To: President Obama, Senator Baldwin, Senator Johnson and Rep. Pocan
Subject: Additional violence in Syria will not work and is not the answer
I, along with millions of other Americans and billions of other world citizens, do not believe that additional violence, in the form of “limited” tactical strikes, will work in Syria and this approach is not the answer.
Personally, I believe, but do not know, that Syrian President Assad used chemical weapons on defenseless Syrian citizens. President Assad and his father have been terrorizing Syrian citizens for more than forty years using a variety of means. President Assad elevated his violent behavior over his citizens a couple of years ago. While his assumed use of chemical weapons against his citizens may well be a violation of various international chemical weapons treaties, this single event pales in the whole of the current situation where thousands and thousands of innocent people have been killed by “permitted” weapons.
At its most fundamental level, this current situation is a product of thousand of years of religious acrimony. What will a Tomahawk missile do to change these social perceptions of faith? Additionally, the Syrian situation is representative of the give-and-take of tribes and civilizations trying to impose their values and wills on other nations – again for thousands of years. The “civilized” world has been trying to impose its will on the Middle East for the past century and more. We helped create this situation in the Middle East through various treaties, incursions, nations and coups that we’ve supported since World War I. Again, how will an airstrike “fix” this complex situation?
When has violence worked to stabilize or improve this type of a situation? I hope that you’ll provide some examples.
Who will benefit from airstrikes on Syria? Syrian citizens? I don’t think so. Will it change Pres. Assad’s behavior? Possibly. The only group who will clearly benefit will be the American military-industrial complex. The military-industrial complex will be paid to replace millions, billions of dollars of weapons. And, what will we have accomplished diplomatically? Very little. And, we’ll just increase our deficit – a whole lot of costs/expenses for very little benefit.
Climate change, brought on by the significant release of carbon dioxide by America and other developed countries, seems to be a fundamental reason for the drought in Syria. The flashpoint for the violence in Syria started two and a half years ago when Syrian citizens raised their voices to the government about the drought and the Syrian government’s response to the drought. Again, how will a Tomahawk missile “fix” the drought or climate change? It won’t.
In the Middle East, Africa and a host of other places, similar situations will arise over the coming decades. Climate change and drought will exacerbate resource availability issues. Population growth also will exacerbate resource distribution and availability issues. Ethnic and religious rivalries will continue. Drought, population growth, and various ethnic and religious rivalries will yield similar situations in the future – will we use Tomahawk missiles or airstrikes to “fix” these situations?
Syria is just the latest example of where humans have fought for thousands of years and that will arise in the future because of climate change, population growth and ethnic rivalries. Wouldn’t it be better to step back and find a wise, sustainable approach to the future? How will additional violence address these issues? Violence isn’t the answer.
The solutions to consider that possibly will work in this situation are:
international diplomacy where the religious and ethnic issues are discussed and addressed in a civilized manner;
reducing/fixing climate change and considering social and technological changes that help with resource availability and distribution issues; and,
Stop selling and exporting weapons and fueling these types of clashes
Additional violence will only exacerbate the situation that we’re trying to resolve. How will a short-term dose of violence address the root issues of the Syrian conflict?
Airstrikes, violence, and the military are a part of the problem here – not the answer.