The Nutshell: “What implications do you think the recent bombings in Syria carry for the future?”

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Welcome back to the Nutshell! Each week the Beacon poses a question to you, the Bethel community, and publishes your responses.

This week, in response to the recent bombing in Syria, we adjusted our question announced last week. This week's question:

"What implications do you think the recent bombings in Syria carry for the future?"

Roberto Acosta, freshman general music major: "This isn't the first time we've bombed Syria. It happened back when Barack Obama was in office as well, there was also bombing in Syria, and it was for similar reasons, the motive behind it. So I honestly don't think there's going to be any backfire....A lot of people in Syria at the same time, like, they were posting videos from Syrians thanking the U.S. for bombing Syria, because, the reason the U.S. sent missiles over to Syria was because there were people in Syria with chemical weapons, and they bombed the areas where the chemical weapons were. So other Syrians who were not a part of those chemical weapons were not affected because they knew the locations in which to bomb." Austin Lantz, REACH student: "I think it's kind of a return to the 'U.S. police force' mentality, which we've kind of dropped out of a little bit, and now we're kind of jumping back into this, where we're kind of becoming the world's police force, make sure everybody's acting ethically." Megan McGehee, freshman music performance major: "A lot of times, we do try to be the police force, and maybe...I don't know, because then there's the whole debate of 'well, why don't the police, in the sense of just in the American society, why don't the police just back down and we can handle our own problems?' But, at the same time, sometimes we can't handle our own problems, so maybe it's the same thing with the Syrian situation or other situations, where they're not able to maybe have the resources to do that. So I don't know, I think...there's a lot of different aspects of it that...can be easily debated." Bryce Yoder, freshman theatre major: "I think the biggest implication, honestly, is probably the pushback even harder that the Trump administration's going to get now on Syrian refugees. Because, you know, if we're going to blow up their country, a lot of people are saying the least we can do is let them in ours, and I believe that, since Trump took office, if my numbers are right, last I saw, we've admitted 11 Syrian refugees in the last year and a half. And so, I think that might be one of the biggest implications, is to see what it does to travel and the intake of refugees and things like that." Hannah Mooney: "I think the recent bombings show signs of the war on terror coming to the USA. With Russia threatening to bomb we need to be on guard. Trump may have started something that will only end in death." Matthew Anderson, freshman applied politics major: "It's hard to tell, because Russia is very unpredictable when it comes to how America acts to its allies. I think it will spark NATO to side with America on these kinds of things. I mean, we originally started the Syria strike just by ourselves, and then the second one France and the UK joined in. And so we're slowly rallying people to our side, and eventually maybe it'll blow up and Russia might do something about it, maybe it won't. It's kind of hard to tell I think. But I think it opens up the possibility of America becoming more involved in other countries in situations like this. So I don't know, we'll see." John Haas, associate professor of history: "There [are] implications for the presidency and the president's power in waging war, and it is just another example of what was sometimes used to be referred to as the imperial presidency, where the president takes on, at least in foreign affairs, sort of the powers of an emperor, in which he does not have to consult, or certainly doesn't have to get the approval of Congress or the American people. So that's well precedented, going all the way back to Harry Truman; but it's a sign that the Trump presidency is not, at least in that area, any big departure from business as usual, which is one of the things it was supposed to be, and a lot of people expected it would be, especially in foreign affairs. That hasn't worked." Joey Johns, sophomore history major: "I think the only thing that it can do is spark more animosity towards Americans within at least the Muslim community, if not the entire Middle East. I disagree with the decision to launch a missile attack. It seems like a halfhearted attempt at humanitarian aid that isn't very humanitarian. The United States, we spend trillions of dollars on the military every year and so its basically, more than helping anybody, we are just flexing our guns in foreign engagement, which I don't really agree with. I think if we want to frame it as a humanitarian aid, we'd do more to help Syrian refugees come here and have a safe place where they can get away. There's a difference in punishing Assad and helping the Syrian people. So by sending a missile strike to nuclear power sources and hitting his military bases, more than anything, we are just punishing him rather than helping the people. Support depends on the mindset surrounding it, what our goal is." Sidney Sprunger, sophomore theatre and vocal performance double major: "If you poke the bear enough times, something is bound to happen. That's my opinion." Anonymous student: "I’m not sure. I don’t watch the news very much and I don’t pay attention to that. It seems like there’s been an order for U.S. troops to go in there, but other than that, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of implications." Brandon Barnes, sophomore: "Not so much a bombing to kill, but a bombing to direct them away from what they’re doing. It’s not to harm, but to hinder [Syria] from creating something hazardous to the environment and others around them. Possibly something [Syria] can use against our own country even." Emerald Chupp, junior: "I get it because they were trying to protect our country but I think they could’ve handled the situation differently." That's it for the Nutshell this week. Thank you for your responses! Next week's question is:

"What was your favorite chapel ever?"

If you'd like to respond, or if you've got a question you'd like asked on the Nutshell, email us at beacon@bethelcollege.edu. See you next week in the Nutshell!
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