An Act of War Against Syria – Why And For Whom?

Since when did a democratically elected official’s oath in the House and Senate become, “I will do what I want in your best interests even if you voters don’t understand how good this is for you?”

We have elected representatives from Virginia and across the nation who are telling us they are going to disregard what we’re telling them – and vote to attack Syria anyhow.

They treat us like children to whom they’re administering castor oil.

But we are not children, and the members of Congress are supposed to serve us, not the other way around.

More to the point, we should not be putting American lives and honor at risk in an uncertain and questionable act of war against Syria, taking sides, advantaging one side over another, in the midst of “their” civil war.

The Administration proposes to bomb “carefully selected targets” to Kingdom Come for as long as 90 days.

We’re told we’ll accomplish this without killing any innocents, without spilling a drop of nerve gas, and without putting our nation at risk of reprisal from allies to Syria including Iran.

Most Americans don’t trust what we’re being told and why we need to make this war.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee resolution characterizes this bicameral congressional vote as an effort to “change the momentum on the [Syrian] battlefield.”  We say we’re warring to limit the use of chemical weapons, but the Senate seems to think it is to win the war instead for the rebels.

Of course, any bombing by the United States may not go as neatly as we imagine.  Syria may uncork stores of nerve gas in response, presuming they have already, because our bombing compromised their ability to conduct their civil war?

My reaction has hardened with the Administration’s hard sell to war in Syria.

The more I hear the worse this plan to war sounds.

I doubt I’d trust any administration these days who told me why we needed to war.

The bitter irony is that President Obama was our peace candidate (at least in 2008).

Senator Kerry, our Secretary of State, opposed the war in ‘Nam and had an explanation for why he wrongly voted to war in Iraq when he was a presidential candidate.

But when you have the power to war, the impulse is to war.

Most wars begin with a lie that it’s a war of defense or of for humanitarian reasons – when it’s nothing of the sort.

We propose to drop bombs in retaliation for those who were killed with nerve gas.

This action favors the rebels who were unconcerned as a matter of public relations when they broadcast pictures of their own firing squads.

I believe President Jack Kennedy handled the Cuban missile crisis the way he did because he learned from the Bay of Pigs to take his own counsel if he wanted to avoid war.

President Kennedy learned to dial back from a nuclear confrontation and had the capacity and resolve to resist those who would war rather than negotiate.

Presidents who get these powers, are confused that they are derivative, coming from the people, held in service for the nation, not their own historic legacy, not to see their names immortalized, not to break things up – but too few get JFK’s second chance to get it right.

The mid-east is an open wound ready to hemorrhage in a way and at a time when America would be dragged into an international conflict that we, the people, plainly don’t support and can’t afford at home.  Nor do you have to have attended West Point to understand this basic point.

“Yes we can”- as a slogan – accomplished a lot of other things.

But, there are some things, the guiding instruction is, “No, we can’t,” for we don’t have the stomach to tolerate this Syrian adventure.

Paraphrasing that great American philosopher Clint Eastwood, a nation ought to know its limitations. It should also know what is right and timely, and this war in Syria is neither.