Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Wars and Rumors of Wars
a military strike against the syrian government? my first impulse is to support the president on this issue. how can we stand by while a brutal dictatorship murders people in syria with poison gas? but--what would we accomplish by a "precision" air strike or a series of them? would the people of syria be better off after military intervention? would the world be safer if we intervene in syria? are those fighting the syrian regime any better for the people of syria than assad's government? if assad falls, who would protect the religious minorities in syria from the sunni majority? what other countries will participate in military intervention in syria?
too many difficult questions, too few authoritative answers. i believe the president is right to seek congressional support before taking action. buying time to investigate and find thoughtful answers to difficult questions is better than rushing off to war. have we accomplished any good by our recent interventions in the islamic world? have our actions helped the people of afghanistan and iraq? were they better off before our interventions? some things appear to have been accomplished: the brutal taliban government has been ended and a measure of freedom has come to afghanistan, the ruthless regime of saddam has been brought to an end in iraq. both of these have been brought about, but an uneasy instability reigns in both countries, and an enormous toll in the loss of human life, both native civilian and american (and allied) soldiers has been the price of change in iraq and afghanistan.
indecision is painful, and it may be costly for thousands of innocents in syria. but no government should rush into the taking of human life, especially unintended "collateral" lives. thank you, mr president, for giving all of us time to reflect on the consequences of military action in syria. may we use the time you've given us wisely. shalom.