RCL Opinion article

For this week’s RCL blog, I chose an article from the New York Times titled, “5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now.” The link if you would like to read it:



This was an interesting opinion article that is exactly what the title makes the article out to be. The authors of the article start off with a brief intro on Obama’s foreign policy shaped by his actions in the Libya crisis. They say that Obama is known for going quickly in and out of countries instead of intervening in the long term with countries. Then the article goes on to provide 5 reasons we should go quickly in and out of Syria.

I don’t believe that this article is effective in getting its audience to side with the authors’ opinions. The authors use a primarily logos based argument to try to persuade its readers that Obama should take out the president of Syria. The article provides reasons that include giving the U.S. a tactical advantage in the middle east, making allies with anti-Syrian middle east countries, and controlling the Islamic conflict in the middle east. All of these reasons are sound, but the method of presenting these reasons are flawed.

The authors almost just list the reasons with brief explanations after and do not make much of an attempt to persuade the readers one way or another. Instead the authors should have presented the information in a way that put out a sense of urgency and appealed to the reader’s sense of patriotism and humanitarianism. They should have added more text that implied that if we didn’t take care of the Syrian problem, that the United States would become less of an international power, and that many civilians will continue to die under the current Syrian president. Simply naming reasons without any appeal to the reader’s emotions is hardly effective and would not convince many to side with the authors, regardless of how logical the reasons are.

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