This week, in our second edition of Urchins Take Sides, we ask ourselves (and you) whether or not the United States should intervene in the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Is it our place? Will we simply stir up further anti-American sentiment? Could this be a reenactment of the Soviet war in Afghanistan? Does any of that matter when thousands of innocent people are killed in such a horrific fashion?
As we close another installment of Urchins Take Sides, we feel it unnecessary to remind everyone that the debate continues. As we fielded our opinions on a United States-led military strike on Syria, we enjoyed receiving and reading the comments and opinions of people who’ve taken the time to read our thoughts. And now let us return the favour, reposting your thoughts so that they could be read by others who may have missed them the first time around.
Although I’m saddened by what appears to have happened in Syria I can’t for the life of me understand why it’s our place to do anything about it. If it’s true and as horrendous as it seems to be, wouldn’t world opinion come down hard on the Assad regime? I’m tired of being the moral compass for the world. A good portion of the world doesn’t share our values so why are we trying to enforce our views on others? Get involved in the debate for sure but don’t go in guns blazing. This party isn’t supposed to act like that.
I agree this is an international problem. I do not agree that sending cruise missiles is the answer. It has never been the answer. The U.S. should put all their great might towards forcing the UN to act. If we can’t do that then we don’t have as much power as we thought.
Willie Price posted:
Enough intervention regarding the tribal disputes in the Middle East! History has proved, time and time again how futile any efforts to change or control the dynamics in a country or nations that have been at war with each other for centuries. Americans seriously should take the time to study fundamentalist various religious fractions.
My heart goes out to the helpless and suffering, however this is all about power. This goes way back when the monkey first threw a rock at an adversary; therefore declaring territorial war. It is and will always remain inherent human nature to demand control over their environment.
The vein of The American Problem runs so deep and so thick I doubt there is a tourniquet strong enough to stem the flow of blood. And the most frightening fact is that US political leaders over the last few decades are largely responsible. The direct and indirect cost of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict alone has cost the US taxpayers in the region of $3 trillion according to research conducted by Thomas Stauffer published in the June 2003 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. $1.7 trillion of which went directly to Israeli military.
In addition to Israel, the American taxpayers also fund multimillion dollar trade concessions, aid and other benefits to Jordan and Turkey if not to actively support Israeli actions (in the genocide of Palestinians) both at home and abroad but to act as bolsters in support of Israeli interests.
Politically it’s a bit rich of the US to decide, when an arbitrary number of civilians have been killed, that enough is enough. The time for politics is two years too late when the brutal machinations of the Assad regime were well know even at that time.
So, will armed intervention in Syria now be yet another measure to bolster the disgusting and murderous Israeli state? What are a few more Arab lives just so long as Israel is protected and prospers? Does America want to intervene now because Israel feels threatened by the possibility of a strong regime supported by both Russia and China on its doorstep?
Ah, humans. We have such limited ability to think beyond our usual intellectual confines.
The correct conundrum in Washington is not about regime change or who’s right, as it has readily been understood that there is no win-win in taking sides actions. The only issue on the table is an international non-response to the use of chemical weapons. International politics has set the ‘chemical weapon use will not be tolerated’ rule. Is the implication of not enforcing this rule a mute complicity inviting a broader rule breaking? What is proposed is merely a wrist slap ‘we saw what you did’ action, with the (hold your breath) ‘I hope this slap makes you not do it again’ intended consequence. That is the only issue the President is asking our congress to address. The international (whatever) that made that rule has abrogated responsibility for it. The rule breakers have already partied joyfully over the world’s inaction.
I clearly see the dilemma. What’s the solution?
If my morality is that it is okay to kill, then bomb away! Even thought that clearly does nothing to help anyone who is currently suffering in Syria. If my morality is that it is never okay to kill, then a military slap is not an option despite the realisation that the rule breakers, and anyone else who has ever wanted to break the rule, can use chemical weapons with expected impunity.
My morality is that it is never okay to kill. Very black and white no grey zone no wiggle room no ‘but what ifs’ apply. Inherent in that is the full understanding that someone who does not have that ethic can kill me. What has been very clear to me is that I should okay my government to do in my name only what I would be willing to do myself. So if I am personally willing to point a gun and pull the trigger at another human’s face, then it is okay to ask my government to do that for me. If I am not willing to personally kill then it is not okay for me to ask someone else to kill for me.
How can we continually ignore that there is historical precedent for non-violent political change? Why must we always bow to the gene set we inherited from the chimps to rip a self-identified opponent limb from limb? How is it that three major religions ignore the guidelines of their holy books, all of which forbid killing?
Humans. We brag species superiority because we have big cerebral hemispheres and can think! And then we kill all other species. Nothing is ever solved with violence. those who kill are at least as damaged as those who are killed, left forever with the moral stain of violence on their psyche.
So, my government, don’t kill for me.
Lead by finding a compassionate non-militaristic way to affect change. It has been done before. Study up and take humanistic action to cause change.
Mindset shift change. See outside of the visual light spectrum. Remove intellectual blinders.
To follow this week’s theme: The side I take is neither their side nor our side, but rather humanity’s side, non-violently. What would that look like?
Further discussion requires lengthier writing. Ideas, anyone?
Urchins: A think outside the box challenge on how to address the violence in Syria non-violently? Not just pour money into helping refugees. Rather, a real way to stop the violence.
It isn’t too late to join the debate. Share your thoughts!