In an exchange with the congressman of my district, Mr. Patrick Murphy (D-District 18), I wrote to him what he should consider when voting on the Syria issue. Here are the main points I conveyed to Mr. Murphy:
There are too many unknowns about the incident on Aug. 21 that only can be answered by the United Nations committee that collected all the evidence in Syria. I don’t trust any information provided by spooks nobody can verify.
The use of poison gas has not been only blamed on the forces of the Syrian government but also on the rebels, who, furthermore, are also known for other horrible atrocities.
Previously, poison gas also has been applied by the Iraqi regime when that country was allied with the U.S. Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC last week showed documents that the U.S., under President Reagan, even supplied Saddam Hussein with sarin and anthrax to be used against Iran. Furthermore, the U.S. used chemical warfare in Vietnam when it spread Agent Orange all across that country with terrible effects on the people who got into contact with this poison. It is highly hypocritical to use the disputed usage of whatever gas now to launch a war against a nation that does not threaten the U.S.
The Syrian crisis is a proxy war between two Islamic factions, with Russia on the Shia (and Christian) side and the U.S. on the Sunni side. The weaponry for the “rebels” is supplied by the Muslim Brotherhood-influenced Qatar and by ultra-orthodox Saudi Arabia, where people are jailed for importing a Christian Bible. Instead of taking the side of a front that is highly influenced by jihadists (Al-Nusra and others) and the anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood, the U.S. should induce Russia and the Arabs to stop supplying both sides with more weapons. Otherwise, a negotiated peace cannot be achieved. According to U.S. diplomats (shown on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show) the so- called Free Syrian Army (the supposed “good guys”) don’t have any power on the battlefield. President Obama has to engage the Russians. Their concerns have to be taken seriously to get them along.
The outcome of a military strike cannot be predicted and will certainly cause more casualties, including innocent civilians, maybe even children, who so many politicians all of a sudden care about.
Half a pregnancy is impossible. The same could be said with regard to war. That has been proven by the First Gulf War. Only driving the Iraqis out of Kuwait, the U.S. failed to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The Second Gulf War then would not have seemed necessary at all. Insofar, the so-called war hawks have a point, either you go in and finish the job or you don’t start it in the first place. However, I don’t see a good end even if “the job is done.” There is no democratic alternative in sight to the present regime, and any invading forces would have to stay there for a long time to avoid further strife between the different ethnic and religious factions.
Obama is right in saying the international community has put the “red line” against the use of poison gas. However, it is up to the U.N. to enforce it. If the U.S. is acting without the approval of the U.N., the U.S. would act as a vigilante entity.
Here is my own “red line:” whoever starts or votes for a “vigilante strike” will lose my support. I will not canvass or pick up the phone on his or her behalf ever again. Mr. Murphy hasn’t answered yet. So I think it’s up to us private citizens to discuss the matter.
Royal Palm Beach