An awful time to be proposing war. (Abridged)

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

Despite always being fond and supportive of Obama, I’m unenthusiastic about US intervention in Syria

We’ve all asked the same difficult questions with every war: What qualifies America to be the policing authority of the world when:
a) they seem to be holding a double standard with weapons of mass destruction (since they use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles which supposedly result in asymmetrical – unfair – warfare),
b) they, too, are flawed when it comes to politics and rights and liberties (since Gitmo is still in existence and different sects of society are not treated equally),
c) they’re of a vastly different cultural identity and cannot make a judgment on the politics of religion in any country – Middle Eastern or not,
d) despite going in with good intentions, foreign regime changes executed by them or any other country seems to be unsustainable with one dictator being ousted and another rising to power.

And we’re all still questioning the legitimacy of the Iraq war – a war that was intended for the degrading of weapons of mass destruction which includes chemical and biological weaponry.

Not that I live or have lived there but I think it is safe to say that Americans just generally don’t want to get involved in another war – whether there are “boots on the ground” or not.

Since it’s 9/11, the thought of mass killings, of Al-Qaeda and of utter chaos is on everybody’s mind. This morning, I woke up to a video from the 9/11 attack of the 200 suicide jumpers falling to their deaths – people who knew they wouldn’t survive anyway if they stayed within the burning World Trade Center. So I watched how, over a decade ago, 200 people streamed from the top floors of a skyscraper and I wondered how an atrocity of a similar gravity was happening every day in Syria.

My first thought was that such an atrocity should be opposed with the same viciousness, that Obama’s idea of an intervention was completely justified. My next thought was about futility, and how fighting fire with fire not only fails to end this sort of atrocity but serves to perpetuate it. Time and time again, we rationalise that “this war will end the use of chemical weapons”, “this war will enforce the rules we’ve already broken”, “this war will deter future violation of whatever treaty we signed in whatever country in whatever era”, “this war will end all wars” and still – STILL – we find ourselves asking, once more, if we should just have one last war.

What comes to mind is what the Mychal Judge’s last words were, before being killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Mychal Judge, the chaplain of the fire department, rushed to the scene to perform last rites for the dead and to pray for and with the wounded. Then he was struck in the head and killed. He was repeatedly praying aloud, “Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!”

Perhaps it is true that I’m working off a very narrow base of knowledge. Perhaps it is true that some wars achieved some measure of success. And yes, it is true that appeasement never got us anywhere in terms of ethics or in terms of preserving peace. Chaos is the only order we are used to.

Armed with my youth as an excuse for my idealism, I feel the world is chasing its own tail, standing on its own cape. History taught me loads but so did Geography – the Earth spins on an axis and it revolves around the sun and 365 days from now we will find ourselves standing in a vast universe on the same spot, and we will ask ourselves why.

We need to find another way to move forward, because this war will not be the last. Please, end this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: