For more than a decade, many Americans wished they had done more to prevent the inexcusable waste and destruction of our invasion of Iraq. The combined stupidity and immoral willingness of our government to lie our way into war must never be forgotten, especially now as we stand once again on the brink of madness.
The events taking place in Syria are tragic and must be addressed. However, the world community has not even begun to exhaust the nonviolent, diplomatic avenues toward peace and reconciliation. And if Barack Obama — with or without Congressional approval — engages this country’s military with Syria before those avenues have been tried, then he will be as guilty of war crimes as his predecessor.
If you love America, then do not stand idly by while this nation rolls down the path to unnecessary war once again. If you love the men and women of our military, do not remain silent waiting for them to die once again on foreign soil while non-military options remain. If you support life and freedom, then do not sacrifice both so that the United States can once again play the role of world police. If you support justice, then voice the opinion that the corporations of our military-industrial complex should not grow fat on more contracts building bombs while our own people live homeless, hungry and hopeless.
If you regret your silence preceding George Bush’s wars, then speak up now. If you watched American bombs fall on Baghdad on CNN from the comfort of your living room, then get out on the streets now before they start falling on Damascus. If you saw neighbor children die or come home injured or suffering from PTSD, then protect your own children now.
If you remain unsure whether involvement in Syria is just, ask yourself these questions:
- There are ongoing conflicts all over the world: Central African Republic, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Chad, Somalia, Sri Lanka. Why are we not engaged in those conflicts?
- Just what is the history of the conflict in Syria, and have Western governments and corporations aided in the creation of the chemical weapons now being unleashed? If you don’t know these answers, then how can you possibly justify bombing a sovereign nation without knowing our own role in creating the situation?
- Could we invest billions of dollars each day more productively toward resolving this conflict? How about aid for Syrian refugees? Or support for the United Nations peacekeeping forces?
President Obama has already tarnished his Nobel Peace Prize with drone attacks that have murdered countless innocents. Oppressed people across the globe already view Americans as heartless imperialists only interested in oil and military bases. It is time for us to make our government prove that position wrong.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland will host a Peace Prayer Vigil on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Each year since 1981, when the General Assembly of the United Nations created the observance, the International Day of Peace has been observed around the world on this day. Come and let Sept. 21 be a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. All are welcome.