I am assuming that if enough of us sign a petition telling Obama that we don’t want the United States to try to solve the problems of chemical warfare by bombing Syria that it will influence his decision.
So I’ve signed the petition.
The more I read and think and listen, the more I am convinced that, ghastly as the situation is, our bombing Syria will make matters far worse, not better.
Yes, I know, we stood by in relation to Rwanda and we could perhaps have made things better if we had intervened. And intervening in Bosnia, in retrospect, even without the UN approval, seems like a good idea. But Iraq and probably Afghanistan have made things much much worse for the people living there, for the U.S., for the region, and probably for world peace. Not all situations are the same, and each one must be examined carefully.
During the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations I asked my father what he thought about the war. ”I’m against it,” he said. ”Why?” I asked. ”Because we can’t win,” he said.
My first response was to be appalled. How could one make a moral judgement based on whether one would win? Shouldn’t one be willing to die for a cause that is right, whether or not one wins?
But I have come to realize that there is a terrible price that is exacted for fighting a war one can’t win. The price is paid above in the deaths, starvation, loss, and suffering by civilians on whose benefit we are allegedly waging war.
Even when we drop our bombs, shoot off our missiles, or send out our drones without putting boots on the ground, we can make things much worse, however righteous our cause may be or wrong the actions we are trying to correct.
I think we can only make matters worse by military intervention in Syria at this point.
So as I said, I signed the petition.