention in Syria and Egypt as he did with the American Civil War. He would try his best to not get militarily involved, but if an attack or complication came up that posed a direct threat to the United States, such as the use of illegal weapons, he would then be forced to take action for the safety of his country and countries around the globe. However if there were no threat to the US I believe Lincoln would attempt to try and convince the two sides to work their issues out and instead of dissolving the country, attempt to make a compromise.

  12. I believe that it is quite obvious that Lincoln would not intervene in Syria or Egypt. Lincoln did not want foreign intervention in his suppression of a rebellion so he would most likely let the Syrian dispute settle itself. Also the Syrian rebels have not even come together as one faction fighting against Assad’s regime. They are multiple disorganized factions. Even if the US decides to help defeat Assad, there is no “rebel alliance” to aid; in a political sense “Its a trap”. There is no easy solution for the US so the option that will ruin the least international relations is to just stay as far away from the situation as possible. Also the Syrian rebels couldn’t fight for an independent section of Syria even if they tried. It is not like the US civil war where there are clear borders between factions. Syria is more like Vietnam in the sense that both factions live in the same ares and can thus blend in with their surroundings because they ARE the surroundings. It would be like if there was a war between Republicans and Democrats they live in the same places sometimes even secretly. Even if Syria was split in two then we would have to see something like the great migration that occurred after India and Pakistan gained independence. Muslims in India had to trek to Pakistan, or modern day Bangladesh,and Hindus in the opposite direction. there was much violence, sickness, and death along the major routs of the great migration that occurred in India. My advice for the Rebels is as follows:1) You can lay down your arms and attempt to make negotiations with Assad to create a more Democratic Syria. 2) You can organize into one rebel group, at least for the duration of the conflict, and then ask for foreign intervention or fight for freedom as one united Syrian people free of debts to foreign “Allies.” 3) You can continue your self-destructive war and ensure that Syria will never shine as bright as it could have. You do not need a degree in International Politics to see the many misconceptions that “Western Media” possesses are false or poorly understood by the public. Thank you for your time and please know that much of this is my commentary on the Syrian Civil War so I hope no one is offended.

    -Peter “the Fire” Feider

    P.S. There is no such thing as “International Law” and thus there are no “Illegal” weapons. There is only hegemonic power, military might, and a widely used forum for international discussion:The United Nations

  13. In my opinion, I think Abraham Lincoln would provide assistance to the rebels in Syria, but not to the Egyptian Army after they took control of the government by force. My rationale for this statement is that Lincoln promoted the freedom and dignity of all individuals, but also believed in the system of Democracy. This past example is very similar to what Obama is thinking about both crises. The U.S. is a Democracy and therefore it is hard to promote the people in new positions of power after a “Coup” where the democratically elected leader was forced from office. The U.S. involvement in Syria depends on a few things. First, the use of chemical weapons needs to be proven and then the U.N. needs to make this determination. If the use of chemical weapons is proven, does the U.N. and its allies, such as the U.S., have legal and moral justification to engage in limited military strikes in Syria? Second, just as Abraham Lincoln was able to calm foreign nations, President Obama has the challenge of taming Russia and all of Syria’s allies. Regarding the Egyptian military’s ouster of the elected Egyptian President Morsi, Lincoln would have difficult avoiding recognizing that a coup occurred given the specific nature of how the military used force and continues to use force to silence dissent of the Muslim Brotherhood. While President Obama has carefully avoiding describing Egypt’s current government change over as a coup d’etat, it seems obvious that such a coup occurred. While the Obama Administration may have hoped the military’s coup would be quickly accepted by the international community as an internal regime change, the protracted civil strike in Egypt prevents this new government power grab from being considered anything but a coup. Overall, it will be interesting to see how President Obama responds to both of these international conflicts with Syria and Egypt.

  14. I think that even if the Syrian Rebels were asking for their own section of Syria, foreign support would not be quicker. If the Syrian Rebels would just want their own section of the country it would be a hard sell to the West. Much like in the Civil War, if a group or state wanted to break away from a (union) or country it would have to set up its own government, (e.g. Egypt 2013). This new government’s longevity would be questioned. In Syria it would be hard to trust a group of mixed viewed rebels creating a new country.This would retact foreign help even quicker.Weeks after this blog atricle was posted the situation has increased to possible Western intervention. Not the Syrian Rebels wanting its own section of Syria, but on illigal warfare use. Look how fast the US and the UK have reacted.

  15. In my opinion, European nations would not have wanted to intervene in foreign affairs especially the Civil War even if they had knowledge that the South planned to conquer the North, at least during the beginning stages. If they foresaw the South defeating the North and knew they would receive benefits due to assisting the South accomplish their goal, I am sure they would provide the South with either supplies or become directly involved in battle against the North. However, helping the South before any clear idea of the victor would be risky business and could backfire both economically or provoke conflict between the two nations.

  16. I believe that as stated in the blog the US has a responsibility, as a stable nation and as one of the major players in international decisions, to intervene under certain circumstances. Now I’m not talking about giving munitions and weaponry on the side, I’m talking about sending in troops to help calm the situation. I think that there are certain situations in which you do use full military force and when you just secretly fund and supply them from the sidelines. The loyalist regime created a situation in which I believe it is necessary to act, due to the fact that it has been proven that the regime were the ones responsible for the toxic chemical attacks. It has already been reported that Obama is ready for military action and that if the UN cannot come to an agreement then the US and other powerful nations have the responsibility of stopping the attacks and punishing those that have committed such a horrible crime. This is the article that was posted eleven hours ago stating Obama’s opinion on Syria and the opinions of other important figures in the UN.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/kind-substance-kill-hundreds-syria-article-1.1438964

  17. I believe that Lincoln would not have interfered with the wars in Syria & Egypt. I think that the Europeans wouldn’t have helped the south if they wanted to take over the North as the Syrian Rebels want to. Interference would help because of the destruction that illegal weapons can cause, but it could possibly lead Syria to want to fight the United States, thus bringing us into another war.

  18. I believe that the likely hood of foreign intervention in Syria actually happening is very low. The only justification for a foreign country to intervene in the conflict would be the use of Illegal weapons, such as Sarin gas. But there was already a confirmed use of biological weapons in the conflict last spring. For the first few days after this was found out, many sources blamed it on government forces. But these thoughts were quickly disproved by proof that a rebel faction was responsible for the gas attack. I think it is very unlikely that there will be definitive proof about who actually is responsible for the latest gas attack. The fact that the government let UN inspectors into the country points the blame away from them. And If the United States were to escalate the conflict from a civil war to a full-blown international conflict, without definitive proof of Syrian government wrong-doing, the U.S. would face an astronomical amount of repercussions from the international community, specifically Russia.

    • Chris, thank you for your comment. Recent events show you may be on to something. England’s Parliament has voted down the military option so if the US is to do it, it will be a solo mission. It appears the international community does not trust the intelligence and are hesitant to follow the US lead on this (ripple effects of the Iraqi Invasion). This hesitation of the world community and the lack of clarity on what exactly occurred with the chemical weapons may give some insight to the murky legal gamesmanship Lincoln played concerning whether the south actually left the country or not.

  19. I believe that as stated in the blog the US has a responsibility, as a stable nation and as one of the major players in international decisions, to intervene under certain circumstances. Now I’m not talking about giving munitions and weaponry on the side, I’m talking about sending in troops to help calm the situation. I think that there are certain situations in which you do use full military force and when you just secretly fund and supply them from the sidelines. The loyalist regime created a situation in which I believe it is necessary to act, due to the fact that it has been proven that the regime were the ones responsible for the toxic chemical attacks. It has already been reported that Obama is ready for military action and that if the UN cannot come to an agreement then the US and other powerful nations have the responsibility of stopping the attacks and punishing those that have committed such a horrible crime. This is the article that was posted eleven hours ago stating Obama’s opinion on Syria and the opinions of other important figures in the UN.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/kind-substance-kill-hundreds-syria-article-1.1438964

  20. I think that United States would come quicker to the aid of Syria if there was something in Syria that captivated the foreign interest of the United States. Despite the US being the superpower of the world that it is and the responsibility it holds to maintain order in other nations, the US is notorious for its foreign involvement and causing much controversy. I also believe that the US is not getting involved as quickly as it should in this civil war since, as stated in the blog, it must be careful on how they maneuver around other Middle-Eastern countries before they seek involvement in order to prevent retaliation from these nations. In conclusion, an intervention from the US will only come if they have something to gain, despite the use of chemical weapons to kill innocent people and the breaking of international law. Much like England and France refusing to aid the South during the Civil War due to the lack of net gain that would benefit them.

  21. I think the use of illegal weapons will prompt intervention from the U.S. and other countries. Obviously, there was no UN or NATO during the Civil War, and the United States was a relatively young nation. Also, because Lincoln did not accept the confederacy as an independent state it made it harder for other states to help one side or the other. This reasoning justifies U.S. intervention, even though other states stayed out of the American Civil War. So, is intervention in Syria justifiable because of the use of illegal weapons, yes.

  22. I think that if a country does use illegal weapons, the UN should step in. If they don’t make this an example of what they do to people who don’t obey the world-wide laws then what is going to prevent other nations from using the same type of horrific warfare. We need to at least give the rebels some air support, because the laws need to be enforced. These are not just the men that are being effected, it’s the women and children too. Chemical warfare is not contained to a certain area, and effects innocent people as well as those rebelling. Illegal weapons are unjustifiable, and whoever uses them should be punished. America should step into this civil war, but only with air support.

  23. Honestly, I doubt that illegal weapons would have been widely condemned back in the 19th century, especially during the civil war. As mentioned in the class before, the war was vastly different on the technological front, but we still adhered to older tactics. For example, the first modern machine gun (the Gatling Gun) and much more accurate rifles were commissioned during the war. We still used outdated methods, such as firing-squad positions and amputations, which sometimes caused more deaths than saved lives. I personally believe that nobody would really consider any weapon illegal in the Civil War, because there weren’t really standards at the time. That did change, though, when the First Geneva Convention was established in 1864. Only when we saw the true might of advanced industrial weapons did we establish international standards for them.

  24. Illegal weapons should not prompt interventions. Unlike the United States civil war, where the actors were large states that already had organized militias and a government structure, the Syrian rebels obviously don’t. Even in the Revolutionary War of the United States against Britain, there was some level of organization. According to the Institute for the Study of War, the Free Syrian Army has no unified opposition. [http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/The-Free-Syrian-Army-24MAR.pdf]
    If the United States wants to intervene, it should at least wait until it is clear a rebel group worthy of US aid and support has gained an upper hand in the war. Until this happens, regardless of chemical weapons, intervention does little to support the rebels as the rebels themselves are fighting each other.

  25. I do not think that Lincoln would support foreign intervention in Syria. He used legalese to argue “that the Confederates States of America was NOT an independent nation despite its own government and army.” The Syrian rebels are not a legitimate government, so Lincoln would say ‘no’. There is no legit army either. Their “army” consists of people who want Assad out of power, AND foreign jihadists who want to gain a foothold and infect the country with their radical terrorist beliefs and gain support. Lincoln would not approve supporting the rebels because you would also be funding terrorists, our enemy in the War on Terror.

  26. I believe that Abraham Lincoln would have the same attitude towards the intervention in Syria and Egypt as he once did with the Civil War in America. President Lincoln would attempt to not get the military involved and refrain from violence, but if an attack or impediment were to occur that posed an instant danger to the United States, like the use of prohibited weapons, Lincoln would then be obligated to take action for the safety of the United States and other countries in the world. On the other hand, if there were no terminal threat to the US, I would imagine that Lincoln would attempt to convince Syria and Egypt to work their issues peacefully instead of destroying the country.

  27. I think that European countries, like England, would actually want to support the South if the South was looking to completely take over the North, but only if they were positive that the Confederacy would win the war with their help. England could lay out some favorable terms to a possible England – Confederacy treaty, and knowing that the North had the upper hand in numbers, weapons, and leadership, who knows the terms that a desperate confederacy would agree to in order for a military power like England to come to their aid. If the confederacy suceeded in taking over the country, then they would be obligaded, possibly by the treaty, to sell many Southern goods cheaply to England, which England would economically beneift from. Also the two countries would have good diplomatic relations for the future. Good trade and good relations is something that both countries would want.

  28. I believe that help would come to the Syrian Rebels more quickly if they were just trying to gain their own part of the Country. Although the Syrian government is “weak” or oppressive, many people would stand by their country in defense of their government. On the other hand, the Syrian rebels want to change the government as a whole. If they were just granted a little section of Syria, much bloodshed, this use of chemical weapons, and destruction would have been avoided. Because the United States can relate so much to what is occurring, we would intervene. We would help the rebels gain their own land. I believe support for the Syrian rebels would come faster if they were just asking for their own piece of land rather than trying to overthrow the current system of government.

  29. I do not think it matters if the Syrian rebels were asking for their own section of Syria or for the control of the whole country. The United States, as well as other countries, would still look at the situation the same and would hesitate to get involved. They would still be getting involved in another country’s affairs and the same consequences would ensue as a country involving themselves in another countries affairs. In the American Civil War, I think European Nations would not want to help the South as much compared to if the South just wanted their own land. European nations wanted a split America, making the two splintered off sections of America weaker and more susceptible to invasion or manipulation.
    The United States should intervene in Syria and Egypt. First off, if any country in the world (in any time period) uses illegal weapons and is not reprimanded for it, the world sets a precedent allowing so called “illegal weapons” to be fair game. This is one of the main reasons why the U.S. should intervene in Syria. There is evidence that illegal chemical weapons were used by the government of Syria on their own people. If nothing is done, then other countries will think they can use chemical weapons and the world will plunge into chaos.
    In the American Civil War, the North was not treating the South unfairly when compared to the civil wars in Syria and Egypt. Instead of using chemical weapons on the South, the North was trying to negotiate with the South all the way up to the war. In Syria and Egypt, it’s a whole different story. The Syrian and Egyptian government are killing their own people, sometimes very gruesomely with illegal weapons. If that were happening between the North and South, other countries definitely would have stepped in.

  30. Along with Atinuwa’s comment about nation affairs, I also believe that Lincoln would not support foreign intervention in Syria and Egypt. If Lincoln supported the rebels, he would be going against his own idea of nation affairs, causing Americans to find it hard to believe in any of his other his ideas concerning intervention because of hypocrisy.

  31. I think that Lincoln would not find a reason to assist the Syrian rebels. Pre-civil war, Lincoln only wanted to cut slavery from anywhere, except The South. He was given a conflict and reacted accordingly, and intervening would contradict the traditional isolationism of Americans at the time.

  32. I don’t think Lincoln would support intervening in the Syrian Civil War. Lincoln was never in favor of going to war with the South, stating that if there were a war it would be started by the South. Lincoln was all about solving problems peacefully, and while it didn’t work out in America, I’m sure he would try the same technique anywhere where a war could break out. Also, Lincoln was against foreign intervention from European countries during the war and would likely think the same for this war. I could see him possibly intervening on the rebel’s side though, in order to legitimatize them like the South was hoping to be legitimatized by foreign intervention.

  33. I believe that Lincoln would not have supported the Syrian civil war and not aid it in anyway. This is because during the American Civil War Lincoln did not want any foreign intervention because he did not consider it a way with a foreign power. Also Lincoln always tried to solve problems peacefully and supporting the Syrian civil war would go against this, and not to mention at a great economical strain like during the American Civil War.

  34. I believe that Lincoln would not have supported either side of the Syrian civil war. He believed in isolationism, and would not have wanted to thrust America into another nation’s political affairs. During the Civil War Lincoln tried his best to prevent foreign intervention. He considered the war to be a dampening on an uprising rather than a fight between two nations, in which case foreign intervention would only propagate the issues that divided the country. The same can be said of Syria today. If the united States intervened in Syria it would only increase their problems and ours.

    Lincoln would also be against active support in the Syrian civil war because the United States is currently divided on many other issues. He would not want to further divide the nation by making such a controversial decision. Lincoln’s main goal throughout the Civil War was to Unify the nation. He had tried to prevent any further aggravation of the South prior to Fort Sumter by saying the institution of slavery was safe where it already existed. He made the best effort to end the conflict with the least amount of bloodshed. Lincoln would try to do the same if he were president today by not perpetuating already existing divides within our nation by intervening in another nations internal conflict.

  35. It is my personal opinion that Lincoln would not have supported the Rebels or the coup in Egypt. Concerning the Rebels, he would view them as illegitimate opposition mainly because he would need to be consistent. If he intervened in Syria’s civil war, he would invite intervention into our own, which would make him look very, very hypocritical. Concerning Egypt, he would not have acknowledged a coup had occurred because acknowledging the coup might legitimize it, and Lincoln would have to keep up the pretense of supporting democracy even if the coup benefits US interests more than Morsi’s rule did. This is not to say he would not support either side in theroy, but rather that when it came time for him to decide whether or not to act, Lincoln would choose inaction.

    -Richard imp

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