Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why Invade Syria? Some Of Us Want to Know

Like many of you, I am quite upset about the USA’s impending invasion of Syria. Hoping that it will be stopped before it starts, I am sending the following letter to President Obama: 

Dear President Obama;

All right, so you made a mistake. Everyone does sometimes. Using the use of chemical weapons as a red line to get Assad to stop killing his own people was not a good idea. You thought that being threatened by the United States of America would be sufficient to make him stop killing Syrian civilians. This was a major tactical error on your part. Anyone who has already ordered the killing of as many people as he has will care little about the USA killing a few more. You were on the right track before when you hesitated to get us embroiled in another war in the Middle East. No good guys could be identified and as far as I know, they still haven't. We didn’t stop the genocide in Rwanda or Biafra. There are numerous oppressive governments around the world in which we don’t intervene. Why Syria? I can’t believe that you really think that any good could come from such an attack other than your saving face for having made the crossing the red line statement.

As much as your red line statement was a mistake, I have to congratulate you for asking Congress to authorize an attack. It’s a great way to save face without getting anyone killed. I hope and pray that behind the scenes, you’re begging all those Senators and Congressmen to “just say NO.” As an Illinois resident in the Ninth Congressional District, I have e-mailed Senators Durbin and Kirk and Congresswoman Schakowsky beseeching them to deny you this authorization. If Assad is toppled, we aren’t even sure that a decent government will emerge. Once again, you were right before. This is clearly a time to let bad enough alone and I am hoping against hope that Congress pulls you back from this brink.

If by some chance, however, Congress finally gets its act together and does something you purportedly want and votes yes, it will be a tragedy for the Middle East. Nevertheless, in that worst-case scenario, there is a lesson to be learned. Congress responds well to reverse psychology. This strategy can be employed during the year to pass something positive. Raising the debt ceiling and getting a farm bill that includes a decent amount of appropriations for Food Stamps comes immediately to mind.

In closing, Mr. President, I have always been one of your staunchest supporters and I’m still rooting
for you. I’ve supported you ever since as a state senator, you announced that you opposed the USA invading Iraq. I cheered when you welcomed the troops home after you brought our involvement in that disaster to an end.  I am really disappointed that you are doing a 180 -degree turn by planning this invasion of Syria now. I trust that you will find a way to cancel your plans.

Good luck in your efforts to keep America safe and make the world a better, more peaceful place.

Lisa Sachs

PS. If you really feel the need to have this invasion, shouldn’t there be an element of surprise? At this point, all Assad has to do to find out what you have in mind is to read the New York Times.



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