Saturday, September 7, 2013
Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray are “cautious.” Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers is “skeptical.” They need to go further. They should be strongly opposed to U.S. military intervention in Syria.
Punishing Syria with bombs will not bring back those killed with poisonous gases. It will not rebuild destroyed homes. It will not restore families and civic structures. And it certainly won’t teach Syria’s President Assad any lessons or bring him to justice.
“Sending a signal” with bombs will just increase the destruction in Syria and the loss of innocent lives. Also, it will damage our relationship with our allies and create more enemies of the U.S. while undermining stability in the region. (The continuing murder and madness in Iraq is a sad example of the negative results of military interventions.)
The U.S. government should have taken strong diplomatic steps long ago and that lack of action has let the situation get worse. Unfortunately, we cannot correct that inaction by applying military force. American military intervention will just multiply and prolong the horror.
We must put aside bombs and involve all parties — including Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and China — in finding a political resolution. It is the civilized way out. (The relatively calm elections in Kenya this spring illustrate what cooperation and peaceful U.S. intervention can accomplish.)
Granted, nonmilitary efforts won’t be fast and won’t be easy, but we are fooling ourselves if we think sending bombs will lead to a quick and easy resolution to this ugly situation. (Again, Iraq shows us that bringing in the military doesn’t end things quickly, if at all.)
War cannot drive out war. Only peace can (combined with international cooperation, diplomacy and humanitarian aid).