When the the American administration comes out and says that a serious international crime has been committed, and that military action is needed, it is a sure sign that something is about to happen. They claim they are sure that the Syrian government is behind this, due to eyewitness reports and humanitarian organisations, and that they will not stand by.
Likewise, the British government have been piling on the pressure of Assad, and speaking of how they are no longer content to stand idly by and watch while Syria falls apart. There are reports that plans of action are being drawn up as we speak, while the British parliament is being recalled in order to discuss this issue. It looks like this could lead to a vote over whether or not it is time we stepped in.
As for France, Turkey, and multiple other nations, they have made where they stand very clear. These nations have not left much space to maneuver if they decide that this was all a misunderstanding. Military actions seems like something that is inevitable, and it feels a lot like all the important decisions have already been made about whether or not it is right.
So, as Syria continues to self-destruct, and the west decide that it is about time that we put our heads together and try and import some of our stability via force, it is hard to know what is going to happen next. We have talked about this all hypothetically, and have a range of opinions about it, but we simply don't know what is going to happen.
A lot of us, who are among the few optimists our there, as well as the politicians and military leaders, are hoping that this thing goes really well. If we bomb Syria, something that will probably happen through the use of missile strikes from naval vessels, then everything might work out just like we hope it will, whether or not we think it is the right thing to do.
The chemical weapons could be destroyed, everything could go brilliantly, and we could enter into a world that is a just a little better. The rebels could turn out to be lovable moderates who are seeking to help bring forth a beautiful and stable nation. Unfortunately, best case scenarios are not the most likely ones, and the situation in Syria looks like it is going to be a very complicated one to sort out.
On an international scale, this is not going to help out relationship with Russia or China. If this operation takes place, then it will likely be done without their approval and, because of this, without the approval of the UN security council. By working outside the very organisation that is meant to increase peace, justice and stability, we would be undermining its credibility. This, simply put, is going to make a lot of very important people annoyed.
Within the Middle East region, then this might also cause a lot of problems. Many nations, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, have an interest in how this civil war develops. Iran supported the old Assad regime, while Saudi Arabia favours the rebels, and they have both been financing and supplying the war for some time. Western interference, which is about as popular in the middle east as a dog is in a cattery, is going to cause some political problems, and Iran is especially not going be very pleased.
As for the nation itself, then we don't know what will happen. Outside nations who support the regime might step up their support, and even take action within Syria, meaning the war gets a lot bigger but no closer to ending. Alternatively, they could give up, allowing the war to end, but the huge amount of instability that comes with creating a new nation will happen anyway. As we have seen from Egypt, a revolution doesn't really end with the changing of government, and a lot of issues will continue to bounce around unsolved.
Whether right or wrong, action in Syria is going to potentially open up a huge can of worms, and it is likely to make this more of a complicated mess than it already is. Hopefully, things won't turn out to be that bad, and the action, if it does take place, will actually work in helping restore stability. However, this is probably wishful thinking, and, like we saw in Iraq, this will not end overnight. There are a lot of long hard days ahead for Syria, and we need to keep on praying for it and its people.
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, the one thing that we can be certain about is that the end is still a long way off.