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Syria: Get it right first



I don’t think a logical person wants to see more death and violence in any part of the world. Yes, we the U.S. have an opportunity and perhaps an obligation to intervene in Syria. However, the president has stated the red line on the use of chemical weapons is an international decision. So why not wait until the U.N.  (United Nations) has completed their investigation? Wouldn’t we want their support along with other key allies?  The Washington Post claims the administration is citing their own evidence. Well you can’t have it both ways, say it’s an international red line but we don’t want international or neutral results implied by the U.N. Weapons experts’ state the U.N. inspection process includes on the ground analysis which can confirm key forensic details about the attack.

Once the use of chemical weapons is confirmed then it’s crucial to determine who used these weapons, which is a challenge in such a complex civil war. Stability in the area is better for everyone but will a strike accomplish this, decrease the violence and end the use of chemical weapons? No one can answer this conclusively. The Washington Post quotes Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sept 4, 2013 “The U.N. investigation will not affirm who used these chemical weapons. By the definition of their own mandate, the U.N. can’t tell us anything that we haven’t shared with you this afternoon or that we don’t already know.” This is the type of arrogance which lead the U.S. into the questionable war in Iraq, a huge drain on our economic security.

At this point, I haven’t heard whether anyone can conclusively say who launched these weapons. At best an action or strike might deter the regime. So, aside from sending a  single, non-international, message what is the outcome? What is the cost if we go in without the U.N., our European allies, or the international community who is cited as setting the red line? The president has stated at a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden “My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. An America and Congress’s credibility is on the line” If we’re worried about credibility, get it right; take time for due diligence, embrace the U.N.’s efforts and don’t go it alone.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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